articulate

Storyline vs. Captivate Part 2

SL2vsCAP8

Today is a continuation of last week’s comparison. For a full comparison, check out this post.

Feature Captivate 8 Storyline 2 Notes
Editing Images You can do basic image edits within Captivate and it also integrates well with Photoshop since they are both Adobe products. Captivate also includes an image library that allows you to easily reuse images and save edited versions within a project. Storyline also allows minor editing such as cropping, flipping, adding outlines, adjusting brightness/contrast, etc. Captivate is the clear winner for managing & editing images within a project.
Smart Shapes Includes a variety of built in smart shapes such as lines, a polygon tool, speech and thought bubbles, block arrows, and banners. The look of the shapes is fully customizable. Storyline offers a somewhat larger selection of built in objects including more polygon options, starbursts, a “No” symbol, and a large variety of callout styles.
Mouse Effects Captivate allows you to insert and edit a mouse pointer. You can simulate clicking on something on the screen, decide where the mouse will enter from, and add in a few other features like slowing the mouse before it clicks. With a right click on the mouse, you can also align a pointer with where it left off on a previous slide. SL does almost everything Captivate does on this. In addition, it has a HUGE number of options for the pointer and automatically aligns the pointer on consecutive slides so that there is a smooth transition.  The only feature that Captivate does better is the option to change the click effect, which is a visual indication that the mouse has clicked. This is a great feature for software demos.
Image Buttons Captivate has some specialty “image button” styles. These are images of highly stylized buttons. While they have several text options for each style, you are limited to those options and can’t change the text. The neat thing about buttons in SL is that the program comes with a slew of built in icons that can be used on any button in addition to, or without, words. There are just a few built in styles but all buttons are fully customizable and you can use format painter to copy and paste a custom style. Both programs allow you to use any image as a button, but the inclusion of built in icons makes SL a little more useful.
Widgets &
Interactions
Captivate includes a host of built in widgets that are basically canned interactions. While several of these are more fun than instructionally sound (Jeopardy, word search, etc.) there are some useful options here. In particular, a widget that allows learners to take (and print) notes. There are also several pre-built click and reveal interactions (accordion, tabs, timeline, etc.) and widgets for inserting YouTube video and web objects. Storyline includes many, if not all, of the same options as Captivate. Some of these are presented as quiz questions (radio buttons, drag & drop). Some are presented as templates (tabs, timeline). Some are downloadable from their website as templates (games). Some are just presented as regular features (glossary, video, & web objects). The only widget/interaction that I think Captivate does better is the notes taking feature. There are some workarounds in SL, but none are great. Many of these can be built out from scratch, but using the built in options allows for a quicker build.

Storyline 2 vs. Captivate 8

SL2vsCAP8

As an eLearning professional, I know that choosing a software platform can be difficult and even confusing. I have used both Captivate and Storyline (multiple versions of each) and have been curious about ZebraZapps and other platforms that seem to have interesting features. It can be difficult to really find information that compares the various tools.

Lucky for you, dear eLearning professional who is trying to pick between Storyline and Captivate (that totally describes you, right?), I am embarking on a journey to make your life a little easier. This summer I am taking a class that focuses around Adobe Captivate (version 8). I am also a regular user (and superfan!) of Articulate Storyline 2.

So, I decided to try and check my bias at the door and do a series of posts comparing the two systems. I will also be adding to this post along the way as a kind of master document. If you find this is helpful, or have questions about particular features, please comment below and let me know!

 Feature Captivate 8 Storyline 2  Notes
Operating Systems PC and Mac versions, projects are compatible between the 2 versions but you must have a separate license for each. PC only, but I believe a Mac version is in the works.
Workspace setup Captivate gives you quick access to an object’s properties and timing menus. On the Mac version, there are 2 different sets of menus which can get confusing. For example, both set have an option for inserting slides but offer different layouts. Storyline is set up to make it easy to build interactions. It is centered around triggers, layers, and states. You can pop-out the timeline, notes, triggers, and layers panels to fully customize your view. You can also add any function to a quick access bar. Storyline’s layout feels more intuitive to me, but that could be because I am used to it. I do, however, really prefer the triggers and layers system as I find it allows me to easily create custom interactions.
Working on multiple projects Can have multiple projects open in one instance – uses a tab system. Have to open a new instance of SL for each project. Being able to copy and paste within the same instance is nice when you want to pull info or a setup from another project.
Themes 11 built in themes. 16 different slide layouts built in. 27 built in themes. 12 built in slide layouts. Tons of free slide templates available to download and import for free from their site. Both allow you to import from PPT or build your own master slide layout.
Timeline Drag an object or slide to change its timing in .1 second increments, regardless of the zoom. Drag an object or slide to change its timing in .25 or .125 second increments depending on zoom. Detailed timing changes that require more precision than the timeline offers are easier to make in Captivate.
Aligning objects Alignment toolbar can be added to your permanent view, which is very handy. Alignment options include all those in Captivate, plus the ability to resize all to the largest or smallest and have any alignment oriented to the slide or just the selected objects.
Changing button/caption styles Can adjust shape (10 options), fill, outline, shadow, and reflection. Can adjust shape (72 options), fill, outline, shadow, reflection, glow (in the colors of the theme), and soft edges (a vignette type of feature). Both of these programs give you almost unlimited options for how you want your buttons and captions to look. SL makes it slightly easier by presenting your defaults in a nice visual way, but allowing you to tweak until you are content.
Setting default button/caption styles Easily set your default styles for objects within the Preferences settings. SL does not allow you to change defaults. It uses the theme colors and type of object to offer a range of presets instead. You can use Format Painter to easily match styles. While the Captivate option here is nice, it is also a little cumbersome if you use different styles for different projects. The Format Painter (along with some good ol’ copy/paste) is a little friendlier for smaller projects.

