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Design Forced Navigation strategy for the entire course

New Here ,
May 17, 2018

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I am creating my first course using Adobe Captivate 2017, and I am really struggling with decisions about forced navigation.  I have read quite a few discussions on this topic here and elsewhere, but there always seems to be a key difference between what others are looking for and what I am doing, which makes me doubt whether advice they received is the best approach for me as well.

I found no better way to make sure than by asking those of you who are more experienced to weigh in on my specific course.

I am building a fairly long course that will have 4-5 modules. 

Each module will include slides with the following content:

- Text captions with images/characters

- Video demos with audio

- Software simulations (maybe) with audio

- Quizzes

Basically, I want to make sure that users read all text before moving on, watch the entirety of the video before moving on, etc. so I don't want them to be able to skip to the next slide right away.  Therefore, some type of forced navigation seems in order.  But at the same time, I want them to have some control over videos and quizzes.  I will probably also need to display a TOC that would show check marks next to modules that have been completed. 

I understand that an Advanced Action will probably be required to make controls visible on some slides and invisible on others, and I have done a bit of research and found tutorials here and there on how to do parts of what I want to do, but I'm really struggling with figuring out how to put this together in a cohesive, simple, and elegant way, both for my sake and for the same of users, so they don't feel like navigation rules and buttons change every few slides.

Additionally, I'm reading quite a bit of criticism about forced navigation in general (in a sense that it is not considered best practice to deprive students of control over their pace of learning), so if anyone has ideas on how to circumvent it altogether, I'm all ears.

Any recommendations and advice would be hugely appreciated.  If you care to provide links and/or explanations - all the more so. 

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Correct answer by Lilybiri | Most Valuable Participant

I totally agree with Rod about the pedagogical side of this question. He can explain it much better. As a former head of department in a university college I remember long discussions with colleagues complaining about student just skipping their classed. My answer was: don't blame the students, reflect on your classes, how engaging they are. This is even more valid for eLearning.

However you had a Captivate question, and I also had to deal with clients or organisations that required this type of 'forcing'. You can have a look at a recent blog post I wrote explaing some ways to force viewing/listening to content the first time a slide is visited. A third article will appear soon, explaing how to save time by converting the advanced action to a shared action:
https://elearning.adobe.com/2018/05/force-view-slide-first-visit/

https://elearning.adobe.com/2018/05/listen-narration-micro-navigation/

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Design Forced Navigation strategy for the entire course

New Here ,
May 17, 2018

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I am creating my first course using Adobe Captivate 2017, and I am really struggling with decisions about forced navigation.  I have read quite a few discussions on this topic here and elsewhere, but there always seems to be a key difference between what others are looking for and what I am doing, which makes me doubt whether advice they received is the best approach for me as well.

I found no better way to make sure than by asking those of you who are more experienced to weigh in on my specific course.

I am building a fairly long course that will have 4-5 modules. 

Each module will include slides with the following content:

- Text captions with images/characters

- Video demos with audio

- Software simulations (maybe) with audio

- Quizzes

Basically, I want to make sure that users read all text before moving on, watch the entirety of the video before moving on, etc. so I don't want them to be able to skip to the next slide right away.  Therefore, some type of forced navigation seems in order.  But at the same time, I want them to have some control over videos and quizzes.  I will probably also need to display a TOC that would show check marks next to modules that have been completed. 

I understand that an Advanced Action will probably be required to make controls visible on some slides and invisible on others, and I have done a bit of research and found tutorials here and there on how to do parts of what I want to do, but I'm really struggling with figuring out how to put this together in a cohesive, simple, and elegant way, both for my sake and for the same of users, so they don't feel like navigation rules and buttons change every few slides.

Additionally, I'm reading quite a bit of criticism about forced navigation in general (in a sense that it is not considered best practice to deprive students of control over their pace of learning), so if anyone has ideas on how to circumvent it altogether, I'm all ears.

Any recommendations and advice would be hugely appreciated.  If you care to provide links and/or explanations - all the more so. 

Most Valuable Participant
Correct answer by Lilybiri | Most Valuable Participant

I totally agree with Rod about the pedagogical side of this question. He can explain it much better. As a former head of department in a university college I remember long discussions with colleagues complaining about student just skipping their classed. My answer was: don't blame the students, reflect on your classes, how engaging they are. This is even more valid for eLearning.

