Tag Archives: Tracey Stokely

The 1960’s called, they want their training back!

How are you designing your training these days? Does it look like training did in the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s? Times have changed, keep up. Get your training up-to-date! It should not only look good, but it should be effective. Train for today’s world, not yesterday’s.

There is no excuse to be using old methodologies, old design and old technology for training. Those of us in the business of Learning and Development strive to help learners learn. But sometimes we might be the impediments to orchestrating learning. The more poorly-designed training and eLearning out there, the worse it looks for our whole industry. The more crap training we put out there, the more people avoid attending training or going through eLearning. Some have started resisting “pushed” learning like the plague. Don’t give training and eLearning a bad rap, redesign your old stuff.

People like Julie Dirksen, Michael Allen, Clark Quinn, and Will Thalheimer started preaching this stuff when they wrote their Serious eLearning Manifesto back in 2014. They worked hard to get people on-board in order to produce more effective training. Kudos to them for bringing this to light. Part of effectiveness of learning is producing training for today and not yesterday.

Just when I see so much good and progress in our industry of learning and development, then I see so many examples of careless design and training thrown together and they call it training. Poor design and totally ineffective. Stop wasting people’s precious time. Come on, let’s all get on-board and turn this around.

Captivate 8: Responsive or Scalable Software Simulation?

The process for creating software simulations has greatly changed over the past few years. Today most companies need to be creating software simulations that can be viewed on a variety of devices, including mobile. You might as well forget Flash output anymore.

Two exciting outputs for software simulation in Adobe Captivate 8 are Responsive and Scalable simulations for mobile-device learning. These both create an output of HTML5 so you don’t have to worry about them working on mobile devices. This means you can finally forget Flash output!

However, it might be a little confusing at first as to which you should create—a Responsive simulation or a Scalable one.

What’s the difference?

Both Responsive and Scalable simulations can be used on different devices for your mobile training, but the two are different when it comes to what your end-learner sees and in how you start creating them in Captivate 8.

Scalable Simulation

A Scalable simulation shows your entire captured screen on all three types of devices: computer screen (PC or Mac), tablets and smartphones. The screen is kept intact but just gets smaller for tablets and smartphones. A Scalable simulation is a good choice if you always want your entire screen recording to be seen no matter which device is being used to view your tutorial.

For example, below is the same portion of the simulation as it appears in estimated PC/Mac, tablet size and smartphone.

Scalable PC view

Once published, you are able to view the entire screen recording in whatever size device window. Above is an example of viewing it on a PC.

Scalable tablet view

Above is an example of how the same simulation would look on a tablet. Notice that the entire screen is still showing.

Scalable smartphone view

Above is an example of how the same simulation would look on a smartphone. This is when a learner would start squinting.

Note that when creating a Scalable simulation, you cannot scale it in Preview mode. You will need to Publish it first and then drag your window to different sizes to view how it will look in various mobile devices.

Responsive Simulation

A Responsive simulation allows you to show your entire screen recording for PCs/Macs, a smaller portion of the screen for tablets and an even smaller portion of the screen for smartphones. This is a good choice if a scalable simulation choice is too small to see on a smartphone.

In the screen shots below, you’ll see how different portions of the same screen recording are shown in Preview mode in Captivate 8.

Responsive view 1024

Above you see the entire screen in Preview mode for PCs/Macs.

Responsive tablet view

Above you see the portion of the screen in Preview mode for tablets. Notice that a smaller portion of the screen is shown for tablets.

Responsive mobile view

Above you see the small portion of the screen in Preview mode for smartphones. To smartphone users, this almost looks like a zoomed-in shot. But the good thing is, they can see a very clear portion of the screen (no squinting)!

Starting a Responsive or Scalable Simulation Project

As I mentioned above, you must start your Captivate 8 project differently based on if you want it to be a Responsive simulation or a Scalable one. This is something quite different than what we’ve seen in earlier versions of Captivate.

To start a Scalable simulation project, you can either select “Software Simulation” or “Blank Project” from the New tab. To start a Responsive simulation project, you must first select “Responsive Project” from the New tab.

New Project selection box

In either case, after clicking the Create button, you can add your screen recording anywhere in the project by clicking Slides on the menu. It then shows a sub-menu.

