There was an update to Flash Player on the 4th of November to version 10.1.102.64, which causes Captivate 5 SWFs with Text animations to either fail to run or show a black screen or show a white screen. We have been able to nail down the root cause for this issue. Meanwhile, couple of workarounds which can be used to overcome the issue are as follows:
1. Remove Text animations in your project and republish the project.
You can find text animations easily using “Find And Replace” palette. Use Edit->Find And Replace to open “Find And Replace” palette.
Then in “Search In” Combo Box on that palette, you need to select “Text Animation” and hit “Find All” button.
The list box below will show all text animations. Selecting each element of list box will move you to the slide containing the text animation and select the text animation. You can then delete the text animations.
2. Or roll back to the previous version of Flash player on the computer that is playing Cp swf –
Details about rolling back to an earlier version of Flash player –
Please follow the following steps:
1. Go to Settings, Control Panel. 2. Open Add/Remove Programs dialog. 3. Select Adobe Flash Player 10 ActiveX and click ‘Remove’ button.
If you have any difficulty with the above steps, then you try the following.
1. If you are not able to install this version of Flash Player then follow the link http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html in your browser. 2. Click on Windows: uninstall_flash_player.exe 3. Save this uninstaller on your machine and run it to do a clean un-install. 4. Try to run flashplayer10r45_2_winax.exe to install Flash Player ActiveX once again. (Beginning with Step 4 above.)
The focus was on the multimedia eLearning principle of personalization in this week’s eSeminar. You can watch the session using the link. I have also included an embedded copy of the demo for the personalization principle which you’ll find below. Finally, I have uploaded twin versions of the slide deck as has become my habit. The first one which you can find here, contains a downloadable PDF of the slides with the notes which mirror my audio presentation, in case you want to read as you listen, or would like to clarify some point from the notes. The second version of the slide deck is embedded below for your convenience.
This week’s session focused on the personalization principle. I discussed creating effective eLearning content, utilizing the Personalization Principle, which suggests that the use of informal language and agents can improve learning. Today’s session will explain the overall concepts behind the personalization principle and demonstrate how those concepts can be accomplished with particular focus on the following features in Adobe Captivate and Adobe eLearning Suite; slide video, flash animation & advanced actions.
This was the third of a series which are designed to help explain why module design is the way it is in much of today’s eLearning design, and as we move forward into the many additional sessions that are related to this one, I’ll be demonstrating how those theories lead to end products with practical examples that stretch the ideas all the way out to individual tools and techniques.
The above sample may take a few minutes to load depending on your connection speed. All together its about 40MB worth of files. It loads in over time, so it generally can begin after about 6MB. It’s a sample application of the personalization principle in action – extended to provide some information about a low cost / no cost solution in terms of generating an animated ‘coach’ or digital tutor. In the project above, I simply popped into Second Life and recorded an avatar in front of a neutral background. Then I stacked the swf animations (captured as full motion video) one atop the other and triggered show / hide behaviors in Captivate to play the appropriate video at any given time.
As I worked I learned quite a bit about the potential of this approach. I spent quite a bit of time working out how to optimize the file sizes and found that in general a stack of swf files (as output from Captivate) rather than a stack of progressive streamed videos was a better solution in this case. I’d also recommend keeping it fairly simple and concise. Here I use a huge amount of video (16 total animations make up about 38 megs of the project) and it really isn’t necessary to include so much. As you work with video or SWF’s in this way you can make the agents smaller – to save some bandwidth, and you can try to keep the interactions fairly simple. Just having idle, no and yes animations is actually pretty good. You might add only talking -and end up with a nicely animated tutor, without all the weight of a more extensive set of animations. (A smaller set like this would be around 16% of the size this one is for example.)
I’m also posting the source code of the project above here – so you can easily see the advanced actions that I used to script the stack. There’s a screen shot below as well of a typical script.
You may notice that I reference a variable to create a kind of looping that keeps sending the playback head to the start of each display section – this ensures the animation will always play. I find the correct frame by using a slide action and storing it in a custom user generated variable. That’s the variable I check here to determine where to go back to, so that we can replay the given slide. Everything else is just resetting the stack. We don’t know what was visible last, so i just reset all of them to hide. You could also create a variable to store a #state, and then you’d know what slide was visible and could hide only that slide using a conditional.
Below are the URL’s to the Personalization session I did last week, along with links to the others in the series.
