Posts in Category "eLearning"

Recording: Benefits of Adobe eLearning Suite for Captivate users

In preparation for my eSeminar on the Benefits of Adobe eLearning Suite for Adobe Captivate users, I decided to leverage the “wisdom of the crowds” so I sent out this tweet to my followers:

I received quite a few ReTweets and many great replies from Captivate users, who have already embraced the entire Suite. Here are a few that I received and that I used throughout my presentation:

@rjacquez I got ELS because it was a complete package, I could design & edit my courses and each component start to finish in house.8:30 PM Sep 28th from web

@rjacquez CourseBuilder extension and SCORM Packager2:28 PM Sep 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez

 

@rjacquez I develop corp and ed courses and the complete back and forth functionality was a huge key. + asset creation with ps9:49 AM Sep 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez integration is money for me. when i must use other software on a job i notice my productivity dip. best product I own.10:33 AM Sep 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez … limitless possibilities, easy to find people with appropriate skills, constant improvement, great engineering team.11:17 AM Sep 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez @stevehoward999 I can only repeat and support Steve Howard’s comments on eLearning Suite11:28 AM Sep 28th from TweetDeck

@rjacquez Reasons for ELS: Got everything I need in 1 bundle/license & Price12:12 PM Sep 29th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez 1) Captivate won in our assessment of tools. 2) Got the whole suite because of how much more powerful Cp becomes with other pckgs11:32 AM Sep 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez I am buying ELS today!! I’ve been using Captivate for a while, and just need the rest of the suite to make it even better!3:44 PM Sep 29th from web in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez its so easy to use! you dont need a licsence to view the output…1:27 PM Sep 28th from web in reply to rjacquez

I can’t thank these Tweeps enough for taking the time to reply, and for sharing their top benefits of the eLearning Suite from their Captivate perspective. I highly recommend that you follow them on Twitter as they always share great eLearning insight. To do so, click on their pictures above to go to their respective Twitter pages.

Finally, if you couldn’t make the live eSeminar, the recording is now available.

Click HERE to watch the Benefits of Adobe eLearning Suite for Adobe Captivate users

If you have your own list of benefits, I’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment, or send me a tweet @rjacquez.

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How-To Video: Adding a Text Panel in Adobe Captivate using Photoshop

When I ask customers what they like most about our Adobe Suites, almost always the answer I hear is the tight integration between the various applications in the Suites.

I like this answer too, as I strongly believe that from a functionality standpoint, “integration” is king in any well-integrated Suite of tools, and it’s one of the top reasons why our customers choose a Suite over the individual point products.

 

tweetmeme_url = ‘http://blogs.adobe.com/rjacquez/2009/09/how-to_video_adding_a_text_pan.html';
tweetmeme_source = ‘rjacquez';

This is why I enjoy recording and sharing how-to videos focused on using two or more of the applications in my two Adobe Suites, eLearning Suite and Technical Communication Suite.

In this short (9min) how-to video I go over how Adobe Captivate and Photoshop can be used together and I give an example of using one of Photoshop’s included actions to quickly add a Text Panel in a Captivate project. Please use your Adobe ID when prompted.

I hope you find it useful and if you want to be the first to learn about similar how-to videos as soon as they become available, please follow me on Twitter @rjacquez

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Variables, Text Entry boxes and .RDLs in Adobe Captivate 4

Among the long list of new features in Adobe Captivate 4, Variables in particular is one of the most useful new features, because it provides an easy way to replace and manage
text which repeats itself throughout a project with a simple variable, for example the course name. This is one of the most obvious use cases for how implementing variables in Captivate projects can quickly increase your productivity by speeding up your development process.
 

tweetmeme_url = ‘http://blogs.adobe.com/rjacquez/2009/09/variables_text_entry_boxes_and.html';
tweetmeme_source = ‘rjacquez';

However, variables coupled with Text Entry boxes make for an even more powerful solution for developing and delivering personalized eLearning experiences.

