How To Use Adobe Captivate 7 with Tin Can, GrassBlade, LearnDash and the WAX LRS

Captivate 7 TinCan

How To Use Adobe Captivate 7 with Tin Can, GrassBlade, LearnDash and the WAX LRS

One of the new features in Adobe Captivate 7 is the ability to publish content compatible with the Tin Can API. In this blog post, I will discuss how to use Adobe Captivate 7 with Tin Can, GrassBlade, LearnDash and the WAX LRS.  (Wow, is that a long Blog title or what? :) )

Click HERE to see the working example in my demo LearnDash WordPress LMS site.

What is the Tin Can API?
The Tin Can API is a new specification that makes it easier to track the experiences of a learner. It improves upon the aging SCORM specification by being more flexible. For example, it allows for the tracking of both offline and online learning experiences and it also does not require a learning experience to be “browser based”, so it is perfect for mobile learning. Over the past year or so the Tin Can API has been one of the hottest buzzwords in the E-learning industry, so it is no surprise that Adobe included the ability to publish Tin Can compatible content with the latest version of Captivate.

The high-level steps you will need to complete in order to use your Adobe Captivate content with TinCan, GrassBlade, LearnDash and WAX include:

  1. Create your content in Adobe Captivate 7 and publish with the Tin Can option
  2. In your LearnDash WordPress LMS site, make sure you have the GrassBlade Plug-in installed
  3. Configure your Tin Can settings in WordPress LMS after creating a WAX account
  4. Upload your Adobe Captivate Content
  5. Create your lesson and add the URL to your Adobe Captivate course

The instructions for the above are essentially the same as I posted in my previous blog post on how to use Articulate Storyline with LearnDash and can be seen HERE. In the remainder of this blog post, I will focus on the specific steps required for Adobe Captivate.

Publishing Tin Can Adobe Captivate Content
Publishing content with Adobe Captivate 7 that is compatible with the Tin Can API is fairly simple. Outlined below are the steps:

  1. Create your course in Adobe Captivate 7
  2. Click on the Quiz menu, then Quiz Preferences
  3. Click on the Check Box next to Enable reporting for this project
  4. Next to the LMS Drop-down list, select Other Standard LMSs
  5. Next to the Standard Drop-down list, select Tin Can
  6. Click on the Configure button and enter your Identifier, Title, Description and other information as needed
  7. Click the OK button
  8. Click on File > Publish
  9. Make sure you have the SWF/HTML5 publish option selected
  10. Under Output Options, click the Check Box next to Zip Files 

At this point your course is ready for upload.

Captivate Tin Can Settings


Using the GrassBlade xAPI Companion
In this example, I am going to use the LearnDash WordPress LMS plug-in to house my Adobe Captivate course. In order to be able to upload the Captivate content into LearnDash, I will be using the GrassBlade xAPI Companion. This is a plug-in developed by the team over at Next Software Solutions that allows you to incorporate content developed with tools such as Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline into a WordPress site. Please note that the GrassBlade xAPI Companion can be used standalone and does not require LearnDash. To upload your Captivate content (after you have installed the GrassBlade plug-in):

  1. In the WordPress dashboard, click on xAPI > Add New
  2. Enter a Title for your new content
  3. Click the Choose File button, then navigate to the location of the Zip file you created after  your published your Captivate course
  4. Click on the Publish button
  5. A URL will be displayed to the screen, copy this URL so that you can use it after you create your Lesson

Captivate 7 xAPI URL


Creating a Lesson
The next step is to create a lesson that we can then embed the Captivate course into that we just uploaded with the GrassBlade plug-in. (If you are not using LearnDash, you would simply use the GrassBlade plug-in to insert the lesson into a blog post). To create a lesson:

  1. Click on Lessons > Add New
  2. Enter a Title for your lesson
  3. Click on the “Grassblade” icon on the text editor toolbar
  4. After the Grassblade – xAPI Shortcode Generator modal appears, select, “I want to add a TinCan/xAPI Content to this page
  5. Paste the URL that was created on the xAPI screen when you uploaded your Zip file earlier into the Content URL field
  6. Click the Insert Code button

At this point, the URL will appear in the WordPress text editor. If you preview your page, you will then see your Adobe Captivate course within your lesson.

Captivate 7 GrassBlade URL


Viewing Your Tin Can Statements in the WAX LRS
Now that you have your content uploaded, you should be able to view Tin Can statements as learners take your course. In order to do this, you will need an LRS. An LRS is a Learning Record Store, and it does exactly what it says, it is a place to store learning records. The LRS that I am using in this example is the WAX LRS by SaltBox and it works well with both LearnDash and GrassBlade.

Out of the box, the WAX LRS includes several reports including a Timeline, Verb Cloud, Score Distribution, Question Analysis and Activity Stream. If you need additional data, the team at SaltBox also offers custom reporting services. Below is a screen shot of the Activity Stream for my sample Captivate Course. It displays the Tin Can statements for a logged in user  named, “John Doe” who completed the Introduction to the Tin Can API course. Notice that it shows that John Doe experienced the various slides in the Course, and also tells us that John Doe “Passed” the course:

Activity Stream


Below is a screenshot of an expanded Tin Can statement that provides additional information:

Expanded Tin Can Statement

With the proper plug-ins, integrating Adobe Captivate 7 Tin Can content into WordPress is something that you can achieve.  Below are some links where you can find additional information for the various plug-ins I discussed in this blog post:

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About the Author

I am a interested in all things related to E-Learning, especially Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate! I believe all E-Learning should incorporate exceptional User Experience Design!


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