Slides menu

Note that “PowerPoint Slide” is unavailable in Responsive projects.

For either Responsive or Scalable simulations, you select “Software Simulation.” Then you would record your simulation just like you have in previous versions of Captivate. After you have recorded your simulation, the workspace is different between Responsive and Scalable projects. Responsive projects display the Primary, Tablet and Smartphone view tabs at the top of the workspace. Scalable simulations do not have this feature. This is why it is important to know which type of simulation you want to use before you start your project.

Responsive workspace

Above is the workspace for a Responsive project. Notice the Primary, Tablet, and Smartphone views.

Scalable workspace
Above is the workspace for a Scalable or regular simulation project.

Generating Scalable Software Simulations

To generate scalable HTML5 for your software simulation, when you click Publish, you need to select the “Scalable HTML content” checkbox.

Scalable Publish options

Working with Responsive Simulations

If you have created a Responsive simulation, Captivate 8 allows you to change which portion of the screen you show by dragging the smartphone or tablet window to the area that you want to show.

Responsive customizable window

Above I’ve moved the Mobile view (Smartphone) window to exactly where I want it.

Having the three views also allows you to change other things on the screen (like objects and text) so that it can be totally different between PCs and smartphones for example.

Summary and Hints

If you understand the output of both Responsive and Scalable simulations, it is easier to start a new project in the right way. This is a change for Adobe Captivate users who have used previous versions. Before, you didn’t have to think about output very much before starting your projects; now you do.

If you want to show the entire portion of your screen recording, no matter which type of device the learner is using, use a Scalable project (Software Simulation or Blank Project).

If you want to show different portions of the screen based on device, use a Responsive project.

From a Responsive project, you can go from a Responsive output to a Scalable output. However, you cannot do the reverse of going from a Software Simulation project to a Responsive project output. If you are in a Responsive project, there is a checkbox in Properties called “Use portion of background Image” that is selected by default for Tablet and Smartphone views. If you deselect that on either the Tablet or Smartphone view, the full screen recording is shown, which makes it like a scalable project.

Use portion checkbox

Above you see the “Use portion of background Image” checkbox is checked by default for the Mobile (Smartphone) view.

I love these outputs that you can find in Adobe Captivate 8. We can now easily create software simulations for mobile devices. The future is now.


Adobe Captivate 8 is a product of Adobe Systems, Inc. For more information, see their website at http://www.adobe.com/captivate.

X’s and C’s: All MOOCs are not created equal!

Just when some of you are hearing that MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) exist, you learn that there are two types of MOOCs: xMOOC and cMOOC.

Stephen Downes, the man who coined both terms (visualize Jerry Garcia or David Crosby), explains an xMOOC as “if anything, it stands for eXtended.” He meant for it to “indicate programs that aren’t part of the core offering, but which are in some way extensions.” With the passing of time- if you can call since 2008 much of a history- the xMOOC has transformed into more of a traditional college course taught with newer technology and en masse.

George Siemens, who along with Downs was the co-founder of the first MOOC, explains that the cMOOC is based on the learning theory of connectivism that basically supports the theory that learning happens out of chaos, which sees the “connection of everything to everything”.  With today’s technology, this involves learners connecting with other learners in a large network using discussion forums, wikis, blogs and other social media. They can collectively create and generate content. Critics of xMOOCs call it more of a “knowledge consumption” vs. the cMOOC, which is more of a “knowledge production.”

I have experienced being a participant in both types of MOOCs. In the spring of 2013, I enrolled in an xMOOC hosted by Coursera called “Gamification.” Dr. Kevin Werbach of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania taught the MOOC, which was structured like a traditional college course but had enrollment of over 66,000 students.

In September, I started my first cMOOC hosted by Blackboard’s CourseSites called “Badges: New Currency for Professional Credentials,” which had an enrollment of just over 1,600 students. Several gurus of the digital-badges world, like Erin Knight (Mozilla), Deborah Everhart (Georgetown University) and Jennifer McNelly (The Manufacturing Institute), to name a few, were speakers during the content sessions on different weeks. These two contrasting MOOC styles appeal to different learners. For me, it was extremely organized content and social learning vs. esoteric chaos. The Gamification xMOOC motivated me to complete all of the assignments. Unfortunately, the Badges cMOOC had such arcane assignments, I only completed one. But, did I learn from both types of MOOCs? The answer is yes! If I had to do it all over again would I? Yes to that as well.