For example in a Captivate project, on slide 1 you can insert a Text Entry box asking the Learner for his First Name. The Text Entry box can then be associated with a variable, which stores the Learner’s name. That same information can then be used to refer to the Learner by his first name in subsequent slides.

Furthermore, if you create Software Simulations in Adobe Captivate by recording the screen, you probably have noticed that Captivate automatically inserts auto-text captions throughout the recording based on your clicks.  What you may not know is that you can control the wording used by Captivate in the text captions by editing simple text files, located in the installation folder and which have an .rdl extension.

To illustrate how variables, Text Entry boxes and .rdl files can be used together to create personalized eLearning experiences, I recorded this short (12min) how-to video. I first posted this recording on Twitter awhile back and today it’s one of the most popular recordings I’ve done.

Click HERE to watch the “Variables, Text Entry boxes and RDLs” how-to. Please use your Adobe ID when prompted.

If hope you find this useful and if you have a second, please leave a comment and share how you may use these features in your own projects. You can also send me at Tweet @rjacquez.

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Adobe Captivate 4 Best Practices: What’s Yours?

tweetmeme_url = ‘http://blogs.adobe.com/rjacquez/2009/08/adobe_captivate_4_best_practic.html';
tweetmeme_source = ‘rjacquez';

This morning, in preparation for an “Adobe Captivate 4 Best Practices” presentation, I decided to send out the following Tweet, in an effort to learn from my followers what their own personal best practices were:

I have already received many replies with very useful information, which I would like to share in this post. In fact with every new reply I receive on Twitter, I will come back to this post and continue adding to it. If you have an idea, please send it to me on Twitter by beginning your tweet with @rjacquez.

Here’s the running list, I hope you find these useful:

  1. RT @andyjones1302: write dn, w/ pen & paper, steps U’ll take 4 a demo. Forces U 2 B short & stops mistakes.
  2. RT @Stevehoward999: If gving me images, dont giv compressed images (jpg, gif), they alrdy lost quality. PNG plz
  3. RT @edmarsh: Back up your prefs file when you have it set the way you like. #Captivate
  4. RT @lmardennh LOCK a slide when you are happy with it – I learned that the hard way!
  5. RT @Ricas_gti: Add audio before tweaking the timing of slides.
  6. RT @andyjones1302: Run through the demo on the tool a couple of times before opening #Captivate
  7. RT @kdraper: Try out search examples beforehand to make sure they do what you think they’re going to do.
  8. RT @andyjones1302: In a demo, make 1st 1/2 second of each slide empty, gives user time 2 view & get used 2 screen
  9. RT @spencerbean: When previewing large projects, use Hide Slide on less important slides to cut down on preview render time
  10. RT @macrofireball: Use Captivate to create prototypes and show them to clients as often as possible.
  11. RT @andyjones1302: When recording audio imagine U’re explaining ovr users shoulder. Leave in Ums & Errrs. More natural & engaging #Captivate
  12. RT @andyjones1302: In a demo, make 1st 1/2 second of each slide empty, gives user time 2 view & get used 2 screen
  13. RT @kdraper: Try out search examples beforehand to make sure they do what you think they’re going to do.
  14. RT @jenludwiczak: I always script and storyboard each session b4 beginning in Captivate.
  15. RT @macrofireball: Always include CC text. Not all learners (in office environ) have speakers attached to PCs
  16. RT @jwillensky: Overlay your TOC to add function but conserve real estate. #Captivate
  17. RT @Sue_Taylor: Add audio after doing the screen capture. Allows you to concentrate on 1 thing at a time.
  18. RT @jwillensky: Use “return 2 last slide” fcn & Return button 4 EZ round-trip 2/from help slides/lesson
  19. RT @Sue_Taylor: Use the slide notes area to script what you want to say – they are viewable while recording
  20. RT @cybertext: Long sequence w same caption? Get caption right on beg. slide, copy/paste to others, remove fade in/out = seamless
  21. RT @jenilsson: Take extra screen shots to ensure you have good images, then delete extras before doing any edits.
  22. RT @cre8iveii: Do small trial run, test on student machines – get screen resolution right for target audience
  23. RT @winntshawn: Remember to search through the library for unused items and delete them. saves on the final size!
  24. RT @emcod: Many captured slides can be deleted w/o affecting the flow of a simulation. Test by hiding the slide first.
  25. RT @Captiv8r: Rule of thumb 4 Captivate slide count. Consider 50-65 slides as an upper limit. 100s will cripple projects
  26. RT @Captiv8r: Always work on projects from local C drive. Copy to server only for backup. Don’t edit projects on a server
  27. RT @hypertexas: When creating on SME behalf, let them do a “scratch track” audio recording, then clean up & re-record final
  28. RT @tompsk: Create a separate test module for your course tests, keeps scoring nice and simple
  29. RT @hypertexas: Add an “agent” or guide to your #Captivate scenarios for continuity & more engaging transitions from one section to another
  30. RT @macrofireball: Don’t use spinning or flying text. animations Words and text do not fly or spin in the real world.
  31. RT @rjacquez: Just as a good photographer reviews and enhances their pictures, so should you Preview and go through your simulation after recording.
  32. RT @hypertexas: Avoid temptation to read text captions for narration. Redundancy confuses learners
  33. RT @joe_deegan: Always exit a project by using File > Close. Reduces file size significantly.
  34. RT @rjacquez:
    Use Automatic Recording to keep the file size down. Only use Full Motion to add ‘realism’ to your Simulations.
  35. RT @rjacquez: Create and Use Project Templates, they speed up #eLearning development and enforce consistency
  36. RT @rjacquez:
    [#Captivate Best Practice] Add Realism to Software Simulations by including short Full Motion slides throughout your projects
  37. Voiceover Recording Best Practices

