Book Review: Adobe Captivate 6 Essentials and Beyond Essentials by Kevin Siegel
By now you must have realized that I love reading books, especially if they are related to eLearning, Instructional Design, mLearning, or Captivate. This time I picked up books authored by Kevin Siegel, who is a fantastic trainer and a fabulous person with a great sense of humor.
I’ve attended some of his face-to-face and online trainings in the past and he has a magic mantra of keeping the audience engaged in the class throughout the session. There’s absolutely no dull moment in his class and I really admire him for that! So, my self-assigned task while reading these books was to gauge if his books were as engaging and effective as his training sessions are! 🙂
The mission started with first picking up the Adobe Captivate 6 Essentials book and then moving on to Beyond Essentials. As a learner, I felt really relieved to see the practice files available for download, which would allow me to follow along the steps. I downloaded the files and then continued reading. It didn’t take me long to realize that his books were actually allowing me to start thinking and working on a project from scratch. It had some really important questions that I should ask myself while planning the eLearning project, to some realistic timelines to expect for course completion.
He has truly adopted the Learning by Doing principle in his books and details out each task and related steps to give you enough practice. All the instructions and steps are to-the-point and crisp, using just enough words to help you learn. The best part about the language Kevin uses in his books is that it is very easy to understand, conversational, and full of catchy phrases… I’m sure you’ll like them as much as I do! 🙂
His book is more of a workbook which is full of hands-on, step-by-step exercises with a lot of screenshots to help you learn better.
The essentials book covers basics on getting used to Captivate interface, creating simulations, adding interactive and non-interactive objects and styling them with object styles and effects. It also covers how you can add audio, video, animation, and PowerPoint slides to your project along with adding quiz questions. This combination is just right to get started with Captivate.
And when you are comfortable using Captivate, you can pick up the Beyond Essentials book which covers how to record a video demo, apply custom styles, enable branching, and aggregate multiple courses. It also covers how to create question pools, making courses accessible, reporting results, using Advanced Actions and Variables and how to modify/create Master Styles, Themes and Templates to facilitate creation of custom eLearning courses.
I’ve finished reading the books and the mission is accomplished. And here’s my verdict: These books are really useful for anyone who wants to learn Captivate. It helps you take those baby steps by handholding you when you begin learning and towards the end makes you competent enough to create your eLearning courses with ease using Adobe Captivate 6. I highly recommend reading these books to learn and master Adobe Captivate 6.
Happy Captivating! 🙂