February 13, 2019
Answers to Challenge ‘Sequence in advanced action’
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(11)
February 13, 2019
Answers to Challenge ‘Sequence in advanced action’
Lieve is a civil engineer (ir) and a professional musician. After years of teaching and research (project management/eLearning/instability) she is now a freelancer specializing in advanced Adobe Captivate as trainer and consultant. Her blog is popular with Captivate users worldwide. As an Adobe Community Professional and Adobe Education Leader, she has presented both online and offline. Since 2015 she is moderator on the Adobe forums and was named as Forum Legend (special category) in the Wall of Fame. In 2017 Adobe Captivate users voted for Lieve as a Top Content Experience Strategist.
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One week ago I posted this challenge

  1. Which action will be functional: A or B?
  2. Why will the non-functional action fail?
  3. Could you ‘fix’ the non-functional action?
  4. Why is using a shared action not considered to be an alternative.
  5. … other ideas?

As promised, here are the answers to those questions (didn’t get any answer to 3 nor 5)

1. Correct action = B

Only action B will be working correctly. Action A will always show the same image, in this case image 4.

2. Why is A failing?

The reason was already ‘hidden’ in the title slide. It is linked to the way advanced (and shared) actions are read and executed in Captivate. All commands will be done, starting with the first decision from top to bottom, then with the second decision (top to bottom) etc until the last command in the last decision is finished. This is different from some programming languages, where a script can be finished before reaching the end, by breaking out of it. Captivate doesn’t support breakout. Hence the importance of screening the sequence of commands in a decision, and the sequence of the decisions themselves. Be also very careful with conditional decisions when using both the THEN and ELSE part! In most cases understanding the logic is easier when you do not use the ELSE part.

Translation of the commands in action A. Remember: the user variable v_click is tracking the number of clicks, there are 4 images to show in sequence and a loop has to be created.

  • First condition: What has to happen when v_click =0? First image has to be shown, and since it is a loop, it could be that the last image 4 has to be hidden. Looks logical. However, the problem is in the change of the variable to 1 with the Assign command!
  • Second decision: What has to happen when v_click =1? But it is 1 after the first condition (Assign), so this is true, and image1 will be replaced by the image2. Again, the variable will be changed, now to 2 (Assign)
  • Third decision: What has to happen when v_click =2? It is 2 after the second condition, image3 replaces image2 and the variable value is changed to 3.
  • Fourth decision: What has to happen when v_click =3? It is 3, result is that image3 is replaced by image 4, and the action ends in this situation. Variable is set back to 0. The next click will repeat all the conditions again and result is the same: image4 remains.

3. Fix the wrong action?

Strange that no one answered this challenge. In 2 you did see the cause of mal functioning: the change of variable within a conditional decision. Let us start by taking it out in a separate decision which is not conditional. You cannot use Assign in that case, because that means filling the variable with a fixed value. So I will replace Assign by Increment.

If I want to keep the decision commands as they are in the original action, with one Hide and one Show command, the sequence of the new (5th) decision is important: it has to be at the end, after the 4 original decisions. Result of the fixed action:

4. Shared action not an alternative

One user mentioned that a shared action was not appropriate because it is used only once. Shared actions are not only useful within one project, but have a lot of other advantages as I have mentioned in previous articles: their appearance in the Library, which can be used as external library to re-use the action in any other project is the main reason.

To be a shared action, that is useful for multiple situations, the number of photos should be variable, not fixed to 4. That means an extra variable (v_max). Both actions at this moment have 5 decisions, which is the number of photos + one for the increment (or eventually decrement). It is not possible to make the number of decisions variable however, which means a possible shared action would not be very flexible. It could be useful as template for a future advanced action, since duplicating a decision is very simple.  To be used as a shared action that can be used out of the box, it is not suited.

5. ..?

No answers. What about an automatic looping of the photos, using a While loop? Wondering if someone would take that challenge?

Or reversing the logic: use Decrement instead of Increment?

