Leaving the cave

8 July 2011
by admin

G+ again

I just gained access to Google+. From now on I will use it for a week, and write down my thoughts on the use of it. You can find me here: gplus.to/dblancquaert

Just yesterday, I had the idea to use it as a your personal home page, and perhaps as my own PLN.

Let’s see in about a week.

Oh, and if you want an invite, you’ll find me :-).

17 June 2011
by admin

XML won’t import #AdobeCaptivate

In Captivate, you’ve exported an XML file and got it translated. When importing the translation, Captivate tells you everything went well, but in fact, it didn’t. How come?

The reason for this is the fact that an (invisible) special character is used in a ‘Text Caption’, like e.g. a bullet point or a soft return.

This special character was possibly copied from Word or some kind of other word processor. More often than not, you copy some (invisible) code.

How can you solve this?

Execute these steps to remove the special characters:

  1. Open the XML file in a simple text editor (I always use Notepad++).
  2. Scroll through the text until you see this:
  3. Select the code “ETX”.
  4. In the menu bar, select Search > Replace.
  5. The in step 3 selected code (e.g. a square) is already copied in the Find What field.
  6. Leave the Replace with field empty.
  7. Click the button Replace All.
  8. Save the XML file.
  9. Try the import again.
    If the file will not import, scroll a second time through the text, there could be another special character in the text.

Good luck!

14 May 2011
by admin

Progress indicator #AdobeCaptivate 5

This post is a comment on @lilybiri’s article Customized Progress Indicator. In this article she explains how to use advanced actions to create a custom progress indicator for Quizzes.

Having needed this functionality, I had a few remarks, and an issue with it.

Let’s start off with the remark: the whole process looked fairly complex for something simple like a progress indicator. This is not an offense, it worked great. However a colleague of mine had an issue with it: to give feedback on a HotSpot question, he added a slide with the correct answer. In that case, the method described in the referenced article, cannot be used, because of the use of the system variable ‘rdinfoCurrentSlide’.

So I created another, more easy solution:

  1. Create a user variable v_Q_Nr to store the number of the question. Make sure the value is 0 (zero).
  2. Create an advanced action like this:
    Advanced interaction for a progress indicator.
    All it does is take the current question number, and add 1.
  3. Put the variable v_Q_Nr on a master slide to use for the question slides like this: “Question $$v_Q_Nr of $$cpQuizInfoTotalQuestionsPerProject$$.”
  4. Set the “On Enter” action of each question slide to trigger the advanced action created in step 2.
  5. Preview your project.

I believe this to be as effective as the method described by @lilybiri, and more easy and flexible to use and control.

Feel free to post your comments here.


29 March 2011
by admin

Social Media during Belgian event. #edubit #elearningday

Yesterday it was Elearning day 2011 in Brussels (http://www.elearningday.be/).

As I could not be there, I checked Twitter to follow the event, and had to set up two columns in Tweetdeck.
This was necessary because apparently two hashtags were used: #edubit and #elearningday. It is also possible other hashtags were used, but I did not check.

This brings me to a first point. A conference about e-learning is taking place, and there is no ‘official’ hashtag. Even some shows on national television have official hashtags nowadays!

The second point is the number of tweets. I was told there were around 300 visitors.
#elearningday has 31 tweets, #edubit 24. Some of them are the same. Is it me, or are those numbers really low?

Timeline for #elearningday

Timeline for #edubit

And finally there is the content of the tweets: presenters announcing their presentation, visitors telling they have arrived, and more tweets that are irrelevant for people who try to follow the event on Twitter.

What could be the reasons for this?

Let’s give it a try:

Twitter is not big in Belgium. In The Netherlands, the opposite is true.
Furthermore, it was an event with a lot of visitors from the education world. Twitter is not very well known in the education world (shame). Again, in The Netherlands, they stream Teachmeets.

Can I conclude that the Belgian e-learning scene needs to play a game of catch-up?

30 August 2010
by admin

Captivate in need of glasses

Last week I used Adobe’s Captivate 5 for the first time to produce small e-learning topics.

Once the topics were published (SWF), the text captions looked blurry. I recognized the problem from previous versions. It had everything to do with anti-aliasing. So I searched the option to disable the anti-aliasing.

What do you think, the option was gone.

Luckily, google found me an answer: http://forums.adobe.com/message/3059559?tstart=0

Altering the HTML file that calls the SWF did the trick.

If you do not want to add this line to each project you publish, you can change the source file that Captivate uses when publishing content. By default (Win7 machine), it is located here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Captivate 5\Templates\Publish\standard.htm

The cause for the blurred text is still not clear to me. Perhaps it was the rescaling of the project (without rescaling the captions), the source files (created with Captivate 3), something else… Any help welcome.

18 June 2010
by admin

Presenter and PowerPoint 2007

This week I had to use Adobe Presenter for the first time. The version used was 7.0.2 with PowerPoint 2007.

Some things worth mentioning:

  • Not all SmartArt with animations are supported. The information about the .5 update stated SmartArt was supported. This technote however, clarified my issues with 3D rotation.
  • The quiz possibilities are limited, the use of images requires some (annoying) workaround: generate the question page and add the images later. If you need to change some functionality, the question page is regenerated, and all formatting is reset.
  • Each slide supports one sound file. All files can be imported at once. After import the syncing between voice and animation can be done.
  • Dutch navigation labels are available, but not for the quiz. All labels can be edited.

All in all, not a bad experience. If you want to create quick and dirty e-learning, Adobe Presenter is one way to get it done, with tools you probably know.
I should try to create the same result without Presenter as well, to see if it can be done…

1 June 2010
by admin

iPod and a toddler

My daughter (2y 8m) recently gained the privilege to play solo with my iPod Touch.

First lesson learned was: create a page with all apps for her. And that was all I needed to do. She figured most of it out all by herself.

This is the best example. I installed Toddler Puzzle Shapes and told her nothing. 10 Minutes later she come to show me what she discovered. She found the Start button on her own, and understood the game.

This is the aim of the game: you see a shape and have to touch the correct image.

By now she understands a more difficult game, Memory… More about that later…

Daddy was proud and seriously contemplates to buy an iPad, to make sure the kids know how technology can improve their lives…