  38. RT @lmardennh: BP for voiceovers: Do them all on the same day for a given course – voice pitch and modulation varies noticeably day2day.
  39. RT @lmardennh: BP for voiceovers: script as much as possible, and PRACTICE. this reduces edits, so narration is even and consistent
  40. RT @macrofireball: Voice Over BP. Relax body, in particular face and tongue. Learn to breathe from your diaphragm. Practice your script!
  41. [Voice Over BP] RT @tompsk: Also avoid drinking coffee before doing a voiceover, drink water to keep a clear voice.
  42. [Voice Over BP] RT @juliov27612: Don’t drink ice water; it strips your vocal chords of lubrication. Water should be room temperature
  43. [Voice Over BP] RT @macrofireball: Avoid dairy products before recording. Avoid lip smacks by eating a green apple. Clear throat gently.
  44. [Voiceover Best Practice] RT @lirons: Record in a standing position.
  45. [Voiceover Best Practice] RT @macrofireball: Use visual images to express different emotions and attitudes through your voice.
  46. [Voiceover BP] RT @ScottSkibell: for me is standing up and not being afraid to move your hands. Creates more energy in your delivery.

More to come…

Other useful Related Posts:

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Adobe Captivate 4 for New Users: Live eSeminar

 

tweetmeme_url = ‘http://blogs.adobe.com/rjacquez/2009/07/adobe_captivate_4_for_new_user.html';
tweetmeme_source = ‘rjacquez';

Join me for this free 90-minute eSeminar, specifically designed for New and Trial Users of Adobe Captivate 4, where you will learn best practices and the fundamentals for getting started using Adobe Captivate 4.

Here are the specifics and what we will cover during this 90-minute live eSeminar:

When: Friday, July 17, 2009 at 10:00am Pacific Time

Registration: http://bit.ly/13UoNe

Duration: 90 minutes to accommodate questions

Login instructions: Once you register, you will receive a confirmation e-mail, which will include a URL for you to join the Connect Pro room the day of the event. I will conduct a series of audio tests as participants begin to join.

Click here to make sure your system is properly configured to participate in this Acrobat Connect Pro event.

