Further adventures in Rapid authoring….

It’s been a while since my last post, but this has been because I’ve been getting to grips with our new authoring tool Captivate.  We’re utilising some of the features that come with the software, and we are hoping to use the assessment tools with an update to our systems within the next month or two.

As with most new things, I find that you can take 3 steps forward, but then you can find yourself back where you started, pondering the problem all over again.  Don’t get me wrong – this is probably the best way that I learn, as mistakes will prompt more questions which, in the end, make the final product even better.

Does it have to be this awkward?

Over the last two weeks I’ve had to up my game in getting to grips with all of this technology – including an LMS (not the preferred LMS which will come into force at the end of July) but an interim one.  We were promised that they would be able to upload our Captivate assessments for us – as I had experienced quite a few IT issues with our servers.  Unfortunately, at the last minute, I was told that we didn’t have a contract for this – so it landed to me to sort out uploading these assessments myself.

The pressure was on, as I only had a day to work this out – training was going live on Monday and the delivery trainers needed them.  It took 2 uploads to make sure they were working properly, and as they were ‘live’ virtually straight away, feedback was coming in on a daily basis.

I found that putting content onto an LMS is far from straightforward, however I came away with lots of questions and things to think about before, during and after developing content .

I’ve compiled a list – if you have any other considerations that you think would be helpful – please let me know!

  • When vendors say ‘quite simply….’ it is rarely simple
  • Make sure that you have adequate support from your vendor – both of ours are in the US – so time delays are a consideration
  • Find out what the LMS can give you and is it relevant  – what do you want to do with the information?
  • Publishing from your development software – find out what everything does when you set up your preferences for publishing.  There are still things that I need to explore (information in the ‘manifest’ file that is published in SCORM (?)
  • Check, check and check your content.  As I was in a rush I would find typos once I’d uploaded this to the LMS.  Schoolboy error!
  • In Captivate – you need to always have the score page at the end of a quiz.  I tried to do the results with advanced actions – which screwed up the results in the LMS.
  • Quizzes in Captivate tend to ”do their own thing’ and sometimes doesn’t work as expected.

On the plus side – I did like the question pool facility in Captivate – which does seem to work quite well.  As for options for re-taking quizzes, reviewing quizzes etc – I still need to explore further.

As we have only had this software since the middle of April – I don’t think we’ve done to badly to get to this stage, but there’s a lot more to do!

Have you had these experiences with LMS?  Have you any more pointers to bear in mind when you are publishing?  Love to hear your thoughts….


2 thoughts on “Further adventures in Rapid authoring….”

  1. Hi Damien,

    A subject very close to my heart as you have found from reading my blog. We too have gone through the very same transition of new software, no official training, in at the deep end, word out on the street about new training leading to every man and his dog wanting a piece of the action. Yes, we have done all this just about the same start time and time frame as you guys. What I have found very recently though is that since we upgraded to vers 6.1 of Captivate, a lot of the hitches and issues and quirky little annoyances have been smoothed out. Are you still on 5.5 or have you updated yet?

    I find that @captivatecrazy has some fantastic info on blogs and on Twitter and use this info quite a bit to help us get by. I suppose like many others, we have a L&D budget and again like many others we choose to spend this budget on areas other than our training needs in order to enable us to offer training and by default we end up winging it so far and hope and pray we get the right trade off.

    Loving the info Damien and look forward to your next blog.



    1. Thanks again Paul-really appreciate your comments! We’re still on 5.5 at the mo but looking to upgrade to elearning suite 6.1 (fingers crossed) -which hopefully will help, particularly with creating quizzes within a module that reports separate results. Have also found a slightly more elegant way of doing the advanced actions here-will edit at the weekend! Cheers!

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