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Using Adobe Acrobat to create web-based training (CBT/WBT)

Posted on 2013-01-07
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Last Modified: 2013-01-08
I have been experimenting with varios ways of creating training (direct editing of HTML and using Adobe Captivate to create interactive CBTs and using Techsmith Camtasia Studio to create videos with quizzes). None are ideal and all are pretty time-consuming.

I'm now looking at Acrobat. In theory, this should allow me to have a common Word source which we can then adapt and convert to PDF for guides, CBT and even contect-sensitive Help at screen-level.

First of all - do you know of a good source of info on Acrobat, aimed at a reasonably knowledgeable user (but not a developer - I don't, for example, speak Java)?

Secondly, is there a way of jumping to a page within a PDF, accepting text input from the user (with validation if possible) in field one, then accepting input in field two, then jumping to another page in the same PDF when the user clicks a hyperlink or button? A typical simple example is attached.
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Question by:JulieGrant
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 38751827
What you are experiencing is something that looks like it should be a lot easier but it is not.  This is very common. There are so many resources to just create this using a 3rd party source, I would not suggest trying to do this on your own like this.  

Take a look at http://www.knoodle.com/ or http://www.bloomfire.com/ or http://www.udutu.com/ or just google online learning authoring.

If you go the adobe route this is what you needhttp://www.adobe.com/resources/elearning/ and if that is too much to take in and time consuming...then really the best thing for you will be one of the web resources already done.  

As far as acrobat, that alone is not very user friendly for things like programming forms in my opinion.  It is easier to create a web form, and write the data to your database.  One of the problems with acrobat, is once you create the form, the data still needs to go some place.  Unless you expect to receive emails of xml and manually put that into something like excel or access or similar that could work for 5 or 10 people taking your tests.  But what happens if you get 50 or 100 or 1000's.  

Making this on your own - as you get to each step you will see how accomplishing one task just creates another that has to be figured out....so check out the 3rd party links.
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Author Comment

by:JulieGrant
ID: 38751876
Ah - I didn't make myself clear, sorry! I'm trying to use PDF documents as computer-based training, so I don't want to DO anyting with the text input by the user, I just want to check that the user has typed in the correct text and then move to the next field, where they can type something else, then e.g. click a button to follow a hyperlink to the next screen.
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Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 500 total points
ID: 38751932
When you add a field you can click on it and the pop up allows you to program the field.  You can do simple validation easily like  a number range.  But anything else they give you a box for custom javascript.
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Author Closing Comment

by:JulieGrant
ID: 38753843
Both solutions were informative - just not quite what I wanted to hear! Which, I think, is a shortcoming of Acrobat, not of the solution providers.
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Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 38755415
LIke I said, in my first post, there are plenty of sites that allow you to create computer based training where you upload your own content, write your own questions and answers and all the back end stuff is taken care of for you.  

An alternative would be using a presentation software like powerpoint or keynote.
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Author Comment

by:JulieGrant
ID: 38755437
Yup - I've been using Captivate - which works fine but is very time-consuming. I was just hoping for a 'best of all possible worlds' solution from Acrobat based on something one of our developers sad to me. Never trust a developer .....!
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