Audio: The audio portion for the eSeminar will be available via your computer speakers ONLY, through Voice over IP (VoIP) and thus no phone number is provided

Session Description:
We will cover the following topics:

  • The ABCs or Adobe Captivate 4 and samples of what you can create
  • Best Practices for Recording the Screen for Software Demos and Simulations
  • Choosing the right pixel size for your projects
  • Differences between Automatic, Full Motion and Manual Recording
  • Previewing Projects
  • The essentials of editing slides, captions, mouse, images and other objects
  • Understanding the Captivate timeline
  • Inserting Question slides and Tracking
  • Publishing Projects to Flash (SWF) and other formats

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How to Build Animations in Flash CS4 for Adobe Captivate 4 Projects

By RJ Jacquez. Follow him on Twitter @rjacquez

 

tweetmeme_url = ‘http://blogs.adobe.com/rjacquez/2009/05/how_to_build_animations_in_fla.html';
tweetmeme_source = ‘rjacquez';

If you need to supplement your Adobe Captivate 4 eLearning projects with Flash animations, the process of creating Motion Tweens is now much easier in the latest version of Adobe Flash, CS4.

In this short recording, I go over the fundamentals of how to successful deveop animations in Adobe Flash CS4 for inclusion in Captivate 4 projects, and how to make sure they are fully compatible with you projects, including Actionscript version, Frame Per Second (FPS) and Project Size. 

In addition, the recording provides tips and best practices for how to use a Photoshop file as a background for the animation, and finally how to make sure you only publish the animation you need as a SWF.

Click here to launch the “Building Animations in Flash CS4 for Adobe Captivate 4” recording.

UPDATE! If you would like to follow along, you can download the exercise files used in this video tutorial by visiting the Getting Started with Adobe eLearning Suite page.

I hope you find this recording useful and if you want to learn when other similar recordings are available, please follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rjacquez/

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Next eLearning session? You tell me!

By RJ Jacquez. Follow him on Twitter @rjacquez

After a great STC Conference in Atlanta, I’m on my way home thinking about all the great conversations I had with our customers during presentations and throughout the event.  Lots of great topics came up and will most likely provide an overview of the event in the next couple of days. 

In the meantime, I’m also thinking about the topic of my next eLearning session, and I need your help.

These topics where some of the most talked about during STC and I need your help in selecting the one you think I should cover next. 

Thank you in advance, and if you have ideas for other topics not listed here, please leave a comment and I will consider adding them to this list.

What Topic would you like me to deliver next in an eLearning session?(online surveys)

 

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Web 2.0 Documentation using Adobe AIR and RoboHelp 8 OnDemand Recording

By RJ Jacquez. Follow him on Twitter @rjacquez

Once again, I’m happy to report that yesterday’s (03/26/09) live eLearning session on Building Web 2.0 User Assistance using Adobe AIR and RoboHelp 8 went extremely well and I thank everyone who participated!

BTW, this session is also applicable to eLearning Professionals, who would like to learn how Adobe AIR and RoboHelp 8 can create powerful Performance Support Systems.

During the session, we went over the following 5 Lessons:

Lesson 1: The ABCs of Adobe AIR and Web 2.0

Lesson 2: Building your first Adobe AIR application in RoboHelp 8

Lesson 3: Customizing AIR RoboHelp Projects

Lesson 4: Understanding Updates, Bookmarking and Commenting

Lesson 5: Using the Adobe Help Viewer to Combine multiple RoboHelp projects using .RHA and XML files

The recording also provides a download of a sample AIR application and also the ability to test the auto-update feature.

I copied and pasted below a few of the comments I received through the chat pod during the session, regarding the question What does Web 2.0 mean to you?

“3D Capabilities”

“Collaboration”

“Interactivity between document and user”

“interactive experience”

“More collaborative tools such as Twitter, podcasts, forums, blogs, wikis”

My point was to make the connection between Web 2.0 and what users are expecting to find in Documentation and here’s what I think the impact Web 2.0 experiences has on Technical Documentation, more on the recording:

Finally, here are some excerpts of some of the feedback I received from those who participated in the live session, I especially like the first one and more specifically the text in bold:


“Excellent session. I was a complete novice about AIR. I’m impressed.”

“Very interesting session showing the future of interactive documentation and online help. RoboHelp 8 is a great update of RoboHelp 7.”

“Presentation was clear, organized, thorough, and blew me away. What a wonderful product! Thank you.”

“Yes, very useful, as it’s a shown up a couple of possibilities that we hadn’t considered, and fixed a couple of misconceptions and confusions.”

“For us, as I suspect for many others, internal review will be our first application, and so has to work. Once we have this successful ‘proof of concept’ we would demonstrate what we can do internally to visiting user groups, and then discuss how they might want this sort of technology implemented on their own sites. It’s clear the AIR help proposition has moved on since I first saw it, and I’d love to use the technology as a driver for updating our Adobe software across the board, perhaps with TCS2.”

“Excellent presentation! Will you be showing this at WritersUA?”


I hope you enjoy the recording, and please take a few minutes to share your thoughts about the recordings and Adobe AIR in Tech Comm in general.  If you are already building AIR applications using RoboHelp, click here to share your experience. 

This same for is available at the end of the recording and you can click on it to launch it and provide feedback.

Click here to launch the Building Web 2.0 User Assistance and EPSS with Adobe AIR and RoboHelp 8 recorded session.

TIP: when you are watching any Acrobat Connect Pro demonstration (including the ones in this recording), something you may want to try is to click the “Scroll” button at the bottom left of the Connect Pro window, which will help you zoom in closer and follow the action around the presenter’s mouse.  To the right is what the button looks like in all Connect Pro recordings.

I have already started working on the next eLearning session,
Natively reusing FrameMaker 9 documents in RoboHelp 8 in the Technical Communication Suite 2.”

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Adobe Captivate 4 New Features onDemand eLearning Session

By RJ Jacquez. Follow him on Twitter @rjacquez

I’m happy to report that Friday’s (03/06/09) live eLearning session on the new features in Adobe Captivate 4 went extremely well and I thank all 175 people who participated!

I copied and pasted below a few of the comments I received through the chat pod during the session, which illustrate how well-received this new version of Adobe Captivate has been.


On right-click simulation:

“YAY for right click simulation!!!”

“Right-Click is very exciting.  Main reasons I am here”

“great news!”

On single-SWF publishing:

“fantastic 1 swf”

“multiple swfs were annoying”

“i have had issues with multiple files in the past”

On the new Adobe AIR-based Help System:

“I like the community feature to get feedback from other users.”

“The context sensitive search looks very useful.”

“i like the d/l [download] as pdf”

“Like the community Comments addition”

“I definitely like the bookmarking feature”

On the included Practice Simulation:

“the simulation is really good”

“great way to keep the session interactive, I will do the same”

“excellent, I haven’t even checked email :)”

“Very cool. Thanks for incorporating practice into this session.”

“it keeps people engaged”

On Adobe Captivate Reviewer (Adobe AIR application):

“free is great”

“It would pain me to print out slides for each edit”

“This is a lot of new coolness for a $299 upgrade price”

“That will be very helpful in my company.”


Much better that what we’re using now”

“awesome!”


This will save a lot of trees”

“I LOVE THIS.  When I’m doing reviews for myself, I have to do fixes from back to front as slide numbers change as I add & delete things–now comments attached to slide itself!  Bravo!”

On the overall eLearning session:

“BTW, you’re doing a great job with the presenation…I’m learning a ton!”

“very impressed with the feature set”

“awesome, tool”

“just keeps getting better by the minute”

“Thank you very much!!  A reallt informative session.”

“Thanks so much for this.  It was very helpful.”

“Thank you very much, RJ!

“you did a great job”

“Thank you for your lessons today!

“thanks RJ we will see you again”

On Project Template

“perfect for non-technical types”

“project templates are the only reason i will use this product”

“I believe it can cut a lot of development time”

“the place holders are great”

“that’s rad”

On Variables

“This was on top of my wish list!!”

