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Beginners guide to Variables and Advanced Actions in Adobe Captivate

This video series explains how e-learning developers using Adobe Captivate can leverage Advanced Actions, Run-time Events and Variables to to build dynamic and engaging e-learning interactions.

Is this content for you?

The videos are targeted at all e-learning developers with even basic skills using Adobe Captivate. You DO NOT need to be an expert user to benefit from this information.  The course presenter, Rod Ward, is a professional e-learning developer who has used Adobe Captivate since it was first released as version 1 more than 10 years ago.

What topics do the videos cover?

Here is a brief synopsis of each video:

Course Introduction – 4 minutes

The introduction explains why this course was created, who the target audience is and what level of previous experience with Adobe Captivate is required.

Basic Concepts of Adobe Captivate Interactivity – 21 minutes

This module provides a high-level overview of the various elements that are the ‘building blocks’ of Adobe Captivate’s interactivity.  The presenter explains the inter-connected relationships between Captivate actions, run-time events and variables.  This overview also explains how the Advanced Actions framework is made up of various levels, including Standard Actions, Conditional Actions and Shared Actions.  Each of these elements will be covered separately in much greater depth (with numerous example projects) in the modules that follow.

Understanding Run-time Events – 57 minutes

Captivate’s interactivity is all event-based and it has dozens of events that you can use to make your e-learning work dynamically. This module explores all of the events available to a Captivate developer for triggering actions to occur at run-time. Knowing which objects offer which events and in what design situations each one should be used is an essential skill.

Using Single Actions

Captivate’s simplest form of interactivity can be found in the Properties tab > Actions drop-down menus for slides and objects.  But these deceptively simple options actually offer quite a lot of power when you examine the possibilities they open up.  This module uses example projects to demonstrate how to use single actions.  It sets the scene for later modules that explore more complex Advanced Actions.

Using Variables

Variables make it possible to change the way your course content works ‘on-the-fly’, while the user is interacting with it.  Variables can be used to store information for later use, display data on the slide, and modify the way content behaves at run-time.  This module explains how to create variables, assign values and then display these values in an e-learning course.

Using Standard Actions

Standard Actions are the simplest type of Advanced Actions.  They allow multiple actions to be executed from a single run-time event.  This module demonstrates how to create and use Standard Actions in real-world course scenarios.

This video is has not yet been developed. Watch this space.

Using Conditional Actions

Conditional Actions allow Captivate developers to create interactivity that uses IF > THEN > ELSE decisions to dynamically change run-time course behavior.  They can be extremely complex, but also VERY powerful components in dynamic courseware. Knowing how to use Conditional Actions creatively separates the Adobe Captivate amateur users from the professionals!

This video is has not yet been developed. Watch this space.

Using Shared Actions

This module explores how to turn Standard and Conditional Actions into re-usable Shared Actions to speed up development time and reduce run-time project file size.  Shared Actions are also useful for creating re-usable component interactions that can be migrated from one project to another.

This video is has not yet been developed. Watch this space.

How to Debug Issues in Interactions

Whenever you are creating powerful interactivity, some things just don’t seem to work.  The potential issues are almost endless and unless you know how to debug them, your development time-frames can blow your deadlines (and your budget) right out of the water.  This final module of the course explains how to use logical steps to break down any problem you encounter so as to locate the root cause and resolve the issue.  This knowledge alone would be worth the purchase price of this course!

This video is has not yet been developed. Watch this space.


A few final words about other areas of learning that an Adobe Captivate e-learning designer/developer should investigate in order to become an even more accomplished professional.