However you had a Captivate question, and I also had to deal with clients or organisations that required this type of 'forcing'. You can have a look at a recent blog post I wrote explaing some ways to force viewing/listening to content the first time a slide is visited. A third article will appear soon, explaing how to save time by converting the advanced action to a shared action:
https://elearning.adobe.com/2018/05/force-view-slide-first-visit/

https://elearning.adobe.com/2018/05/listen-narration-micro-navigation/

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 17, 2018

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Talyana,

The reason that forced navigation comes in for quite a bit of criticism is that it's generally regarded as violating certain principles of recommended best practice when it comes to Adult Learning.   In the long run the e-learning dictatorship approach simply DOES NOT enhance learning. If you have to FORCE people to do something that is supposed to be very good for them, something is wrong.

Consider: If you are a parent, you may have noticed that the older a child becomes the more they tend to want to go their own way in life and rebel against limitations imposed on their behaviour.  Adults are ELDERLY CHILDREN and even more resent being told they cannot do something unless there is a VERY good reason for the prohibition (usually along the lines of danger to health and safety resulting in total and permanent disablement or death).

Telling an adult learner their e-learning navigation options have been deliberately hobbled because you (the designer) wanted to force them to read or watch content, simply doesn't impress them, it's more likely to just annoys them because it is perceived as arbitrary authoritarian arrogance, which SHOULD be fought against.  (As any dictatorship about their own experiences.)  Arguments from managers that everyone needs to be forced to read or watch the company policy about [INSERT TOPIC HERE] are also unimpressive.

By all means attempt to force your learners to do something against their will if you wish. But if you aspire to become an e-learning designer whose learning courses are joyfully consumed by end users, then the far better strategy is to concentrate on making your content deliciously interesting, informative, relevant and engaging.  Then for extra credits, also make your assessments (based on that content) deliberately challenging so that unless the learner has indeed assimilated the learning they would have little hope of passing the assessment.  If deliberately circumventing your content was only going to mean they failed the assessment and had to sit through it again, why wouldn't they want to watch it?

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New Here ,
May 18, 2018

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Rod,

I come from the educational background, so I tend to agree with you.  However, our course will be on an LMS that has its own rules and requires that all courses be organized in a similar way, and all of their courses I have seen so far had forced navigation.  So, the decision may not be up to me.  I do not know how flexible they are on navigation. 

However, if you have pointers and ideas on how to make a software course more engaging, I vow to implement them all.  🙂

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 18, 2018

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I totally agree with Rod about the pedagogical side of this question. He can explain it much better. As a former head of department in a university college I remember long discussions with colleagues complaining about student just skipping their classed. My answer was: don't blame the students, reflect on your classes, how engaging they are. This is even more valid for eLearning.

However you had a Captivate question, and I also had to deal with clients or organisations that required this type of 'forcing'. You can have a look at a recent blog post I wrote explaing some ways to force viewing/listening to content the first time a slide is visited. A third article will appear soon, explaing how to save time by converting the advanced action to a shared action:
https://elearning.adobe.com/2018/05/force-view-slide-first-visit/

https://elearning.adobe.com/2018/05/listen-narration-micro-navigation/

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New Here ,
May 18, 2018

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Lilybiri,

Thank you so much!  I read so many of your answers on here and learned so much from them, I was kind of hoping you would repay.  Off to read your links! 

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 18, 2018

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Maybe I did 'feel' your hope . Thanks for the nice comment, you made my day.

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New Here ,
Jun 14, 2018

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Greetings, Lilybiri!

I, too, am being forced into a Forced Navigation scenario.  I have several existing courses that must be converted from Free Navigation to Forced. I also want to provide freedom after 1st visit. Because of the many courses and slides that must be converted, I am very interested in your follow-on post which might address converting the Advanced Action (Those featured in your Forced Navigation workflows) into a Shared Action.

Any thoughts on converting existing Free Navigation courses to Forced Navigation would be appreciated as well. These existing courses also used the Built in Captivate Playbar, so, I know one task for me will be to create New Navigation Buttons.

Thank you for all you share here. You have saved me many times over the years!  Sincerely, Jon

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 14, 2018

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I already posted that blog:

Advanced to Shared Action: Step-By-Step (micro-navigation showcase) - Captivate blog

Use shape buttons on master slides, whenever possible for navigation.

For toggle buttons:

1 action = 5 Toggle Buttons - Captivate blog

Thanks for your comment, catching me in a very depressive day.

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New Here ,
Jun 14, 2018

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Thank you for the quick response. I will consume these!

More importantly...Sorry to hear about that.  I fight this wretched beast as well. It can steal days, weeks, years...

This morning I had to simply leave my desk and go for a meandering walk.  Breath the air.  Feel the sunshine. I figure the productivity lost would be regained through a lifted spirit. And it is so.

I send Joy, Happiness, and Peace to you, Lilybiri.

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