Creating large modular projects using Captivate 4
Large eLearning projects are always difficult to maintain and the authoring process is inefficient because of lack of parallelism and collaboration.
Adobe Captivate 4 allows you to break up project into bite-sized modules which can be authored and maintained by multiple people.
Modular development has the following advantages:
- Allows parallel development – many people working on the same project at same time
- Delivers scalability – manages performance at authoring as well as delivery time as the project size grows.
I shall be discussing these three points in this blog.
Aggregator is an application which accepts the content SWF files (files which are published by Adobe Captivate 4) and creates a container SWF file which plays the content SWF files one after another sequentially*.
Image 1 – Launch Aggregator
Image 2 – Aggregator – Starting window
Now let’s see how it solves the different problems that I mentioned earlier.
Parallel Development: Let’s assume you want to develop a content which has multiple modules. The modules can be different subjects, chapters etc. and that you have multiple developers to work on it. Just assign a module to each developer and let her start developing the Adobe Captivate Content. Once all the modules are ready, publish them. Now launch the aggregator, add all the Adobe Captivate published SWF files to aggregator and publish the aggregator project. And you are ready to go live with the whole content.
Scalability: Let’s assume that your content has 5 modules. After developing publishing it, you found that one of the modules needs to be changed. If you didn’t have Aggregator, you might have had all the modules in the same .CP file. And then after changing the cp file you would have ended up publishing the whole .CP file that is all the modules. With aggregator, you just need to change the .CP file of the corresponding module, and the aggregator.
At run time (while playing the SWF file), aggregator makes sure that only current module is loaded at any time. Thus an “aggregated” SWF can deliver highly scalable performance at playback time.
Also let’s assume the complete content in aggregator is say 100 mb, and first module is say of 5mb. Aggregator does not wait for all the modules to be downloaded before starting to play the movie. Aggregator starts playing the movie as soon as the first content movie is loaded delivering a good learner experience.
Maintainability: With modular decomposition of the content, it becomes easy to develop and maintain the content compared to a monolithic one.
* – Aggregator plays the content sequentially from start to end unless user clicks on the Aggregator Table of Content.