Join Anastasia McCune for an in-depth discussion in this video Viewing the completed project, part of Captivate Projects: Software Simulations.
In this course, I'm going to show you how to use Captivate to create your own software simulations. Our example in this course will be related to kinetECO, a fictional alternative energy company. KinetECO manufactures and installs wind and solar energy solutions for homes and businesses. And you can read a little bit more about kinetECO at www.kinetecoinc.com. So our scenario is that we're going to create a training for kinetECO employees. The question they'll want to answer is, how do I calculate an estimated cost to install solar panels on a customer's residential home? Of course, that question has a lot of moving parts.
So to answer the question, an Excel spreadsheet is provided. Our training is to help employees learn how to fill this out correctly. And so it simulates for them what it's actually like to work with a spreadsheet. So here's what the actual training looks like. I'm going to go into the finish folder in the exercise files. Now here is the actual finished solar calculator Captivate project, here's the final published output. We're going to build this from scratch. So I'm going to open up the multiscreen.html file in a browser, and here we go.
So here we have an intro screen that tells us welcome, we'll click to begin, and we get some introductory information. KinetECO builds solar panels. We're going to learn how to use the Excel spreadsheet, and we're assuming our potential customer resides in Los Angeles, California. I'll click to continue. So we're told the first thing we have to do is figure out how much energy a customer uses in the course of a year. Best way to do this is have them gather their utility bills for a year. And then we can enter that information into the spreadsheet.
So we're shown this particular part in the Excel sheet where we put in how much energy in kilowatt hours was used every month. It tells us that the first 10 numbers have already been filled in, and we're only going to type in the last two numbers. So, we'll click to actually do that. So, we'll click this cell, to enter the first number. We're told to type in 301 and press Enter. Great. Next we're told to type in 285 and press Enter. So, now we have how much energy is used for this home, over the course of a year.
We're going to use that number in some more calculations located lower on the spreadsheet. We have to click to continue and it'll show us the scroll down to another part of the Excel. Here we get some introduction, there's only three more values that we have to update. They all have orange backgrounds. And the first one tells us we have to pick the area of the country that's closest to the house that we want to put solar panels on. This basically says that different areas of the country receive different average amounts of sunshine. And that effects how much power your solar panels can produce and thus how much it costs.
So, we're going to click to continue. So we're going to click the drop down to activate it, click the arrow to see the choices, our user remember lives in Los Angeles and if I accidentally click the wrong thing, like I clicked Riverside, I get this little caption that tells me, oh I've done the wrong thing,please choose Los Angeles. Now we're told we want 90% of the electricity to be generated by solar panels. So, we will click the box to select it. I'm going to type in 90 for 90% and press Enter. This last figure, cost per watt, usually varies between four and $8.
For our example, we'll use six. So, we're meant to click on the box, type in six and press Enter. Now we're shown, here's our total estimated cost of the solar panel system right here. So we did it. We found out how much it's going to cost our potential customer. We can click Continue when we're ready to proceed. So we have another screen here that says, thanks for playing, and basically if you want to go through the training again, click play again. So that was a fairly complex Excel spreadsheet, especially if you don't know about the content, you know, if you're not familiar with solar systems, and there's actually a lot more that could be done with this Excel workbook.
I mean, there's an entire area down here at the bottom that wasn't even discussed about how big the actual physical panels have to be. You could go into more explanation as to what the individual cells mean. There's a whole area over here on the right that shows you how much time has to pass before you've paid off your solar system, and you actually start making money selling the power that you've generated back to the grid. And some of these drop downs here pull from different sheets in the Excel workbook. So there's actually quite a bit of information here, and you could expand the training or make more or so on.
For our course, we're just going to keep it simple by building what you just saw. So by the time you get to the end of this course, you'll have the tools you need to build up projects like this, that simulate using whatever software your users may need to learn how to use.
In this project-based course with Captivate expert Anastasia McCune, learn how to record software simulations for your company or elearning project with Captivate. Discover how to plan, record, format, and adjust interactions for your simulation—elements that will make the training more realistic and intuitive—and publish the simulation where students can reach it.
- Choosing the right Captivate project type
- Rehearsing your simulation
- Adding intro and outro slides, captions, and transitions
- Controlling click buttons and boxes
- Adjusting slide timing
- Using skins
- Publishing your project