E Pluribus Unum, the motto of the United States. We look at it practically every day as it is emblazoned across our currency, but do we actually know what it means? The literal translation of it is “Out of many, one”; or in other words, unifying many smaller parts into a greater whole. It’s a concept that applies to many parts of our lives from all the tiny bits and bytes of data that come together to make the Information Superhighway, to the myriad nuts, bolts, gears and tubes that comprise our motor vehicles. But did you know it also has a place in the eLearning world? In this blog, we’re going to address how to take the small modules of microlearning you’ve created and combine them into one amazing over-arching course using the tools provided in Captivate.
NOTE: For the sake of consistency and ease, I’m going to use Captivate 2017 as my platform, but the concepts I’ll be discussing have been around for many previous versions of Captivate and the methods haven’t changed much.
So let’s jump into it. There are a couple of different ways to accomplish the objective. Each of them has it’s pros and cons. I’ll list them here, but I’m primarily going to focus on the last one for the purpose of this blog.
- Create an Aggregator Project
This was the subject of an earlier blog: (http://elearningbrothers.com/how-to-merge-your-captivate-projects-into-one-course/) so I won’t go into more details here.
This only publishes in SWF format so it may not be the most useful in an age when HTML5 is quickly gaining popularity over Flash.
- Daisy-Chaining: Basically, with this you can link to another file once the initial project completes. This is done using the Project End Options in the Preferences. (See image below).
The problem with this is that it’s very hard to maintain a table of contents and each course has it’s own SCORM data.
- In-line link: This is simply just placing a link to a URL on a slide in the course. The user would click on the link to take them to the next course in the sequence. This solution is the easiest to implement, but there’s really no SCORM tracking and the each course would have it’s own TOC as well.
- Multi-SCO Packager: This tool sits separate from Captivate itself. (C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\Adobe Multi SCO Packager 2017\MultiSCOPackager.exe).
This is the one we’re going to focus on, as it truly embodies the “out of many, one” concept better than the others.
To begin with, you need to create and publish your modules and any quizzes. I’d suggest keeping them grouped in an easy to find location for simplicity sake.
When you fire off the program, the following dialog appears:
You can choose from 3 different templates: Multiple SCOs, Simple Remediation or Pre-test or Post-test Rollup.
Pick the one you want by clicking on it. (I chose the Simple Remediation option since I have a quiz included at the end of each course).
NOTE: Only the first option gives you the ability to specify which iteration of SCORM the final output will use (1.2 or 2004). The second and third options force you to use SCORM 2004.
The Course Manifest Details window appears asking for some details about the course (this means the One…not the Many).
Once you’ve entered all the details, you click OK and then you’re taken to the main window where you can start to add and arrange modules.
In the main title bar you can click the pencil icon to rename the course. Clicking Force Module Sequence will force the learner to progress through the modules in the sequence you specify, whereas leaving it unchecked allows them to take the modules in any order. To add additional modules, click the plus sign.
At the module level, the choices are basically the same, with the addition of the Weightage parameter. As you add additional modules, the weight is divided out evenly amongst the modules. If you want one module to be worth more than the others, you just click on the blue number and change it accordingly. (Note: the total weightage of all modules combined should add up to 100%).
When you have added your content and are ready to publish, click the folder icon on the top bar.
The Publish SCO Package dialog appears
Select the location for your files then click Publish.
A dialog appears indicating success.
Then, just go find your course in your file structure and upload it to your LMS:
I uploaded mine to SCORM Cloud for testing and you can see the structure by looking at the TOC that was generated.
That’s it. It’s that simple to take many microlearning modules and combine them into one larger course using Captivate. eLearning E Pluribus Unum, so to speak.
Go give it a shot yourself and see how easy it is to take many and make one.