A Captivate developer created a nifty eLearning lesson complete with a quiz, advanced actions and some nice navigation features. All she needed to do to wrap up the project was get the finished lesson posted to her LMS and ensure it reported correctly. And that, unfortunately, is where she ran into trouble. The lesson simply would not work once posted to the LMS.
The developer contacted me. While I had never used her LMS, I have successfully posted and tested several Captivate lessons to myriad systems. One thing I have learned while working with all of those LMSs... you never know what you're going to run into. And her LMS was a challenge. Round and round we went with different options and ideas, but the pesky lesson would not report properly.
Stymied, I appealed to the Adobe Captivate forum in search of anyone who had successfully dealt with her specific LMS. No immediate luck and I continued to scour other forums while waiting for my post to be answered. During that time, I had my client try different approaches. In the end, we figured it out. Here's what worked: I had the developer take baby steps. First, I had her create a new project that only contained a few slides. Then I had her adjust the reporting settings until it worked with her LMS. Next I had her add a button, and then more interactive objects. And then a quiz. The good news? We got the stripped-down version of the project to work. We used the same settings on the original project and it also worked on her LMS.
As luck would have it, I then received a couple of suggestions in the Adobe forums from Rod Ward. His tips were great--starting with "try a very small, extremely simple lesson and go from there," just as we had been doing. Below is a summary of the points from Rod as well as the things we learned:
- Don't wait until the deadline to integrate with your LMS. Do it sooner rather than later. And use a very small project to nail down settings and hopefully minimize integration issues.
- Even if your LMS claims to be SCORM 1.2 compliant, you may need to try the 2004 setting to make things work.
- Once a simple lesson works, add the features you need, one by one and continue to retest.
- Ask your LMS vendor if they have a test portal. This saved us a lot of time in the end instead of having to rely on our LMS contact to upload/install content.
- Have a conversation with your LMS vendor to see if they know of any integration tricks with Captivate--ours required the Complete flag, the Pass/Fail status did no good.
- If you can, simplify your quiz total by having zero points for each question, but one button at the end with 100 points assigned.
- If you have invisible/hidden scoring objects, be aware that they still count in the total points of the lesson.
- Even if you don't have a quiz in your lesson, you may need to add a button that reports 100 points to the LMS.
- If using the Complete/Incomplete status instead of Pass/Fail, be aware of what "Complete" means. A slide is only considered "Complete" if it runs to its timed end. If a user jumps from a slide using the playbar or a button/clickbox, the slide may not be considered Complete. If you have branching, you may skip slides and thus not 'complete' the whole lesson. You can temporarily turn your TOC (and or regenerate it so it includes ALL slides in the lesson) and run your lesson viewing the fewest slides possible. Use the check marks to see what slides were actually completed and use this percentage (or a tad lower) in the % field.
- Be a little wary of Resume Data bookmarking. LMSs support this feature differently. Sometimes utilizing this in the Captivate can cause issues for the LMS. Test it before telling your boss bookmarking can absolutely be done--even if your LMS vendor swears it can.
- Captivate will only allow your users to retake a quiz if they still have one or more attempts left on the quiz during a session (and they have not tried to review the quiz or jump outside the quiz at any time). If a user clicks the Review Quiz button or leaves the quiz, the LMS may freeze the current quiz and not allow retakes.
- If you are having trouble getting an accurate LMS completion score from a branched course, you might want to try the TickTOC widget. You can read more about it here.
- Read and post to the Adobe Captivate forum--it's a wealth of free information.
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We've had tons of challenges with Captivate - in addition to your excellent suggestions, we also recommend to developers that they create an account on SCORM Cloud (cloud.scorm.com) and try courses there - that can remove the vagaries of individual LMSs from the testing process. In general, we find folks have the best luck using "report to LMS as score" rather than percent, but I'm not sure that's a scientific assessment! I will add this blog post to our list of resources for folks using Captivate. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!
Posted by: Kelly Meeker | February 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM