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Returning to Captivate after 2 years

New Here ,
Jun 29, 2018

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Hi all

I am returning to the forum having had a break of 2 years or so. I am a teacher of Economics and Business Studies and I am looking at using Captivate to develop some flexible learning interactions. These interactions will be from full blown courses which would generally use a blended learning approach. There will be Instruction (text, audio and video) and tests/quizzes which will analyse responses and give advice for further learning etc.

I wish to produce executables for windows and mac laptops which will run as standalone packages. I will bundle combinations of quizzes and topics for particular students / courses.

I do believe that this will be stretching Captivate although I am just looking at Captivate 2017 and this might be a breeze for the current version.

I will use web server/LMS (HTML 5? and all that).  if necessary but I really wish to avoid this complexity if possible. I have some expertise in Filemaker and I am also looking at producing small executables there.

I have a couple of initial issues that I am looking at and I wonder if any forum members might lend me some brief advice.......

Issue 1 : Can I save all variables locally to a text file or similar or even within the Captivate executable so that when started again the executable woul dreset to current progress level.

Issue 2: Can I load variables in bulk at the start of the module/unit/quiz to make the thing flexible. I am look at multi state objects to store a single quiz, unit or module etc so that if need be I can create some standard objects which create variables etc when they load/are accessed. I have a feeling I may be able to do this with Javascript/Actionscript. I have lot's of experience with Flash and actionscript and also some javascript but I believe I need to work with browser and server to use either.

Can anyone provide any insights/links that might help me get back into Captivate with as little pain as possible.

Any advice appreciated.

Best wishes

Brian

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Returning to Captivate after 2 years

New Here ,
Jun 29, 2018

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Hi all

I am returning to the forum having had a break of 2 years or so. I am a teacher of Economics and Business Studies and I am looking at using Captivate to develop some flexible learning interactions. These interactions will be from full blown courses which would generally use a blended learning approach. There will be Instruction (text, audio and video) and tests/quizzes which will analyse responses and give advice for further learning etc.

I wish to produce executables for windows and mac laptops which will run as standalone packages. I will bundle combinations of quizzes and topics for particular students / courses.

I do believe that this will be stretching Captivate although I am just looking at Captivate 2017 and this might be a breeze for the current version.

I will use web server/LMS (HTML 5? and all that).  if necessary but I really wish to avoid this complexity if possible. I have some expertise in Filemaker and I am also looking at producing small executables there.

I have a couple of initial issues that I am looking at and I wonder if any forum members might lend me some brief advice.......

Issue 1 : Can I save all variables locally to a text file or similar or even within the Captivate executable so that when started again the executable woul dreset to current progress level.

Issue 2: Can I load variables in bulk at the start of the module/unit/quiz to make the thing flexible. I am look at multi state objects to store a single quiz, unit or module etc so that if need be I can create some standard objects which create variables etc when they load/are accessed. I have a feeling I may be able to do this with Javascript/Actionscript. I have lot's of experience with Flash and actionscript and also some javascript but I believe I need to work with browser and server to use either.

Can anyone provide any insights/links that might help me get back into Captivate with as little pain as possible.

Any advice appreciated.

Best wishes

Brian

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Jun 29, 2018 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 29, 2018

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Not sure about all yoyr questions. Just want to add some comments.


Beware for exe (at least i Windows, have no Mac experience) because at this moment they are SWF-based, which means that they'll not be functiobal when the Flash Player has died completely. Furutre proof is only HTML5 output, to be run from a webserver or a LMS. Creating a standalone app (Android/kOS) is anb alternative ut has its limitations in size.

If uploaded to a webserver or better to a LMS, bookmarking is not a problem. Depending on the LMS there may also be a way to parsing the variables sent, or you could use local storage (needing the learner to restart from the same device) and JS. Forget aout AS for this purpose for the same reaons: EOL fo Flash Player. Good news is that JS works a lot better for HTML output than for SWF output.

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Jun 29, 2018 0
New Here ,
Jun 29, 2018

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Wow

Thank you very much for the quick advice.

It looks as though I may be faced with going with alternative software or setup a server or an LMS.