Available On Demand:
Part 1:Making Effective Adobe Captivate eLearning Modules
Adobe Captivate 5 contains number of new workflows which will enhance your productivity of using Captivate and make the integration between different ELS applications much better. One of such enhancement is “Edit With Soundbooth” in which author can take audio content from Captivate to Soundbooth, modify audio by applying filters and get the changes into Captivate with a single click.
“Edit With Soundbooth” feature is available for slide audio, object audio or audio present in library. It is most useful for project level audio. Hence let us see how the workflow works when one needs to apply filters on complete project audio.
Let’s say you have a Captivate project of few slides and have already recorded / imported audio on all the required slides. Now you need to modify the audio, add few filters to the entire project audio.
To achieve this you must open the Project Audio dialog by going to menu Audio > Edit > Project
This opens the entire project audio dialog in Edit Tab. Look at the option at the bottom Edit With Adobe Soundbooth. Please note that this option is available only for users of e-Learning Suite 2.0 Click on the button Edit with Adobe Soundbooth. Following dialog should be seen –
Do not press the OK button until the audio is modified in Soundbooth. Adobe Soundbooth should launch and come in focus. Complete project audio is opened in Soundbooth. You can now modify audio by adding filters or changing the sound levels. Observe that slide markers from Captivate are also shown in Soundbooth. These are helpful in indicating the boundaries of slide audios.
Note: It is recommended that users do not change the duration of audio in Soundbooth. Even if it is modified, Captivate takes care and imports the audio correctly
Once the modifications are done, save the audio file in Soundbooth by clicking menu File > Save
Now return to Captivate and click OK on the available modal dialog. Once clicked, changes done in Soundbooth are reflected in Captivate’s project audio dialog.
Now you can SAVE the changes and click CLOSE to close the dialog.
Thus with these simple steps audio can be modified by applying filters to the entire project audio. I hope this enhancement is useful to your daily Captivate activities and help you work effectively with Captivate.
Specifically Quinn focuses on a ‘skills centered’ approach – one which rather than focusing on churning out facts and data (most of which is of no use to the learner anyway) examines and anticipates the actual skills the learner needs to acquire. At one point in the interview he discusses the decisions the learners must make and uses this decision event as an anchor for the generation of a learning activity. It’s an approach that simply makes more sense than much of the eLearning content I see. By letting learners focus on decisions that parallel their actual life experiences, you are providing an opportunity for them to learn something meaningful, with obvious relevance and will be far more likely to meet your original objectives. Ultimately using great software like Adobe Captivate 5 and Adobe eLearning Suite 2 helps you reach your best potential, when you apply principles like the ones Quinn and others describe.
I generally get worried when instructional designers start to preach about following formulas and such, but I found Quinn’s approach to be solid and well concieved. This is definitely an interview worth listening to and while you are there follow the links to Cathy Moore’s Action Mapping PPT and most definitely check out Quinn’s Seven Step Program for eLearning Improvement. Definitely worth a read – with incredibly practical and universal tips that will help virtually anyone creating eLearning content.
Last week’s eSeminar, Mastering Audio and Video in Adobe Captivate 5 was a whirlwind to say the least. It didn’t take long for me to realize that i had far more material to cover than I had initially imagined. As a result I have promised to deliver a full hour on video in the near future, but i wanted to share all of the slides with everyone, so they are available here. Note that if you download the pdf you can read the slide notes which is fairly close to what i say during the session – and includes loads of info I wasn’t able to get to this week.
Even if the reporting option is set to ‘Percentage’, Adobe Captivate 5 reports ‘Scores’ to LMS. For example, if 35 questions out of 70 were answered correctly by an elearner, Adobe Captivate reports 35 instead of 50%.
To resolve this issue, install the latest patch from Adobe. This patch is currently for Windows only.
Before I tell you about the exciting eSeminar we had this week watch the video below. With nearly four million views on YouTube you may already have seen it. It’s a great introduction to the topic at hand. Which was essentially; why are students finding, using and innovating via products like Adobe Captivate 5.
Our topic this week focused on the surge in students using Adobe Captivate for a wide variety of purposes. I carried through the narrative approach begun last week and introduced four representative students in order to summarize the personal accounts that i’ve gleaned from a variety of sources; Lab administrators with Captivate site licenses, educators, students, & personal observations.
You’ll find the slide deck for the presentation below. Or click the link to view it directly (notes included.) You’ll probably enjoy the presentation which begins to explore these issues and examines the question, “How and why are college students using Captivate?”
