Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Session 304 - Beyond Software Simulation: Using Captivate to Create Immersive Learning Experiences (Jan Gray)

Jan Gray works for Blood Systems, the second largest supplier of blood products in the country.

She's a self professed geek and likes to see what can be done with software that people don't think should be possible. I might just like this...

Background on blood products - Regulated by the FDA, just like Pharma. A whole lot of acronyms just got fired out at head is awash in acronymania. One to note, though, is GMP = Good Manufacturing Practices. The existing GMP Training Program was, according to Jan, a 'snoozer'. Her manager, while taking it harshly, agreed.

Jan volunteered to re-do the program, and so they devised a training program called "Blood and Order", where AB Junior was on trial to find out whether or not he was effective. Once Jan re-did this program, though, her boss wanted her to re-do more.

She's in the same boat that we are - the word G A M E cannot exist. And Jan agrees that Captivate is far better than Articulate. I love this woman.

Working in Captivate 5 on screen, she publishes the GMP course. She used Google Sketch Up to create the images in the project. Rock solid, and I had no idea this existed. One concept I'm seeing, though, is that even showing a 2d map can be considered immersive based on its delivery. Jan also used an avatar in the project...I've been on the fence for years on this...whether it would add anything to what we do or not. I think it's still situational, but the more I see it, the more I'm persuaded towards the benefit.

"Jan, why did you choose to use a rendered avatar instead of an actual person being videoed?"
"Because it was cool." (Jan rules)

Widgets in Cap 5 seem extremely useful. For example, the Notepad allows someone to enter a notepad and take notes while in a module. Several other widget driven interactions are shown...some remarkable, some not so much.

(Side note - Widgets from the 3rd party vendor Jan mentioned go for no more than 35 bucks...pretty cool, given some of the improvements on Adobe's stock interactions.)

I think the overall vibe I'm picking up on here is something I've known about Captivate for a long time - given what you get...a software simulation can do a hell of a lot more. Even given the stock interactions you get with Cap, it's possible to make some pseudo-immersive actions and interactions. She goes on to illustrate many more aspects of her project, but all in all, that's it for me...something I've known:

Captivate, if used intelligently, CAN do it all.

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