mobile learning

Adobe Captivate 9!

I am excited to share that Adobe Captivate 9 is here! I’ve had the opportunity to work with Adobe Captivate 9 and try out some of the new features of the development tool. There are a lot of updates to what Captivate 8 laid the foundation for and continuing to build on ease of use for instructional designers and developers.

Adobe Captivate Draft 

Cp Draft

Probably one of the more exciting features that I really like is the Adobe Captivate Draft app for Captivate 9 available in the Apple App Store. Draft allows you to create your storyboard all right within the app and provides a lot of functionality. You can add slide objects and modify their properties like the size and fill color. You can even add hotspots and questions slides. When you’re finished creating your storyboard you can save it to Creative Cloud and open the storyboard file directly into Captivate 9 and add full development.

Cp Draft2

Enhancements to Responsive Projects

Another fantastic feature that has been enhanced is responsive projects in Captivate 9.  Now responsive projects have up to 5 breakpoints to create for the devices that you are delivering your projects on. These could be used to create specific views or you can create them as the landscape/portrait view alternative to your project.


If don’t want your learners to view content on mobile devices in landscape mode, you can do that as well with disallowing landscape orientation and including a message to only view the course in portrait orientation. You can find this in Preferences, Publish Settings.



Multi-State Objects 

A new level of interactivity has been added to Captivate 9 with multi-state objects. You can create these interactions without having to use show/hide techniques in your project. In the Properties panel that is new section called Object States where you can create different states for an object. There are still the three default states, Normal, Rollover, and Down. You can also create your own custom states with objects.


There is also a button called State View that opens up the Object State panel to manage the states you have created. You can add or delete states and add more objects to existing states.

CpState2                                         CpState3

You can execute then execute and Advanced Action to Change State of… so when the learner clicks on the target button it will then change the state of the object.


Here is an example screenshot of how states can work instead of the show/hide features in Advanced Actions.


This example has several car colors so when the learner clicks on each color button the car will match the color on the button. This was all created using the multi-state object feature in Captivate 9.


Geo-location Enhancements

Captivate 8 introduced geo-location for responsive courses, but now in Captivate 9 there’s an extra layer of functionality. Geo-location allows you to deliver content to you learners when they need it and where they need it.

One of the better features of this is the Geo-Location Emulator which allows you to test out the project as if you were in the learner’s location.


Another update is executing an Advanced Action when the learner’s location changes.



These are some of my favorite new features of Adobe Captivate 9, but there are many more. Check out the Adobe Captivate 9 product page to download a trial and get started!



LIVE on #LearnHaus: Using Periscope for Learning Indian Cuisine

If you have been following me on social media, you’ll know my latest hobby is growing my cooking skills with Indian cuisine. I find it exciting since I haven’t been exposed to it much and still in the honeymoon phase. As I work through the different recipes, I’ll share photos on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages, but what I would really like is to educate those who have not experienced the cuisine. Anyone that asks me about Indian food will know that I rattle off like a SME. I am going to start a blog soon to start to share what I have learned. I wanted another way to educate people and I actually found this solution by accident. Enter Periscope.

I first used Periscope at ATD ICE 2015 during Erik Wahl’s performance/keynote and found it great to share what I was experiencing with people all over the world. I thought about how streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat could help leverage learning and extend reach. Soon I realized I would be using it for my own purposes in my Indian cooking when I decided that I would share some recipes I was working on.

Before I share my experience with Periscope, a little about how to use it. Periscope is an app that connects to your Twitter account and allows you to stream live to your folks on both Periscope and Twitter mobile apps. You can also view through web browsers on Twitter. When you load the app the first thing you see is live streams of anyone you are following. You can also explore around the globe what other top streams are. Lastly, you can start your own stream of course!

Before you actually start your broadcast you can give a title to your stream, enable chat for people so they make comments or ask questions, and even tap the screen to give people “hearts” to show you enjoy the broadcast. I think preparing for it somewhat, depending on what you are sharing is key. I had to figure out how I was going to have my phone standing when I would need two hands to cook with. I came up with turning a drinking glass upside down and putting a coffee mug on top and had my phone sitting in there. It was great because you saw the whole landscape of the kitchen and exactly what I was doing. If there was a certain cutting technique I turned the mug upside down and laid the phone flat on top of it so the camera would be down on my hands.Preparation is a good idea before you start streaming so you don’t lose your audience.

During the stream I quickly realized that for cooking at least, you want it to be as streamlined as possible because something that normally takes 30 minutes to do  might take 45 because of the attention to the stream. Also, there are times when you are waiting for something to cook that might take 10-20 minutes. How do you fill empty time up? One thing you can try is to end the stream while you are waiting and then start a new broadcast to continue. Another way is to use that time to answer questions or educate the audience. I decided to teach about the different spices that are used in the dishes and the different kinds of chilis. Overall it went pretty well for a first try. One major tip: just because it’s a live broadcast doesn’t mean you should fly by the seat of your pants, you should have an overall idea of how the broadcast will flow so there is some structure. You want it to be casual in conversation too. This is not a recorded training session!

What I think is most important is after the stream you can see the total time the broadcast was, which is easy to forget about and also the retention rate. You can see what the average time someone spent viewing your broadcast too. The retention rate is really helpful because you can benchmark your training to keep people engaged. I plan to improve my retention rate as I plan the broadcast out better.

The next thing I’ll try is giving folks the recipe to be broadcasted a week or two in advance so they have time to get the ingredients and then we can all cook together during the broadcast. Take it from just being a viewer to being involved in the broadcast and actually learning something new. Can’t wait to share!


Let’s Get Serious About Mobile Learning and Performance Support!