In order to explore the how and why for typical students I gave four examples of students in the arts, health, education and business. We began with a little context and then met the model students. Here are some highlights from the presentation in case you’re still debating whether or not to ‘check it out’;
It helps set the context to understand both how rapidly technology has permeated our culture, and how rapidly it continues to escalate. It also helps to understand how social and collegial interconnectedness influences daily life for college students in 2010.
They are always connected; to each other, to families, to the web, to information, to colleagues and to teachers. They connect with instant messages, text messaging, telephone calls, email, twitter, and a slew of social networks. They also continue to connect with face to face experiences in and out of class. They rely on their universal communication devices, especially their cell phones – and they likely don’t understand why their teachers freak out every time they see them using one in class.
Students of 2010 are very likely digital natives. Ask about their first computer experience and it was probably in their home and probably as a young child. They have had digital devices for entertainment and to supplement their education for their entire lives. They would be hard pressed to imagine a world without computers and more importantly, a world without multimedia. They likely have found text only textbooks dull and painful and struggle with the stark difference between the linear world of school, and the extra-linear world around them.
Marshal MacLuhan famously observed that every new media form initially takes on the properties of those forms which precede it, at least until the new media form can be allowed to come into its own through manipulation over time by those who don’t ‘know’ how to use media based on the earlier forms. A former mentor used to tell me that it was a pity the wheel had already been invented – because now all the darn wheels are round. The idea expressed here is that our prior-knowledge of media makes us the worst possible stewards of new forms of media. We always try to make it into old media instead of trying to let it ‘become’ new media – with its own unique properties. Today’s students are infinitely better equipped to manipulate new media, because they are less encumbered by old media.
They are therefore virtual explorers. The pioneers who will discover the possibilities of new media. It is in that spirit of exploration that we find todays students engaging with Adobe Captivate.
Today we’ll look at four ‘typical’ students. Well okay they aren’t real students, they are amalgams of the kind of students I have seen and the projects that they will show us are stereotypical of the ‘kind’ of projects that I have seen from students in these situations.
On Tuesday of this week President Obama was at Julia Masterman School in Philadelphia, PA for his annual back-to-school speech. About 10 minutes in he said to the students, “You’ve got an obligation to yourselves, and America has an obligation to your education.” The speech itself is available here if you’re in the mood for a good old fashioned back to school motivation.
President Obama’s speech, is as one would expect, full of truisms and classic advice which rings both true and generally a little trite, with the marked exception of his anecdote about his mother at 11:30 into the video. The president describes a moment with his mother when he was a teen, wherein she chastized him for the general mailaise and indiference of youth, and emphatically instructed him to exert some ‘effort’. The moment the president describes is for him, for our nation, for the world an ‘inciting incident.’ It was clearly a moment that altered, influenced and shaped the man who is now widely regarded as the leader of the free world.
In dramatic writing an inciting incident is often defined as that moment after which nothing is the same. An action has been taken, and event has occurred which triggers or incites all of the things which follow. If you prefer, think of it as a critical initial state in chaos theory – the moment in the butterfly effect that if it had not occurred would no doubt have altered the course of human history. President Obama’s first teacher, his mother, with a handful of words, a practiced demeanor an open heart triggered a change in him which would impact not only his life but the life of millions of others.
Obviously for educators the importance of each contact, each communication, each encounter can not be overstated. But it can and certainly has often been ‘sterilized’ by our cautious, letigious and too often polite exchanges with our learners. We’ve done amazing work mastering the tracking and monitoring of cognitive learning, but when the learning lies in the affective domain – when it springs from the behavior (or more commonly when it fails to appear in the behavior) of our learners, we often find our selves, our systems and our students incapable of effectively communicating the need for behavioral modification. We have few methods for documenting affective order issues, and even fewer mechanisms for correcting them. It is unfortunately easier to ignore the occasional absurdities than to confront them, but I submit that as an army of ‘little behavioral anomoles’ begin to gain momentum, we will eventually reach a “Tipping Point,” the moment Malcom Gladwell described as a “moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.”
The epidemics depend on the persistence and depth of penetration of messages (perhaps what Richard Dawkins called memes – units of cultural ideas, things which can be imitated).
This stickiness factor can manifest in a variety of ways, from mass populous repeating catch phrases, to learners sharing ‘approaches’ to the evasion of coursework, manipulation of the instructor, or other behaviors that diminish the learning experience for everyone involved. Notably they can and do have equally positive effects. When we model trust and genuine compassion, that’s a message with the power to penetrate as well.
Gladwell’s epidemics also require context. In other words, the actions and interactions of our colleagues with regard to behavioral education is an equal player in the suppression of problematic or the spread of helpful epidemics that Gladwell suggests can lead to tipping points of change.
