Adobe Captivate 2019 Use Cases

It’s been a long time since I took a training course… It’s the classic case of cobbler’s kids—many of us in learning and development don’t take time out for our own professional development. So, this fall I joined instructional designers from around the world at the Adobe Learning Summit. Before the summit started, I took a day long course to certify in Adobe Captivate.  The course prework was 15 or so hours of videos walking through the Captivate 2019 features narrated by Dr. Pooja Jiasingh, Senior Learning Evangelist at Adobe. Pooja is somewhere between the Indian Siri of eLearning and the Adobe Captivate Oracle. Throughout the Summit, when questions about a more complex solution in Captivate came up, the room turned and asked, “Pooja?” I am no Pooja Jiasingh, but here are my thoughts on what you can do in the 2019 release of Captivate.

Transitioning Away from Flash
If you’ve surfed any old websites in Chrome or Safari, you know that Flash is on its way out. Adobe announced that it will no longer support Flash at the end of 2020. Adobe Captivate grandfathers in the ability to work with legacy Flash files and even create them if that’s what your LMS uses.  The best use of this compatibility is probably to bring your old Flash courses into Captivate 2019, update the content as needed, and resave them as HTML5.

Virtual Reality
One of my favorite sessions at the Adobe Learning Summit was Debbie Richards’ presentation on creating interactive virtual reality environments in Captivate. While you won’t be 3D modeling alien worlds from scratch in Captivate, you can bring in a 360-degree image or video created elsewhere and overlay hotspots with text pop-ups and questions. This is a game changer because instructional designers can create engaging virtual environments quickly (without coding). With the increased availability of stock immersive images and the reduced cost of good quality 360-degree cameras, there are lots of opportunities to create immersive learning environments.

Interactive Videos
Another great session at the Summit was Josh Cavalier’s presentation on creating interactive videos. Within the frame of Captivate eLearning, you can weave in video segments, overlay questions over video and send learners backwards to review a segment if they answer incorrectly. If your goal is to create standalone interactive video, there are tools designed especially for that like WireWax. However, if you like to weave video into your eLearning, Captivate is a good option.

Responsive Text with Live Device Preview
If your priority is to create text that resizes and reflows gracefully no matter what size screen you view content on, then tools like Articulate Rise are the way to go. If you’re looking for a hybrid of interactive, clickable capabilities and the ability to create responsive content, then Captivate 2019 may be a good choice. Captivate’s improved fluid boxes allow you to control the way content reflows, and you can preview how it looks using the new Live Device Preview feature in Captivate 2019. Captivate creates a QR code, and if you scan it on your mobile phone or tablet on the same wifi network as your Captivate designing computer, you’ll be able to preview the course reflowed for your device’s screen size.

Import PowerPoint Slides
So, you can import PowerPoint slides (or as some Adobe Summit goers call them pee-pee-tees) into Captivate 2019 as a starting point for your courses.  This sounds great, especially if you storyboard in PowerPoint.  For me, the jury is out on this one. If you embed the PPT, the Captivate file size can get large. If you don’t embed the PowerPoint, you need to keep it with the Captivate file in the same folder structure, and PowerPoint opens within Captivate to edit the imported content.  This feature makes me wonder what our presentation to eLearning experience would be like if Adobe Persuasion had survived. In my experience, thinking of eLearning as an animated PowerPoint deck can result in flat courses.  Creating from within an eLearning tool frees your mind from the PowerPoint box and empowers you to maximize your use of interactivity.

Overall, Captivate 2019 is a fun creative tool that allows instructional designers to dip their toes into some advanced eLearning interactivities quickly and efficiently. If you’re interested in creating interactive eLearning courses, let’s chat!

Ann Hill