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Agile Crowd Sourcing with Adobe Captivate

Custom Captivate template and navigation (client name blurred)
Custom Captivate template and navigation (client name blurred)

I’ve worked with Adobe Captivate, Presenter and it’s competitor, Articulate Presenter and Quizmaker.

Software recording and PowerPoint conversion can create remarkable efficiencies when appropriately leveraged, as in the project these screenshots are drawn from.

Instructional Designers often scramble to become experts on the tasks they’re building instruction for before beginning design and development, with mixed results.

I wish we instructional designers had special learning powers enabling us to master other people’s jobs in days instead of months, but unless you’re already familiar with the job, it usually takes us the same time to learn as anyone else.

For the project these screenshots are drawn from, the job was incredibly complex, involving three separate systems and frequent workarounds for outdated functions that didn’t quite work.

Struggling to learn this material for months before producing much of anything and taking busy people’s time wasn’t an option in this fast paced operational shop, so I went agile.

Custom captions in Captivate (client names blurred)
Custom captions in Captivate (client names blurred)

Instead of trying to become an expert myself, I sat the real experts, the staff, in front of a workstation with Captivate installed, mic’d them, coached them on recording technique and had them do their thing.

Rather than pages of scribbled notes from desperate learning sessions, recording staff resulted in done deal narrated software recordings that we converted into demos, simulations and assessments.

It still wasn’t easy, but a keystone of agile is to start producing something useful, a minimum viable product as early as possible. That we did.

For this project I also created a custom template, including hacking custom caption boxes to replace the hideous stock ones, based on the firm’s logo and colors.

 

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