Adobe Captivate – popular e-learning development software used extensively by the corporate training world. According to a survey conducted by the E-learning Guild, in 2013, Captivate was the most widely used rapid authoring tool.
What makes this online course development tool the choice of the online course development community? To find out, I talked to Mohd. Sohail, a veteran e-learning developer at CommLab India, a firm that has been providing technology-enabled learning solutions for the last 15 years.
Sohail has been working with Captivate for the last 4 years and has developed hundreds of courses using the rapid authoring tool. Here is what he had to say when asked about the online course development software.
I see you work on a lot of e-learning projects. How many of these involve Adobe Captivate?
Sohail: I work with various tools such as Flash, Articulate Storyline, Lectora Inspire, besides Adobe Captivate. About 60% of the e-learning courses that I develop involve Adobe Captivate.
What is the tool primarily used for and how effective is it?
Sohail: Captivate is mainly used to develop simulation-based projects and create responsive online courses. It is a very good tool to develop screencasts and screen captures. Coming to the making of e-learning courses for multiple devices, the tool makes my work simpler,as it comes with pre-built responsive themes.
What is your take on Captivate 9, the latest avatar of the rapid authoring software?
Sohail: Captivate 9 has marked improvements over its predecessor. It has come with some amazing new features that help develop online courses cheaper, better, and faster.
Could you list a few of these new features?
Sohail: There is a very useful feature called Adobe Captivate Draft, which helps you design storyboards easily, import it into Captivate 9, and publish it. Adobe has also come out with a library of 25,000+ media elements. I really like the library, which makes my life simpler (smiles). Coming to the development of assessments, it is now possible to include knowledge checks, which help people to evaluate their comprehension before moving further.
What about the new developments on the HTML5 and responsive e-learning front?
Sohail: One thing that I found very useful was the capability to record the screen as a HD video of super-high resolution. Also, the multi-device authoring capabilities have been improved and so are the features of multi-device previews and geo-location support.
Are there any new features on the technical side?
Sohail: Adobe has made it easy to work with objects in multiple states and create responsive motion effects. Now, you can also use multi-state objects in drag-and-drop interactivities and to develop interactive slideshows. You can also preview how your course would look like when it is uploaded on the LMS.
What do you think is the greatest strength of Adobe Captivate?
Sohail: The tool perfectly integrates itself with other applications of Adobe, and the e-learning developer can draw on the capabilities of these applications. For instance, you can use Adobe Illustrator CC to edit scalable vector graphics (SVGs).
Do you think Adobe could have done it better?
Sohail: I feel that the user interface is a bit too complicated. It’s tough for a first-time user of Captivate to handle the rapid authoring tool, unless he has prior exposure to other Adobe applications. The tool also lacks an automatic backup capability.
How would you rate Captivate 9 vis-à-vis Articulate Storyline 2 and Lectora Inspire 12?
Sohail: As far as the ease of use is concerned, Storyline 2 is way ahead of other software. And, when we talk of translations, I feel that Lectora Inspire is by far the best tool. But, when it comes to simulations and responsive e-learning development, I would give full marks to Adobe Captivate.
What do you think is the future of Adobe Captivate?
Sohail: The future of Adobe Captivate or for that matter any rapid authoring tool is intrinsically linked to the mobile. With the huge diversity in devices, responsive e-learning is going to be the order of the day. Captivate is certainly the first tool to come up with responsive development capabilities, but other developers would soon catch up.
This is what Sohail thinks about Adobe Captivate 9. Hope you liked the interview.
Md. Sohail is an e-learning developer, Captivate coach, and also a regular writer. He is a specialist – Courseware Designer, and has experience working on e-learning authoring tools like Adobe Flash, Photoshop, Presenter, Lectora and Articulate Presenter in multiple languages. Connect to Sohail on LinkedIn