“can’t help but be useful”

On Text-to-Speech

“Excellent feature”

“Will speed up course development”

“definitely”

On Panning

“the panning will be beneficial with our systems training”

“i have been using project resize to reduce the screen size, great time saver”

“will allow a more professional production”


For those of you who couldn’t make it and asked me for the recording, please click here to launch the Getting Started with the new features in Adobe Captivate 4 session.

Incidentally, when you are watching any Acrobat Connect Pro demonstration (including the ones in this recording), something you may want to try is to click the “Scroll” button at the bottom left of the Connect Pro window, which will help you zoom in closer and follow the action around the presenter’s mouse.  To the right is what the button looks like in all Connect Pro recordings.


I hope you enjoy the recording, and please share your thoughts about the new features in adobe Captivate 4, and the interactive simulation included in the recording.  You can do so by leaving a comment below.

I have already started working on the next eLearning session, and will post more information shortly.  If you have recommendations for future eLearning sessions, please share them with me.

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Getting Started with the New Features in Adobe Captivate 4: Live eLearning session

On the heels of a very successful eLearning session I did on the new User Interface in Adobe FrameMaker 9, I’m posting information about the next live eLearning session, this time on the new features in Adobe Captivate 4.

Whether you have already purchased Captivate 4 standalone, or as part of the new eLearning Suite, or version 2 of the Technical Communication Suite, or are testing the trial version, I’m confident you will find this session worthwhile, so I look forward to seeing you there.

In Adobe Captivate 4, we added a long list of new features and I’ve gotten a ton of emails from customers asking where they can find these new features, and thus the reason for this eLearning session, to help you understand the new functionality and to learn where these new features are.

As always, no registration is required, but please keep in mind that my Connect Pro room only handles 400 people, so please log in as early as 30 minutes before the start time and the Virtual Classroom doors will close promptly at 10am PST to avoid distractions.

Here are the specifics and what we will cover during this two hour live eLearning session:

When: Friday, March 6, 2009 at 10:00am Pacific Time

Where: http://my.adobe.acrobat.com/adobelearningsolutions/

Login instructions: Please click the link above as early as 30 minutes before the start time, enter as Guest, type your Full Name and click Enter Room.  For the audio portion of the meeting, you will need to turn on your computer speakers and adjust the volume appropriately.  I will conduct a series of audio tests as participants begin to join. Click here to make sure your system is properly configured to participate in this eLearning session via Acrobat Connect Pro.

One more thing to do is to make sure you have the latest Flash Player installed, because the session will include practice simulation in the Flash format.  Click here to install the latest Flash Player.

Duration: 120 minutes to accommodate questions, but it’s likely to end before.  Right-click here and save this MS Outlook iCalendar of the meeting on your Calendar.

Session Description: This eLearning session will cover the following topics:

  • Exploring the new Splash Screen and all the new Captivate Preferences
  • Navigating the new Adobe AIR-based Online Help System
  • Understanding the new Software Simulation Recording options, and the new Panning
  • Working with the new Project Templates, Placeholders and Design Templates
  • How to link PowerPoint files dynamically, and how to change them from within Captivate 4
  • Sending Captivate 4 Projects for Review using Adobe AIR
  • Understanding the new Text-to-Speech feature for automatically converting your slide notes to speech
  • Implementing Variables and Advanced Actions into your Captivate 4 Projects and Templates
  • What are Flash Widgets and how to use the included Widgets
  • Adding a Table of Contents to your Captivate 4 projects
  • Aggregating multiple Captivate projects into a single cohesive deliverable
  • Understanding the new Expanded Output options, including publishing to .AVI and .PDF
  • Importing native Photoshop (.PSD) files and animating each Photoshop Layer individually in the Captivate timeline
  • Understanding the long list of new usability enhancements, including, right-click simulation, single-SWF publishing, inline editing of text captions, the new drawing toolbar and more…
  • Understanding the extended functionality you get in the enhanced version of Captivate 4 in the Adobe eLearning Suite

I’m looking forward to this eLearning session and I hope to see you there!

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