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Publishing an eLearning module as a mobile app from Captivate

There’s usually something interesting happening here at Pathways Training and eLearning, whether it is a cool new project we are working on, or a challenging task given by one of our amazing clients.

Among those tasks, I was recently asked if it is possible to export an Adobe Captivate eLearning module as an app that could be installed in mobile devices. The short answer is: Yes, it is possible.

But as usual, there are different things that need to be considered before answering that question. First, it is important to know that, ideally, eLearning projects published as apps from Captivate, must be responsive. Okay, some of you might say that even a project that is not responsive can be published as an app, and while that is true, I think it takes away from the user experience, compared to a truly responsive Adobe Captivate project.

Of course, you have to consider if creating an app from the eLearning module, will be of value to your users, because remember, that some interactions are not designed to be that responsive. On the other hand, a native app will ensure that the content is always available even though there is no internet connections, and the user experience won’t be affected by lag or high ping values.

Now, Adobe Captivate allows us to publish our eLearning modules as apps in a very easy way, of course, depending on the platform you are targeting, you might need extra files. How so? Well, let’s study the two different ways to create an app from Captivate, to try and answer this question.

Note: Regardless of the option you choose to create your eLearning app, you have to have an active Creative Cloud membership (which gives you access to Adobe PhoneGap) and, if you are targeting iOS, you need to have a certificate from Apple that will allow to create iOS native apps.

  1. Exporting directly from Captivate: Thankfully, Captivate gives you the option to publish an app from the Publish menu. It will request, however, your Adobe login and, most importantly, the certificates for both iOS and Android. Unfortunately, as far I have been able to explore, you can’t produce an app for Windows mobile using this option.

  1. Using Adobe PhoneGap build: This is an awesome cloud service that will allow you to create native apps, just by uploading your files (a zip file), let’s you manage versions, packages, etc. And your apps don’t have to be necessarily eLearning modules, it could be another kind of app. But if you want use it for your eLearning project, you just need to generate an HTML5 version of the module, and upload it to the Adobe PhoneGap platform. Another cool thing, is that you can select whether the app is Private or Open Source (you can connect it to your GitHub account, how cool is that!). Once the file has been uploaded, the platform will automatically create, or build, native apps for Android, Windows and iOS (Once again, you will need to have a certificate to create an app for the latter.)

And there you go, whether you choose Option 1 or Option 2, you can now easily have an eLearning course installed in your computer as an app!

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