I don’t usually talk about buying and selling our eLearning products. I suppose to some this might seem strange. After all, I do work for Adobe and we do make some amazing software. When asked about it I’ll usually say, “I just show how the software works and talk about eLearning, the products pretty much sell themselves.” And honestly, that’s true. The teams continue to improve the products so quickly that I’m almost always able to say “Yes, we can do that.”
So why a post about subscriptions. Well today is a very special day. It’s a day of a promise fulfilled. Today, subscription, Adobe Software Assurance (ASA) and other customers who have various forms of subscription agreements will get early access to Adobe Captivate features in an update that contains several awesome new features. This update is only available to customers who are on one of the subscription plans – it’s an added benefit for Adobe Captivate and Adobe eLearning Suite subscribers. So if you are on either a Captivate or an eLearning Suite subscription you’ll be able to download and install this awesome update using the Update option under the Help menu in Captivate.
If you aren’t, don’t worry – this article will give you a great preview into the wonderful things that the next version of Adobe Captivate has in store for you. Who knows, maybe the early access releases might even inspire you to join our band of merry subscribers.
So what’s in the early access release?
Native Drag & Drop (Crazy cool, simple to use and really powerful) Record System Audio (Separate track for easy editing and level balancing) HTML5 Quiz Questions Galore (Expanding the TF/MC & Hotspot, to add Fill in the Blank, Short Answer, Matching, Sequence & Drag & Drop Questions.) New Smart Learning Interactions (Chart Maker, Checkbox, Countdown Timer, DropDown Menu, Hangman, Hourglass, Jigsaw Puzzle Maker, Radio Button, Table & Scrolling Text.) PPT to HTML5 Enhancements (Now includes your basic and Smart Art Animations for Paragraph and Level-by-Level animations as well as triggers.) Text entry box Enhancements (Including forced Capitalization and length checking) Find & Replace support in Slide Notes & beyond Flip Smart Shapes Publish your HTML5 courses to Adobe Connect Support for Windows 8 Support for Mac OS 10.8
The best part? The update is free if you’re a Captivate or eLearning Suite Subscriber, or if you purchased Captivate or eLearning Suite with Adobe Software Assurance (ASA). Watch the blog over the next week or so. Dr. Jaisingh, Vish and I have all been working on demos, videos and special sessions to introduce these new features.
Here’s a breakdown of my favorite features:
Native Drag and Drop: There are dozens of ways to assess how well information is being learned during an eLearning course. Rapid eLearning has embedded the Multiple Choice question into the minds of us all as the defacto standard. But sometimes you want to assess things that don’t fit neatly into multiple choice buckets. In fact often, course developers want to do more engaging interactions in order to create situations that are closer to the actual circumstances about which they are teaching. Drag and drop can be an amazing solution in those cases. But for many years, drag and drop interactions required deep programming experience. Often developers would create custom solutions in Flash.
Subscribers now have early access to Captivate’s 1-2-3 Easy drag and drop constructor. It’s crazy simple, and crazy intuitive to use. You just 1.) click on the stuff you want to drag, 2.) Click on the stuff you want to drop things on & 3.) draw cool little arrows from the drag object to it’s drop target. Yes, it’s that simple. Mark the dragger, mark the dropper, pull an arrow from the dragger to the dropper. And because like everything in Captivate, it’s customizable, you can do everything from trigger advanced actions when items are dropped, to report complex quiz results based on multiple possible answers. It’s incredibly cool. Keep your eye on this blog for videos from each of us showing the ease and the magic of the new Drag and Drop.
Record System Audio
This one is a long time wish for me. I have often wished that I could capture the audio from a video or other media file as it plays on my computer. Well now it’s simple. Just click the System Audio button in the recording toolbar and you’ll be able to record both the system audio and the traditional voice over. The tracks are separate to allow you control even after you’re finished recording.
Smart Learning Interactions
I have to give a nod to the new Interactions. My favorite is the new puzzle interaction but i’m sure others will be immediately fond of the chart maker and table displays among a host of typical business formats that will empower your workflow. Best thing about these – like all Smart Learning Interactions, they work in both Flash and HTML5 versions of your course.
PPT to HTML5
If you’ve asked me about converting PowerPoint to HTML5 in the past, I probably told you that it had some distance to cover before it included the basics of interaction and animation. Well with this release I can honestly say that it has reached the tipping point. Support for various forms of animation, bullets, smart shapes and even triggers are the highlights that make this feature really cool.
I’m sure there will be questions, so as always, feel free to post comments and questions in the area below. Or if you’d like to talk to me directly, I’m easy to find. It’s just allenp (at) adobe (dot) com. If you don’t hear back quickly – try a secondary email – my spam filter is seriously hyperactive.
Answers to the big questions I expect you might have:
Q: How do I download the update?
A: If you are eligible the update should appear in your Help: Updates menu within your copy of Captivate. If you are using a subscription copy of eLearning Suite, there are additional updates to some of the other great products in the suite. Be sure to check both today and tomorrow – sometimes the servers don’t all update at the same time for each geography.
Q: How much does the update cost?
A: Nothing. It’s part of the subscription benefits for subscription customers. It’s also only available to subscribers.
Q: When will the next version of Captivate come out, so I can get these features even if I’m not on a subscription?
A: Generally new versions are released every 12-15 months. Captivate 6 was released in June of 2012.
Q: I have more questions that aren’t here.
A: Leave a comment or email me. (allenp) at (adobe) dot com