M2-Annotated Bibliography 2

Annotated Bibliography 2

Duvall, M. (2014). Adobe Captivate as a Tool to Create eLearning Scenarios. In T. Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2014 (pp. 514-517). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved November 19, 2016, from

Matthew Duvall’s paper examines the appropriateness of Adobe Captivate 7.0 for creating eLearning scenarios to enhance online education.  Duvall identifies himself as a graduate student with five year’s teaching experience and ten years as a computer programmer.  This blend of experience would suggest that he is well qualified to write a research paper which seeks to analyse the virtues of the eLearning development tool Adobe Captivate.  This paper addresses two questions: (1) What are the affordances of Adobe Captivate 7.0 for creating scenarios? (2) What are its constraints?  The word affordances is an usual choice of word that had this reviewer racing to his dictionary!  “An affordance is a desirable property of a user interface – software which naturally leads people to take the correct steps to accomplish their goals.” (Forager Labs, 2016).

Duvall describes scenarios as a solution to some of the problems associated with online courses such as poor retention rates and lack of innovative instructional design.  He offers no research to back up this assertion so this reviewer examined the relevant literature.  Allen and Seaman (2013) tracked online education for ten years in the United States and reported that there was a rise in concern among academic leaders at all types of institutions that lower retention rates in online courses are a barrier to the growth of online instruction. This was noted as an important or a very important barrier by 56.1% of chief academic officers in 2007 and rose to 73.5% in 2012.

A survey by Kim and Bonk (2006) found that most respondents see learning as content-driven and not based on social interactions and distributed intelligence.  Duvall looks upon scenarios as a solution to this problem.  He defines a scenario as any digitally developed environment that includes a description of a situation.

The author suggests that Adobe Captivate provides many ways to easily include video, animations and interactive visual elements that are important for learner engagement.  Duvall refers to Captivate’s non-linear navigation but fails to point out that this can be used for adaptive learning.  He is very impressed by the application’s assessment features.  Adobe Captivate provides a variety of feedback options, including detailed text based on user responses.  The integration with an LMS allows any scored assessments to be added directly to the gradebook, if desired.

In relation to constraints, Duvall believes the complexity of parts of the application means that a novice Captivate user would need to dedicate a great deal of time simply learning how to use the technology before applying it.  The author sees the software reflecting the behaviourist model of learning, which is a very traditional eLearning approach.  Finally, Duvall mentions the high cost of Adobe Captivate which makes it very expensive to buy.  This is certainly true, with this reviewer establishing that the full license price of Adobe Captivate 9 is €1,351.77. (Adobe, 2016).


Adobe (2016). Adobe Captivate 9: Pricing Plans.  Retrieved November 20, 2016, from http://www.adobe.com/ie/products/captivate/buying-guide.html

Allen, I. E. & Seaman, J. (2013). Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States. Sloan Consortium. PO Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950.

Forager Labs. (2016). Usability First. Retrieved November 19, 2016, from http://www.usabilityfirst.com/glossary/affordance/

Gibson, J. J. (1977). The theory of affordances. In R. E. Shaw & J. Bransford (Eds.), Perceiving, Acting, and Knowing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Gibson, J. J. (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Kim, K. J., & Bonk, C. J. (2006). The future of online teaching and learning in higher education. Educause quarterly, 29(4), 22-30.