Finally Gladwell points to the law of the few, the notion that there are thought leaders, and influencers who can have far greater impact than their numbers would suggest. Gladwells research regarding the relative importance of the few is based at least to some degree on the work of psychologist Stanly Milgrim, who in 1967 gave us a meme which suggested that everyone in the world could be connected through a sort of web of familiarity. Milgram tested his theory of interconnectedness by inviting people to attempt to pass a letter from themselves to a ‘target’ person with whom they were unfamiliar, and the results became embedded in our culture. Milgram found that on average there were “six degrees of separation” between each of us, and any given other individual. This theory, though admittedly a little silly, has given rise to all sorts of memes in our popular culture, including at least one game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
Perhaps Milgrim’s notion, his meme is in fact correct, that we are all interconnected, and that the degrees of separation are calculable. I would submit that if he is correct, even to the tiniest degree – then mathematically speaking, that interconnection charges us with a tremendous obligation. Because as that interconnection exists not just between each of us and one other person, but between each of us and every other person, isn’t it incredibly likely that our actions toward those whom we teach and from whom we learn are potential inciting incidents, triggers in a butterfly effect, and tipping points?
In today’s eLearning eSeminar we focused on Tom’s big decision. Tom (a completely fabricated amalgum of the many people I talk to all the time) is faced with a pressing question. Should he continue the status quo, producing conventional eLearning and face to face training in spite of mounting pressure from senior management to produce ever increasing volumes of online learning? Or should he switch to Rapid eLearning.
It isn’t an easy decision, and Tom is faced with lot’s of very real concerns. Below is the slide deck from the session (complete with notes!) And you can view the recording of the live session here;bit.ly/buLCps
In last week’s eSeminar we focused on the eLearning Suite Workflows. It was all about Karen, a typical eLearning Professional, as we Walked through the general workflows. http://bit.ly/bSjM90
Understanding the Adobe eLearning Suite Workflow
Dr. Allen Partridge, Adobe eLearning Evangelist, will present a one hour online e-Seminar for intermediate users of Adobe Captivate and / or Adobe eLearning Suite. The core issue will be expediting eLearning development with the complete toolset provided in Adobe eLearning Suite 2.
It was a good chance to look at many of the workflow options available in the eLearning Suite and the recording is available just past the AdobeID login. http://bit.ly/bSjM90
Below is a SWF of the slides I used in the session. There were also several videos referenced which you can find on the AdobeElearning YouTube channel.
Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.
One of the most important factors to think about while using Videos in learning courses is how the video will be delivered to the learner. There are multiple delivery modes. I will try to elaborate how to decide which delivery mode to use and the configuration for those.
Captivate supports the following types of Video Delivery : Progressive download, RTMP Streaming, Flash Video Streaming Service (FVSS).
This below table shows some key differences between these delivery types. More details are available here for a long read. This info should help you decide which delivery mode to use.
Now we come to enabling these in Captivate. As you know, Captivate has two different video features : Slide Video and FLV Object (details here). In both these video features, you can configure any of the above delivery modes.
Default delivery mode :
By default, both video features are configured to use Progressive download. All you need do is upload the publish folder to the web server of your choice and it should just work. This makes it the easiest and most economical (as you can use your existing web server) delivery mode.
Custom Configurations :
More configurations (URL / Delivery type change etc) can be done after the initial import :
For Slide Video, the settings can be changed from Menu: Video > Video Management…
For FLV Object, this is available in the property inspector, once you select the object.
Alternate Web server for Video :
Sometimes you need to host video on an alternate web server (other than the one which is hosting your SWF). This is mainly for load sharing. You can do it this way:
Upload the flv / f4v files to your alternate web server. Note the URL for accessing the video, say http://<server>/<dir>/<videoname.flv
Use this URL in the settings (as detailed above)
Re publish the project and view the SWF either locally or from your server. Now the video is delivered from your alternate server.
NOTE: Once you do this, you no more need to keep the video in the publish folder (in case you need to save some space)
Streaming & FVSS:
If you want your videos to start fast, be more smoother etc, then you need to go for Streaming or FVSS, both of which requires the video to be hosted on FMS. You can do it this way:
Upload the flv / f4v files to FMS / FVSS-provider. Note the URL for accessing the video, say rtmp://<server>/vod/<video>
Use this URL in the settings (as detailed above). Change the delivery type accordingly.
Re publish the project and view the SWF either locally or from your server. Now the video is delivered from FMS.