Creating a Personality Test with Adobe Captivate 9

The “five” factors of the Big Five Personality Test

While Adobe Captivate 9 has robust features for quizzing users, it lacks the capacity to build personality tests through the built-in quizzing tools. The problem lies in a characteristic of personality tests in which the test itself needs to collect information from participants on multiple factors (extraversion, agreeableness, etc.). The quizzing tool in AC is set up to collect right or wrong answers from participants and then produce an aggregate score at the end of the assessment. In a project at work, a faculty member requested the creation of the “Big Five” personality test for an online course that he teaches. Since there isn’t a ton of good documentation online for AC, I hope I can help some folks out with this article. You can see the finished test here.
 So, in trying to create the Big Five, I needed to measure five different personality attributes of participants:

  • Conscientiousness
  • Emotional Stability
  • Intellect Imagination
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness

By the end of the test, I wanted participants to be able to see their score in each of the five attributes and compare them to the average global score. Therefore, starting with the end in mind, l wanted participants to have the data represented in the image below upon completing the personality test. The figures on the left indicate their score on the assessment and the ones on the right are population averages pulled from an online source (not affected by the quiz taker during the assessment).

“Score” Slide from the Big Five Personality Test

As I noted earlier, the quiz tool would simply give me an aggregate score for the students rather than a breakdown of their score over five different factors. So, getting to the nuts and bolts of how to create this personality test, the first thing I needed to do was create “user variables for each of the five personality characteristics that participants would be assessed on. Variables are great for these types of situations because you can design them to store a numerical value that can be manipulated using advanced actions and displayed to users. 
 In the image below, you will notice that I created an advanced action for each of the five variables I measured in the Big Five. I decided to begin each variable with “Score” to indicate their function as a holder of the value of the personality scores. Another important thing to note in the image below is that I set the value of each variable to “0.” The initial value is important because once you create advanced actions that allow users to alter this value, those actions will be working with the initial value you enter in the value box. Finally, I know it is a pain, but I highly recommend writing a description. In any case, you will have less trouble remember what you did a year later when you need to update things!

Project > Variables in Adobe Captivate

Returning to how the Big Five test works, it gives the user five options (Very Inaccurate, Moderately Inaccurate, Neither, Moderately Accurate, Very Accurate) to select for each prompt on the test. For example, the personality test might ask, “Would you describe yourself as having excellent ideas?”, then the user may respond with “Very Accurate.” Each of those five options would add a different value to the user’s overall score(out of 100) for that specific personality attribute. Running with the example above, selecting “Very Accurate” for “having excellent ideas” would give the user five points, while selecting “Very Inaccurate” would only give them one point. Note that sometimes on the Big Five “Very Inaccurate” is worth 5 instead of 1, reversing the order of the point values assigned when selecting an option.
 So once I created variables for the test, I needed to create advanced actions to allow users to update those variables (i.e. Score_Agreeableness, Score_Extraversion, etc.) as they answered personality questions in the quiz. As far as advanced actions go, they can get rather complicated if you need to perform a large series of events all at once. Luckily, in my case, I only needed a few actions that I could duplicate for each of the personality traits (I duplicated the same action 25 times). 
 Below, is the advanced action that I set up for each characteristic. I used an “Expression,” which allows you to do various mathematic actions upon variables and numbers. In the expression below, I set “Score_Agreeableness” to be equal to itself plus one. This sounds confusing at first, but in this context, I wanted actions that would only add one point to the user’s overall score on “Score_Agreeableness” when the lowest value button was clicked on that slide. I also added a second action to “Go to the Next Slide” so users would advance automatically upon their selection.

Project > Advanced Actions in Adobe Captivate 9

Since different slides were testing different personality characteristics, I had to create the above advanced action essentially 25 times. The only difference I created between each advanced action was that I either changed the variable that was being added to or I changed the number that was being added to the variable.
 In the first image below, I changed the value from 1 to 4 so when a user selected the second-highest option on my slide they would get 4 points awarded to their “Agreeableness” characteristic. In the second image below, I took the same set-up from Score_Agreeableness and used to create the set up for Score_IntellectImagination. Before attempting this, I went through some videos on advanced actions and variables. Knowing the basics of how these work make understanding what I am writing here much easier.

Another example for creating advanced actions that allow values to be added to the user’s overall score
Another example for creating advanced actions that allow values to be added to the user’s overall score

So after creating my advanced actions, I simply needed to assign them to the buttons I created on each slide. In the image below you can see a screenshot of the buttons I created for a slide along with a part of the “properties” panel. To assign the advanced actions to the buttons, do as follows:

  1. Create the buttons using “Shapes” and fill in the text.
  2. Click on the button you wish to assign the action to
  3. Click the “Actions” tab (highlighted in dark blue in image below)
  4. Click the “On Success” dropdown box and select “Execute Advanced Actions.”
  5. Select the appropriate advanced action

In the example below I have “Add_Extraversion3” selected from the options. This means that when the user selects “Neither Accurate nor Inaccurate” a score of 3 will be added to their total score for “Extraversion.”

Part of a question slide with the properties bar showing

Finally, returning to the results aspect of the test. I created text boxes at the end of the test that would display the user’s final score on each personality index. After you create your text box simply highlight the filler-text and click the variable option, [X], from the Properties menu.

Then, select the variable that corresponds with what you are trying to display to the user. See my set up below:

“Score” Slide from the Big Five Personality Test (Designer view)

All things considered, everything else at this point in creating the test is reapplying what I discussed above, designing a quality graphic interface, and testing the product. If you want users to be able to change their answers, that is a whole other tutorial! Although, this can at least get you started with creating a stable personality test.

Check out the finished test here.