Saturday, June 30, 2012

Adobe Captivate/eLearning webinars

Adobe has some interesting webinars coming up over the next couple of weeks that cover Captivate 6:
Find out more here: Adobe Webinars

Adobe Captivate 6 is here. See what's new!
July 03, 2012
Join Dr. Allen Partridge, Adobe eLearning Evangelist to learn more about the new release of Adobe Captivate 6 - the industry leading rapid eLearning authoring software tool.

Working with Advanced Actions: Upgrade to complex conditional advanced actions
July 05, 2012
Join Lieve Weymeis, Adobe Captivate Expert, with Vish and Dr. Pooja Jaisingh on yet another journey on using Advanced Actions in Adobe Captivate. We will focus on conditional advanced actions, from simple ones with only one decision and one condition to complex actions with multiple decisions and complex conditions.

Just Add Content: Instant eLearning with Awesome Out-Of-The-Box Assets
July 11, 2012
Join eLearning Evangelist, Dr. Allen Partridge for an introduction to the awesome assets, tools and powerful theme based workflows available out of the box with Adobe Captivate.

Branding eLearning Development with theme-based templates using Adobe Captivate
July 12, 2012
Join Anita Horsley, the community expert for Adobe Captivate with Vish and Dr. Pooja Jaisingh to learn how to Brand your eLearning courses with the use of Styles and Theme-based templates in new version of Adobe Captivate. During the session we will not only discuss how to modify the existing branding in the courses but would discuss how to create new themes for the use in other courses.

High Definition Video for Application Simulation, Screencasting & Everything Else
July 18, 2012
Join eLearning Evangelist Dr. Allen Partridge for a demonstration of High Definition Video creation and editing in Adobe Captivate. See why Captivate is the industry leader in Application Capture and Simulation and learn how Captivate can make a huge difference for your entire organization when it comes to creating awesome videos, incredibly fast.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Polling Questions

I sat in on the end of a webinar that Adobe put on: "How to present a webinar without PowerPoint slides"
In this highly engaging session, Dr. Carmen Taran will show you how you can present virtually without slides. You will learn several practical techniques that move beyond keeping an audience engaged with chat and polling questions. The techniques will involve innovative activities that attract an audience's attention, promote creative thinking and intellectual stimulation, and overall make them feel like the floor has been lifted.
Unfortunately, I missed the first half, but the section I saw was mostly devoted to using polling questions in imaginative ways. Recommendations included:

  1. Take more risks with your polling questions: Don't use the same old dull and boring questions about what computer you have, what software you use, etc.
  2. Don’t just use a poll to gather information; provide feedback. For example, relate the responses to studies (i.e. after asking how many people owned a pet, revealed that usually 50% of people own a pet, and in this group the number is…) 
  3. Try “Have you ever?” questions.
  4. Allow your participants to contribute info and create their OWN polling questions.
Some examples of useful questions:
Do You like to manage people?
Do you know how to measure your effectiveness as a manager?
Have you ever misjudged someone?
Do you regularly check yourself out in store windows and mirrors?
It was suggested that if you're polling a large group (i.e. more than 100) you don't have to wait for 50% or greater response to get a valid response. A 20% response rate to a poll is sufficient to move on, particularly with a large group.

The suggestions reminded me of an episode of The Prairie Home Companion where they polled people, but they said that while they wanted to get some demographic information, they didn't want to be too intrusive, so they asked questions like:

How much education have you had:

  1. Not enough
  2. About right
  3. Too much
  4. Not finished

What kind of vehicle do you drive?:

  1. Junker
  2. Economy Car
  3. Luxury Car
  4. Public Transportation

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Adobe Captivate 6

Somehow I missed the announcement last week, but Adobe rolled out Captivate 6, and as expected, one of the features it adds is an HTML5 exporter. There are other new features too, including improved HD screen capture, "Smart Learning interactions" and Round tripping with Microsoft PowerPoint, but it's the HTML5 support I'm most interested in at the moment as it will make it possible to use Captivate to create materials that will play back on an iPad, iPhone, or even an Android device.

Of course, it doesn't support any .swf (i.e. Flash) elements you have imported into your project, but the HTML5 Tracker helpfully lists anything that it doesn't like.


You can already download a 30-day trial version (Note that it requires an Adobe ID, and can take a bit of time to download.) Adobe has posted some YouTube videos that explain the new features too:
1. Importing Microsoft PowerPoint into Adobe Captivate 6 Tutorial
Dr. Allen Partridge, Adobe eLearning Evangelist describes how PowerPoint is imported and translated in Adobe Captivate 6. The new PowerPoint import includes import of complex animations, triggers, Smart art and sophisticated effects. Partridge explains PowerPoint round-tripping with Adobe Captivate and describes the new high-fidelity import option in the import dialog.
2. Themes Tutorial
3. Smart Learning Interactions Tutorial
4. High Definition Video Capture Tutorial: Adobe Captivate 6
5. Using Play Audio Action in Adobe Captivate 6
6. Tutorial: Adding pre-tests
7. Tutorial: Branch-aware Quiz
8. Adobe Captivate 6 Sneak Peek 01: Publish to HTML5

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Double Negatives, and Negatives

While they are often used for back-handed compliments or humor, Double Negatives are generally discouraged in communication because they can be difficult to untangle: "Never have I owed nothing to no one."

But what about negatives? I think those can be a problem too. Take for example my GPS, which gives the following warning if there's a toll road in the route it has calculated:


The problem with this message (and I say this having pressed the wrong button on multiple occasions) is that it takes a bit of thought to figure out which button to press! The answer to a simple question: "Do you want to use toll roads" has been made needlessly complicated by adding a sentence, and switching the response.

"The current route involves toll roads" is the first sentence. Most people would expect that it's asking; "do you want to use this route" (i.e. the toll roads?) after all, that's what it just said it came up with. So this immediate instinct is to click 'Yes," not "No."

But then it switches the question around with the second sentence, and frames it as a negative "Do you want to avoid the toll roads" or put another way "Do you not want to use that route?"

Either way, you have to stop for a second and think about what it's asking.

It would have been so much simpler - and less prone to operator error - if it had just asked: "Do you want to use toll roads"