One of the amazing ways to learn is mobile learning. I think it’s great that someone who is 200 miles away from their desk can easily go to their smartphone and learn or get the support they need from it. The implications for performance support are staggering for so many professions, not just the typical corporate sales, marketing, etc. So many people can benefit from mobile learning as a performance support tool.

Here’s a thought: an electrician who has been in business for 15 years has a challenging job today. He must change a bulb that if not done correctly, will blow the breaker for an entire warehouse that is producing retail items for stores causing a major production loss. Instead of that electrician taking a chance on memory he can go to his mobile device and watch a video of an electrician change that exact bulb correctly and then he can change it himself. Or he can view steps to replace the bulb successfully. The great part about this piece of performance support is that it’s right there when he needs it, at the moment of need. Additionally, once he watches the video or views the steps, he might not need to access that content again because now he remembers how to change that bulb because he has completed three replacements already.

If we go about our day and start to count how many times we Google something we don’t know whether it’s a recipe or a fact about a person in the news, or how to get rid of fruit flies (personal experience), we access this content at the moment of need. Once we get what we need, it is unlikely that we will need to access the content again once we have encoded this knowledge into our working memory. So I start to think about what forms does this come in? I can say that when I didn’t know something that I needed to complete my job I did Google it. But for more specific and organizationally mandated content, companies will have to develop this in-house.

One of the ways we as learning professionals can start deciding on whether mobile will be effective is knowing what the context of this support or learning the performer will need and how they get it. Mobile is great as a performance support tool, but that’s not all! We need to decide if mobile is the right solution to the problem. We should’t start investing in making all of our content mobile ready because probably half of it will not be used. That being said, mobile is anything that is not a desktop in an office and stationed. So a laptop, tablet and smartphone are all devices for mobile. But the context of what the learner will need and how they are going to get it is more important than how it’s being delivered. Once we know what context the learner will be in, we can then decide the appropriate medium for the solution.

I think when an organization says they are mobile-ready this should mean they have identified several opportunities where mobile can be a successful solution. It should’t mean that they are going to take all the eLearning courses in their LMS and make then accessible from a smartphone through an app. They should have a plan of how the content will get to the learner and quickly.

Their are some great opportunities for mobile to be integrated into a learning solution. Mobile can also be just one component of the learning solution. What it really comes down to is making sure that we identify gap in performance or the learning opportunity. If mobile doesn’t fit the bill then that is ok, as long as we are doing our due diligence to the learner by giving them what they need to succeed and not just creating a solution for mobile’s sake.

We recently had a #lrnchat last Thursday and the topic was on the Forgetting Curve. A great way to reinforce learning is the use of performance support. Due to the fact that training is viewed as an event, the forgetting curve kicks in and the learner cannot recall what they have learned during the training session. Another great implication for not just mobile, but performance support in general is that it now becomes part of the learning “process”.  Instead of having the single or 3-day training event with no follow up, we can give our learners performance support to combat the forgetting curve and also give more value to how we provide solutions. They can continue to build on what was learned during the training event or course. A entire training event may not even be needed!

As a side note, wearable technology is another great opportunity for performance support and learning. The Apple Watch was unveiled this month. It will be exciting to see what this will bring to our profession. I promise this is not the beginning of “wLearning” (Sorry David Kelly, I used it!) I am still so amazed how quickly everything is changing with how we gather and learn information, perform, and share curated content.

I would love to know what everyone else is doing and talking about in the mobile area and performance support. If you have a comment or would like to add your thoughts, please add to the comments below or tweet me and we can open up the conversation.



HTML, CSS, JavaScript, HUH?!

For the past couple of weeks I have decided to jump into learning how to program. I realize that as an owner of my own company, it is important to make sure that I can do many different things and wear many different hats.

I came to this conclusion because I don’t want to not be able to perform for a client and this really only adds value to LearnHaus. It all started when I began learning how to use Adobe Dreamweaver. It wasn’t the kind of software that you design web content strictly using rapid development like adding drop down menus and images. You need to know how these programming languages work in order to really be effective and also make sure everything is packaged right. You also can do more with the software than just adding templates and colors.

In conjunction with Dreamweaver I am starting out with HTML. This is actually helpful because I can apply what I am learning in HTML to how Dreamweaver operates. Cool stuff. I started to think though, how does web design and code translate to eLearning and mobile learning? What are the implications?

I now realize that because we are creating solutions in the HTML5 space (since Flash doesn’t play well with mobile) that really it’s almost all the same. Creating a slide with video in a web browser is the same as creating it in an eLearning tool like Captivate and then publishing to HTML5 in the browser. The coding is probably close and it’s both being accessed in the browser which can work with HTML5. So in reality, the opportunities to really design and create unique learning and performance solutions is endless, well sort of. I want to learn Flash too but for now I think HTML5 is where I will focus.

I have more to learn like CSS and Javascript, plus I need to figure out to remember all the different tags and and making sure everything is coded correctly. This will take time I know. I am making the commitment to code to standards! I have also been spending some time in the programming community and I finally accepted the challenge of the Hour of Code . It really did only take an hour or less. I was able to see programming in a different context, in more of a gaming perspective. I actually was coding with Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. It was simpler, but you have the opportunity to see the actual code and learn how you are creating the gaming interactions. It does challenge you to think about the interactions how you would code it.

For those who are thinking of whether learning code is beneficial to them or not, I would say even if you don’t want to be a hardcore programmer, understanding how it works is very beneficial. Knowing how your solution works on the backend is important for really creating solutions you want and what the possibilities are.

Here are some other helpful resources that I have found:

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Lynda: Web Design Courses


There is so much more to learn and I hope to share more of my journey with you. I hope that I am also a resource as well. Feel free to contact me or comment on this post and I will be more than happy to talk more about this post and LearnHaus with you. Happy learning!