My suggestion is, if you haven’t experienced a MOOC yet, enroll in one and experience an xMOOC or a cMOOC.  The “open” part of MOOCs makes it easy. They are meant to be “open,” meaning no obstacles like educational prerequisites or fees.  So, what are you waiting for, go MOOC yourself!

Postscript – Now it’s 2016 and more terms have been added to our vocabulary along the lines of MOOCs. Now there are SPOCs and SOOCs. A SPOC is a “Small Private Online Course” and a SOOC is a “Selective Open Online Course”. SPOCs were popularized by the Harvard and UC-Berkeley crowds. SPOCs are mainly online courses that can be closed or private. Harvard, for example, offers a SPOC on “The Architectural Imaginary” to incoming Design School students. SOOCs tend to be open but may be massive or smaller (think hundreds instead of tens of thousands as for MOOCs) and are typically for a more targeted audience.

Additional reading:





My Second MOOC Experience: MOOC on Mozilla Open Badges

I started my second MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) September 9th. The format and how this MOOC is being run is a totally different experience from my first MOOC. The first MOOC I took was hosted by Coursera. This one is hosted by Blackboard’s CourseSites. The topic of this MOOC is “Badges: New Currency for Professional Credentials.” My first thought was, I’m glad this wasn’t my first MOOC or I would have never continued.


The “M” in MOOC is for massive. That is supposed to mean thousands and thousands for most of the MOOCs I’ve read about. My last MOOC had over 65,000 people enrolled. This one has a little over 1,400. Not so massive.

Session/Video Format

The Gamification MOOC that I took provided small-chunked videos for each week’s session. These were pre-recorded to provide better video and sound quality and were probably edited to keep the flow. The videos were interesting and easy to watch. This “Badges” MOOC provides one live session each week. Then, they post the recordings for later viewing for those who are not available to watch it live. If you’ve ever attended a live webinar, then you pretty much know how this live session went. There were technical difficulties with video, the sound was inconsistent, presenter and her speech was off, slides didn’t show, and people kept typing distracting and rarely relevant comments while the speakers were talking. The live session had a posting of how many people were logged into the live session. The most I saw was 281 at 15 minutes into the hour-long session. There were only about 200 on it when it began. I have no way of knowing how many have watched the recorded session. At the second week’s live session, the most I saw logged in was 190 a little less than half way through it.

They do have the recorded sessions available via Blackboard as MP4’s a day or so after each live session. I watched one of the recorded sessions and it does not look like they have edited the live session at all before posting it. Too bad, it really needed editing.

MOOC Website

The Coursera Gamification website worked like a dream. I didn’t realize this until I had visited the Blackboard CourseSites website. It’s come to a screeching halt both times I’ve visited it in the last week. I’ve even tried different browsers (IE, Firefox, and Chrome) and get the same snail-paced response time. It is incredibly annoying.

CourseSite finally put up this on their website a graphic of a moon with “SHHH! CourseSites is temporarily unavailable…”

Now I’m three weeks into this MOOC on badges and it looks like Blackboard’s CourseSite website is finally moving a lot quicker. Wow, wonder how many participants they lost because of this?

Assignment Submission

Tried to submit assignment. Got error. Then it looked like it submitted a blank assignment and I couldn’t delete it nor add my assignment content. Ugh. I finally was able to submit my first assignment on the third try.


Before the first session, they recommended that we watch a YouTube video on Mozilla Open Badges. However, at the beginning of the first and second week’s live sessions they put the same video up and recommended (again) that students watch the video. Hmmmm. Annoying. I watched it before the first session like they had recommended. Looks like they got the hint (from the comments on screen) to put a different video up the third week.


All the technical stuff aside, I will say that the content presented about Mozilla Open Badges has been very interesting for this MOOC. Especially since I new very little about the subject prior to this MOOC. They have had several different subject matter experts presenting various topics about Open Badges which gives the learners distinct perspectives about the concept. That has been beneficial.

Will I continue?

Hmmmm. That is a good question. The jury is still out on this one. Who knows, I might be part of the 91.5%, the enrollees who don’t complete a MOOC.