eLearning: Are you Captivating or Articulating?

Okay, I realize that the title lacks true wit but I wanted to discuss eLearning software today, particularly Articulate and Captivate. But first , I hope that everyone was able to honor our soldiers today, Memorial Day 2011.

As my career in training and facilitation evolves, I am incorporating more and more technology to produce training materials. Recently I purchased Adobe Captivate 5 (as well as Adobe CS5) and I signed up for a review copy of Articulate Presenter ’09.

I have not had a chance to install the Articulate Presenter (compressed file is still resting in my downloads folder); however, to start getting some return on my investment in the Captivate software, I started by experimenting a little on my own and then following instructions from a tutorial book from a company called Iconlogic. As such, this blog will cover my learning brief experience with Captivate to date (ease of use review), and I will add a review of Articulate at a later time.

In my first venture without the training book, I decided to create a new Captivate project from a PowerPoint. I chose a presentation I used when teaching a Microsoft Project class. The program read my PowerPoint presentation fairly quickly and I was able to select which slides I wanted to include in the Captivate project. I added audio to several slides and everything seemed to go well

However, before I could continue with this practice activity, I had to put the program to use with an actual client.

The project: Create a demo for two associates who would be required to import spreadsheet reports and create a monthly management summary.

I proceeded to use this new software in my usual way (hunting through menus and attempting to use my basic knowledge of menu organization logic) before I resolved to open the help files. I was successful in recording from the spreadsheet program, along with the audio recording of my instructions.

However, when I attempted to publish/export the captivate project to Flash, an error message appeared. The file exported but when I played it, the video played at lightning speed, which meant the audio was incomprehensible. After multiple attempts to adjust the settings from hints I found online, and the second and third takes of the recording, I decided to walk away from the computer, which has the Windows Vista operating system installed.

I picked up my Windows 7 computer and recorded a quick demo and I delighted to see that the project exported without error, and played correctly in web browser, at the correct speed and with audio. I recorded the full version of the demo, posted all the files on the web and my client acknowledged that everything worked.

I have not had time to investigate but I suspect that my newer version of Captivate may not be supported on my 32 bit version of Vista, which would indicate that I did not read the requirements completely when I purchased the software!

Has anyone else had problems with Captivate on Windows Vista? What techniques did you use to resolve them?

Let’s share ideas!

Published by Be better.

Working on social and economic progress.

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