11 Comments
2020-07-09 07:47:11
2020-07-09 07:47:11

Thank You!

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Nanda Gandhi
's comment
2020-07-09 07:48:37
2020-07-09 07:48:37
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Nanda Gandhi
's comment

Wow! You found that old blog?  I thought old blogs were dead in this portal… Didn’t even remember it.

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Lieve Weymeis
's comment
2020-08-07 10:35:03
2020-08-07 10:35:03
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Lieve Weymeis
's comment

It seems to be still alive. I’ve just finished reading it. I like the idea. Learning through puzzles. A good method.

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Piotr Astramowicz
's comment
2020-08-07 10:59:12
2020-08-07 10:59:12
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Piotr Astramowicz
's comment

Seems weird here, but have always liked to explore other ways of learning. My students in university college knew that I encouraged exploring new ways, even if it meant a lot of failures. Same with peer teaching…

But no success in this ‘elearning’ community. Most eLearning courses just imitate the old-style classroom methods which is a real pity.

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Lieve Weymeis
's comment
2020-08-07 12:09:19
2020-08-07 12:09:19
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Lieve Weymeis
's comment

Yes, there are more effective methods but the old school wins.

I can see why. Inventing games, for example, is more demanding in terms of creativity. It takes a lot of planning, and a more inventive approach. It also takes a lot of  out-of-the-box thinking. So it’s a whole new level.  The classroom method approach, on the other hand, shows how deeply the idea is rooted in  our brains.

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Piotr Astramowicz
's comment
2020-08-07 12:24:25
2020-08-07 12:24:25
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Piotr Astramowicz
's comment

How can you continue ‘old-school’ in our world where ‘knowledge’ is at everyone’s fingertips, where other skills are required. My biggest frustration as professor (university college) was how formal education had killed the curiosity and natural explorer skills in young people.  Learning is the most exciting activity for everyone, why has it become so boring…

Is thinking out of the box not one of the most essential skills required in the present society?

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Lieve Weymeis
's comment
2020-08-07 19:58:58
2020-08-07 19:58:58
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Lieve Weymeis
's comment

Right, but this is the system’s fault. The education, unfortunately, is about making people toe the line not to stand out. Often times creativity and flexible thinking are frown upon.  I’m not saying it’s good. It’s just reality. I read that most children are naturally good at math until they start regular math classes. Strange… And of course, it may differ from country to country. Schooling systems can be quite different.

There are alternatives, to classroom schooling though. Homeschooling is gaining popularity but I don’t have sufficient knowledge to confirm that it gives young people a better life preparation. I don’t know if any research on this area has been conducted so far.

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Piotr Astramowicz
's comment
2020-08-08 08:57:01
2020-08-08 08:57:01
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Piotr Astramowicz
's comment

This is largely depending on the country, and if the ‘system’ and the ‘school management’ appreciates innovation and give enough freedom to innovative teachers. ‘Never give up’ is one of my motos. I continue to struggle with conservative systems everywhere.  If you ever visited my website, where I explain my approach to training (in this case for Captivate) it will look weird and totally contrary to most trainings for Captivate (including Adobe’s training). No trainee is without previous skills, why are those ignored? Not everyone needs Captivate for the same goals, why use canned examples same for everyone? Learning mostly happens by trial and error, why ignore that? Peer learning and discussions are the way to improve engagement and increase insights? Why are they not in all training programmes?

Sorry, but it is so rare to have a discussion about learning. Lot of theoretical articles, but don’t like them.

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2020-01-27 12:32:29
2020-01-27 12:32:29

Thanks for demonstration

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2019-02-14 19:16:05
2019-02-14 19:16:05

Only three reactions? Once it disappears from the home page, it is dead. I also thought this to be a good idea, to learn from failures, but without support …

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(2)
2019-02-14 16:49:17
2019-02-14 16:49:17

Thanks for your precise answer !… 

Hope you will go on with these challenges !… Nice idea to learn more !… 

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