Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yes, your Captivate Sim can drive your Lectora Course

Autoadvance Lectora when the Learner finishes a Captivate Simulation

By Jay Lambert

Frequently, we embed Adobe Captivate simulations within a Lectora eLearning course. The two authoring tools actually work together really well.

But note that if you simply insert the Captivate simulation as a Flash swf file into Lectora without doing anything to limit the course navigation, then the learner can easily click right on through to the next page in the title. That's a bad thing if your simulation contains vital content (and if it doesn't, why is it there?). Since we typically use this technique for software training, if the learners skip out of the simulation, then they have missed the instruction.

Luckily you can use JavaScript to prevent this from happening.

Our most common scenario for including a Captivate simulation is as a demonstration. In that case, we just want to ensure that the learners finish watching the simulation. When they do, they're free to advance in the course.

To set this up is a 2-step process. You'll do one simple step in Captivate and the other in Lectora.

In Captivate

1. With your Captivate file open, go to the Edit menu and click Preferences.

2. Under the Project category, click Start and End.

3. Now locate the Project end options on the bottom right side of the Preferences box.

4. Click the Action drop-down and select Execute JavaScript.

5. Then click the three dots to enable the JavaScript entry box and type trivNextPage().

6. Click OK and Save the file. Now after you've published and inserted the file into your Lectora course, the Captivate sim will instruct Lectora to go to the next page when the learner reaches the end of the sim.

You could use this same approach for a guided practice.

Note that if your course includes a Captivate test, then you can also have Captivate set a variable upon the test being passed. And then Lectora could read the variable. Once you start using Captivate to set JavaScript, there are quite a few possibilities.

In Lectora

Once you've inserted the Captivate swf file into your Lectora title, disable the forward navigation for that page. Publish the course and launch the resulting HTML pages. When the learner takes the course, it will automatically advance at the end of the simulation, but not before.

That's all there is to it.

Note: The JavaScript command will not work in Lectora's preview mode. You must publish the course.


  1. I am probably doing something wrong, but this does not work for me. Don't you have to do anything on the Lectora side to get the call to work? I get html errors like it's trying to call a new html page.

  2. Hello. The JavaScript command trivNextPage() calls the next HTML page in your Lectora course; you don't need to code anything in Lectora for it to work. Just insert the Captivate swf and publish the Lectora course.

    Note that it will not work properly if you are previewing the course from within Lectora. You must first publish the course and launch the resulting HTML pages. Does this help?

  3. Sorry about that, I missed that note at the end. It did work for me once published. Actually, to give the learner more control about when they left the last page of the simulation, I put the same js command under a button and that worked fine too. Thanks for the information - very much appreciated!

  4. Kris, you didn't miss the note. I actually added it as a clarification after you posted your question. I'm glad it's working for you.

  5. Hey Jay! Hope you are well. I've used some calls from flash to Lectora so I have some experience. But I was just asked how to make the Captivate Bookmark where the learner is within the Captivate movie embedded in a Lectora page. Did some research and found some leads but none of it makes sense. Any experience with this? We have a large software sim that we embed a Captivate movie in a Lectora file and when the leaner leaves it doesn't bookmark and they start right over at the beginning of the movie....Heather

  6. Hi Jay,

    may i know where can I get a list of Lectora preset functions just like the one (trivNextPage()) that you used?



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