Track Course Completions for Free Using Adobe Captivate Quiz Results Analyzer
Are you creating courses using Adobe Captivate and don’t yet have a learning management system (LMS) for tracking results? Did you know there is an alternative, FREE solution? Using the Adobe Captivate Quiz Results Analyzer, you can capture student scores and question-and-answer specifics, which can provide insight into your learners’ performance in the course. The solution is relatively easy to set up and will get you immediate results. What’s more, you can easily export the data and create your own reports in Excel. If that sounds like a lot of work, keep in mind that this is a FREE solution that can be implemented within a day (assuming you already have a web server), where the alternative likely means purchasing, implementing, configuring, and using an LMS. You can retrieve the following data from the Quiz Results Analyzer:
- For the course:
- Total number of students who completed the course
- Total number of students who passed the course
- Total number of students who failed the course
- For each student:
- Total number of questions answered
- Total number of questions answered correctly
- Total number of questions answered incorrectly
- Total number of questions skipped
- Total score
- Total number of attempts on the course/quiz
- For each student, for each question (requires Interaction Data as mentioned in Step 2 below):
- Question interaction ID
- Question interaction type (multiple choice or true/false, for example)
- The correct answer
- The answer the student provided
- Whether the student got the question correct or incorrect
- The weight of the question
- Total number of attempts on the question
Assuming you intend to host your published Captivate courses somewhere on your website, you’ll have to take a few steps to prepare both your courses and your web server for reporting results that can be used with the Quiz Results Analyzer. Follow the steps below, and you’ll be up and running in no time.
Step 1 – Readying Your Web Server
Adobe provides scripts (PHP files) that work as-is with the Adobe Captivate Quiz Results Analyzer. To use these scripts, you must install PHP on the web server where the course will be hosted. PHP is a server-side scripting language, and in this case, it’s what allows the hosted course to capture and save your learners’ results. If you’re unsure about what this all means, talk to your IT department or web hosting provider.
Once you have PHP installed on your web server, locate the two PHP scripts (files) installed with Captivate. The files are named InternalServerReporting.php and internalserverread.php and can be found within the Captivate installation directory, in the Templates\Publish folder. On my 64-bit Windows 7 machine with Captivate 8, this is: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Captivate 8 x64\Templates\Publish. Make a copy of these files (keep the same names) and place them in the root web folder on your PHP-enabled web server.
Step 2 – Setting up Your Captivate Publishing Preferences
Now that you have your web server set up, you and your Captivate developers need to configure your Captivate publishing preferences so the published courses use the PHP script to process the quiz results. Within Captivate, select File > Publish Settings… from the top menu. When the Preferences window opens, select Quiz > Reporting from the left menu, and complete the following:
- Check the Enable reporting for this project
- Select Internal Server from the LMS
- Click the Configure When the Configure Internal Server Settings window opens, specify the following:
- Server – this is the web address of the script you uploaded to your web server in Step 1. For example, if you placed the script in the root web folder, you’ll enter the following in this field: http://<www.yourwebsite.com>/InternalServerReporting.php
- Company/Institute, Department, and Course – these fields are used to organize the data on your server. On your web server, a new Captivate Results folder will be created (when the first results are submitted). It will store your course results and contain a hierarchy of folders based on the information provided in these fields. In other words, for each course you publish using these internal server settings, results will be published to the following folder location on your Web server: Captivate Results/Company/Department/Course, based on the valued entered in these fields. Keep this in mind when publishing your courses. You will likely want to change these values for each course you publish.
- Click Save in the Configure Internal Server Settings window to return to your quiz reporting preferences. Specify additional reporting preferences as you traditionally would, ensuring to select the Interaction Data checkbox if you want information captured from each question in your course’s quiz. When you’re done configuring your reporting preferences, click OK.
You can now publish your course and upload the published course files to your web server. These courses will now capture course quiz results and question details for each user that completes the course.
Step 3 – Accessing and Viewing Course Results
To access and view your course results, you’ll need to first install Adobe Captivate Quiz Results Analyzer. It is automatically installed with Adobe Captivate, but if you don’t have Captivate, it is a free download. Once you have it installed, launch the Quiz Results Analyzer, and configure it to pull your quiz results from the server as follows:
- Select Options > Preferences from the top-right corner of the application.
- Click the Add button to add the internal server you prepared in Step 1.
- Specify a Name for your server. This is just a recognizable name for you, so you know from where you’re retrieving results. In the Link field, supply the server address you used in your Captivate Internal Server settings in Step 2, but this time, point to the php file. For example: http://<www.yourwebsite.com>/internalserverread.php.
Now that you have the Quiz Results Analyzer configured, you can start accessing and viewing your results!
Step 4 – Using the Adobe Captivate Quiz Results Analyzer to View Results
When you’re ready to start viewing your quiz results, launch the Quiz Results Analyzer, and select the internal server you named in Step 3 from the Source drop-down list. Then click the Get Results button. When the results have been populated, use the Organization, Department, and Course drop-down lists to navigate to the course for which you want to view results. Then click Generate Report.
The data contained in the report is interactive. Click a row in the resulting table, or click a bar on the graph, and you’ll drill further into the information that is available.
The Quiz Results Analyzer may not provide all of the insight and statistics you want out of your Captivate courses, but remember, you can export your results to a CSV format that you can manipulate in Excel.
That’s it! While there may be several steps to this set-up process, it isn’t as time consuming as it may seem. And remember… it’s FREE! As a bit of warning, while Adobe provides the Quiz Results Analyzer software and the scripts that can be used with it, they do not appear to support the tool. Forum posts and questions are largely unanswered when they revolve around the Adobe Captivate Quiz Results Analyzer. This information is compiled from several forums and blogs, combined with trial and error in my own experiences setting it up. Be sure to work with your web hosting provider or your IT department to ensure a successful implementation. When it is up and running, the Adobe Captivate Quiz Results Analyzer can provide a great alternative for Captivate users who want to track course results without using an LMS.