Free Resources for Online and Blended Learning

This is a bit of a double post with some free resources for all!

First up, I found out this week that an article I submitted for publication – Flipped Learning in the Workplace – was finally published in the Journal of Workplace Learning. You can download the very pretty final version of the article from their site or, if you don’t have access to the journal, you can download a not nearly as pretty copy here.

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Second, the ELH Challenge for this week was to share some images that could be used for eLearning.  I have been thinking about doing this with some of the zillions of pictures I have laying around in my Flickr account.

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So, while hanging out at home during my snow day today I started the process. You can view and download over 100 pictures taken by me during my most recent vacation to Belize, a friend’s wedding in Florida, and Christmas holiday in Louisiana.

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Enjoy and please leave me some feedback if you find the resources useful. Oh, and be sure to check all the other wonderful shared images from this week’s challenge as well!

New Year, New Opportunity, Renewed Template

I’ve been a little quiet lately because, well, winter, but also because I have been in a period of transition.

Starting February 16th I will be the Assistant Director, Instructional Design at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. This exciting new opportunity means I have been spending some time wrapping up projects and loose ends at my current position.

As part of that process, I’ve updated some of my old templates from Storyline to Storyline 2. I thought I would share one with you guys today.

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This “Cards Against Humanity” knockoff quiz was created for the very first eLearning Heroes challenge I participated in, about a year ago. Here it is again in all its Storyline 2 glory. You can click on the image above to download it.

If you just want to enjoy the game, or check it out before downloading, you can play the original version.

Storyline 1 users, you can download the original version here.

Enjoy!

Starting the New Year with a Bang!

Now that the exhaustion and constant movement that comes along with the joy of the holidays has subsided, I decided to tackle a couple of old ELH Challenges! This demo takes on two recent ones: interactive charts and graphs and the color of the year.

I took my inspiration from a simple, interactive graph I created recently for a client project. I thought it would be a great template to share and also added an alternative view.

View #1 (the alternate view)

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The first view allows you to choose which sets of data you want to compare.

This slide uses check boxes to toggle a T/F variable for each set a data. The bars a programmed to change to a hidden state if the corresponding variable is changed to ‘false’ and to a normal state if it is changed to ‘true’.

View #2 (the original view)

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The second slide allows you to looks at each set of data more in depth, rather than comparing it to another set. However, you can easily toggle between the sets of data.

In this view, the slider triggers a state change for each bar. As the slider moves, the states for each of the bars change to their corresponding states.

Download the template!

You can check out each of the charts in more depth by playing around with the demo or downloading the template. Enjoy!

Mixing Up the Drag & Drop

It’s the holiday season which means lots of baking in my household. Pies, cakes, bars, cookies… you name it, we make it. With so many treats on my mind, I decided to build a delicious drag and drop demo.

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Baking Basics walks you through the process of making a cupcake batter. It showcases a lot of Storyline features including branching, animations, and a slider. But the icing on the cupcake is a custom built drag and drop interaction that gives feedback based on both where and when you drop an object.

Order in a drag and drop is important if you want the learner to demonstrate knowledge of a process such as baking or, on a more serious note, putting on a biohazard suit.

Mapping Your Route

To add an element of order to your drag and drop it’s helpful to first map out the sequence of events. This is part of my map for this project:

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Adding in Feedback

For each potential misstep, I added in a custom feedback layer. Constructive feedback was created for when an object is dropped on the wrong target or in the wrong order.

I also added subtle feedback for when steps are completed correctly to let the learner know they are on the right track.

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Making Order Matter

Now all you have to do is add in some variables and triggers using your map as a guide.

  • First, I created a True/False variable for each variable listed in the map.
  • Then I created a trigger for each action to change the value of the corresponding variable when complete. This is also where I added in any corresponding conditions.
  • The final step was to trigger feedback layers if an action was completed in the wrong order.

And that’s it! To learn more about creating drag and drops in Storyline (& Storyline2), you can check out this tutorial or post your questions below. And you can click the image below to try your hand at making some vanilla cupcakes.

Happy baking!

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