Lab 8 Notes

March 25, 2014
WriteRight Proposal/Critique & eLearning Example

Mac OS X 10.8.5
Memory: 16 GB


  1. For HTML5 output, I've found that if I want to use effects, such as zooming, alpha transitions, and animations, it's better to create them outside of Captivate and import them as movies. Although it sometimes takes a few extra seconds to load the movies, at least they play.
  2. Drag and drop doesn't work on iOS devices.
  3. Flash output seems to work better than HTML5, but of course it doesn't work on iOS devices.
  4. It seems like the best reason to use Captivate is that it provides quizzes and other interactive elements. I'm seeing a lot of inconsistencies with the way those elements behave (or misbehave) in my projects, and I'm questioning the value of using Captivate for teaching.

Questions from lab (and my responses)

    1. How many hours you invested in developing your eLearning lesson?
      3+2+5+10+5+5+5+... (way too many -- a lot of troubleshooting and trial and error)

    2. Describe how you went about creating your lesson? 

      1. Reviewed WriteRight introductions and tutorials; made notes about what worked and what needed improvement.
      2. Reviewed current tutorials on fewer/less and twenty/20.
      3. Made notes for critique (to be finalized after tutorial is solidified).
      4. Created storyboards of content to be covered. Identified ways to use images and sounds.
      5. Created graphics to be used in animations.
      6. I attempted to create animations in Captivate. Didn't like the quality, so created graphics in Keynote and exported as .mov files.
      7. Working with videos (progression of learning):
        1. Imported movies as .mov files, (Captivate automatically converts them to .flv files), but it doesn't automatically add the .flv version to the slide. I was doing this manually (deleting the slide with the .mov, then adding the .flv to a new slide). Eventually, I noticed a progress section in Captivate that has an option to add the .flv version to the slide, so I started using this.
        2. I had to update a few movies, so I removed the slides they were on from the project, and inserted the new versions of the movies. But Captivate continued to use the old version of the movie (I verified that I used the new version of the movie several times, and I also deleted the cache). Still, Captivate wouldn't update the movie files (even though it appeared to be creating new .flv files for the new versions of the .mov). Eventually, I found that if I put the new movie in a different location, Captivate would import it correctly.
      8. Spent some time trying to figure out how to get drop-down boxes to resize to fit text. Submitted question to "ask the instructor." I had already tried adding spaces before and after the word in the fill-in-the-blank text box, and it hadn't made a difference. After hearing that this method worked, I tried adding more spaces. I found that I had to add 10 spaces for a 5 letter word to show up correctly. This seems like a lot of spaces, but it's working.
      9. I wanted to change the default "Submit" button on the quiz to "Check Answers" because the quiz is part of a tutorial. But after I did that, the button stopped working and the quiz broke. It's in a sorry state now. Not sure if I'll be able to get it working again.
      10. The quiz is mostly working in the Flash output now, although if you supply incorrect answers, it hangs.
      11. I tried publishing to SCORM following the instructions here (, which said to publish as Flash only. I got the Publishing Failed message again. I reviewed an email and a test project from professor Challenger, and noticed that the recommendation was to publish as HTML5. I was able to publish to HTML5 with SCORM enabled. However, the published output doesn't play correctly. Effects such as scaling or zooming don't work, video clips are not displayed, and drag-and-drop doesn't work. I notice that it takes a long time to load the tutorial and to transition between scenes. Not acceptable.

    3. What research materials/sources did you use for the content of your lesson? 
      WriteRight course materials
      Woe is I by Patricia T. O'Conner
      The Chicago Manual of Style, The University of Chicago Press (this contains more complex rules for expressing numbers in text)
      Gagne's nine events of instruction

    4. For your quiz, what resources did you use to determine the correct answers? 
      I verified my answers against the WriteRight tutorials and the sources listed above.

    5. Did your answers agree with those provided by the SME's answer key posted this week?
      For the fewer/less rule, my answer matched the SME's answer. For the twenty/20 rule, it's more complicated. Chicago recommends spelling out whole numbers from 1-99 and any of those numbers followed by hundred, thousand, million, etc. Chicago also provides more complex rules for using numbers in text, such as using numbers at the start of a sentence, using numbers with units of measure, etc. For business and technical writing, however, the general rules match the SME's answer (spell out numbers 1-10, use figures for numbers greater than 10, and for numbers that are used for the same category of items, use the same rule [use numbers] regardless of the general rules that would apply).

    6. What experiments or features did you try this week?  New techniques learned?  Resources discovered?
      I experimented with a TOC and with a drag-and-drop widget.

    7. What project management skills or insights did you learn that might be useful in your own project? Or in your current work, or future career?
      Video and animation tasks will expand to consume your available resources. It's important to set boundaries and acceptable levels of quality rather than continue working endlessly toward unatainable perfection...I didn't do that very well with this lab.

    8. Questions you have?  Concerns?

      1. Sometimes, when I would publish the output, the audio that was recorded to the slide wouldn't get published. I checked the timeline, and the audio was there. What happened? Sometimes, it would come back when I re-published, but sometimers I had to re-record it. Why?
      2. Still getting a weird flash with text that has a fade-in effect. Text flashes briefly before the effect starts (ssee the first slide in this presentation). What's happening?
      3. In the quiz, if you answer all questions correctly, and click Submit, you can click anywhere to continue. But if you don't get the answers correct, and you click Submit, you cannot click anywhere to continue. Why?
      4. I added closed captions. But there's a lag in the captions being displayed (they appear after the slide has been playing for awhile).Why?
      5. On the last slide, I have a button that you can click to send email (it launches the email editor and inserts the email address). But this button doesn't seem to work if the slide plays to the end. Why?
      6. Spell check didn't catch a spelling error in a text caption (Tuturial). I know it checked notes, but I suspect that it doesn't check other things. What does the spelling checker check, and what does it not check?