December 15, 2009

‘Captivate 4 – a game changer in eLearning authoring’- Training Media Review

Early last month, Patti Shank did a detailed review of Captivate 4 on TrainingMediaReview. She highlights something that we’ve been hearing from a lot of the forward looking learning departments- ‘The workflow process for learning content creation is changing.’ Patti writes…
“Much of the content that we previously needed developers to produce can now be produced by our instructional designers or clients’ training staff and SMEs. Storyboards (if used) are no longer cumbersome Word or Excel tables describing screen content, interactions, and media, and the process from design through development is cheaper, easier, and shorter.
Problems can be fixed on the fly, without having to wait for rounds of bug tracking. No need for endless debates about what the storyboards really meant. Clients see results quickly and iteration (which increases time and cost) is greatly reduced.
The game changer is authoring tools that have become known as "rapid authoring tools," although they can be used to build all kinds of instructional content.
Captivate is a rapid development tool (that can easily be used for less rapid development projects as well)…”

Many Captivate users have shrunk the storyboarding phase considerably – by replacing storyboards in Word and Excel with quick prototypes created in Captivate directly. Captivate then serves as the aggregator- allowing users to easily reach out to the asset creation tools in the Adobe eLearning Suite to flesh out the content.
Patti goes on to review Captivate 4 and gives it the 4 star rating (outstanding).
The bottom line is that Captivate 4 is an incredibly valuable tool that can be used for a wide variety of purposes.
In my view, Captivate is one of the "power tools" that most instructional developers will want to have in their toolbox, along with graphics and media manipulation tools and other instructional authoring tools that meet their needs.
You might think that Captivate is only for folks who develop instructional materials, but its potential use is actually broader. Tech support folks can quickly build and email short "how-to" demos to users. Marketing can provide visual demonstrations of how their product works. Tech writers can link short demos to documentation files (as Adobe has done with their Captivate help files).”

These observations, coming from Patti, who co-authored the ‘Essential Articulate Studio’ book, is especially pleasing.

Captivate went on to win the honors for the best product of the year 2009 from Training Media Review.

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Posted by Shameer Ayyappan6:13 PM
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