Thanks again for the advice which was spot on.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 29, 2018

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I was a professor at a university college. Wonder why a LMS is not an option, it takes out a lot of problems and some of them are even free. Especially if you aim at use on all kind of devices, Captivate is at this moment your best choice, I am really convinced about that. 

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Engaged ,
Jun 29, 2018

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Hi Lilybiri,
Regardig exe output on Windows relying on FlashPlayer...  Just courious - is this really so? I thought publishing to exe kind of wraps the content into it's own mini-FlashPlayer inside the exe, so it would not be reliant on any other external Flach Player apps or plugins installed on the target computer. Never tested this, so I might be all wrong.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 29, 2018

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Had lot of issues since a while with exe.. do not know what the future will bring to revive it. Heard similar remarks about the Mac executive file. Was too lazy to continue to explore it, did you?

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Engaged ,
Jun 29, 2018

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No, and currently having Flash Player App installed and apparently working for the time being, I can't really test it without uninstalling the same. Never mind, we'll find out soon enough, I guess.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 29, 2018

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Problems occurred with clients, I also have Flash Player installed of course since Preview methods for non-responsive projects almost all use SWF temparory output.

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Guide ,
Jul 01, 2018

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I think you're correct that an .exe bundles the Flash Player inside the .exe, though I'm certainly not sure about that.

If that's the case, a few other notes to still consider:

1. It the Flash Player is bundled, I suspect it's bundled from the version you have installed on your computer. I don't believe Captivate has access to the actual Flash Player within it's own installation... In other words, the .exe process likely (?) grabs your locally installed Flash Player and bundles that into the .exe. SO for now, that may be ok. In the future, that may not be accessible for future publishing.

2. If an .exe contains the Flash Player within itself, cool, but that doesn't mean it'll always work. Any given OS update can break a player's functionality...and if the Flash Player is 'dead' (no longer supported) then when it breaks, it stays broken.

So overall, publishing with any sort of reliance on the Flash Player at this point is absolutely a risk for future functionality. Look to HTML5 publishing. If an .exe is absolutely preferred, there are possible solutions, i.e.

How to package an HTML5 application into an executable - Quora

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Jul 01, 2018 0
Guide ,
Jul 01, 2018

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Per my other reply to this thread about the possibility of bundling HTML output into an exe:

How to package an HTML5 application into an executable - Quora

And further websearching may reveal other options.

Issue 1 : Can I save all variables locally to a text file or similar or even within the Captivate executable so that when started again the executable would reset to current progress level.

>Not in an easy sense. Since CP output is pretty much designed to be run from the web, security prevents it from writing to the local drive. There is/was a 'store results locally' option somewhere but I'm not sure it's still available...and if it is, I think it was a via a Flash cookie, so would require SWF output.

>While enabling SCORM or xAPI then publishing to HTML, then serving from an LMS is pretty much the assumed option, there may be alternatives. For a while, CP supported reporting to your own custom reporting server:

Reporting the Quiz Results to a local server - eLearning

However, I'm not positive that option still exists with the latest version of CP.

>If you're not familiar with SCORM/xAPI, read up on it a bit. Overall, CP projects enabled for either send values via JS to a SCORM/xAPI JS library when published. Those functions send the values to the LMS/LRS. So if you know JS coding you may be able to intercept those calls and send them elsewhere - i.e. a Google Doc/DB perhaps? There are various threads out there on that theory...

>The overall consideration, however, is most all solutions are going to require storing data remotely over the net. I don't think you'll find a method of storing any data locally (such is the nature of web-based content and local security).

Issue 2: Can I load variables in bulk at the start of the module/unit/quiz to make the thing flexible. I am look at multi state objects to store a single quiz, unit or module etc so that if need be I can create some standard objects which create variables etc when they load/are accessed. I have a feeling I may be able to do this with Javascript/Actionscript. I have lot's of experience with Flash and actionscript and also some javascript but I believe I need to work with browser and server to use either.

>I can't offer illumination here beyond what I offered above. Overall...'maybe', and if so, via JS? But likely within the context of the previous/above replies. Likely not 'local', but should certainly be able to pull values from remote sources. SCORM/xAPI and LMS/LRS delivery handles a lot of this for you, but not as far as setting initial values - that is done in the published project, then it can check for updated remote values that were updated in a previous session...

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