There’s a lot to like about Articulate’s new authoring tool, Rise. (Rise is part of Articulate 360 – to learn more about giving it a free trial, click here.) It’s almost effortless to produce a module that looks clean and elegant, and functions flawlessly on multiple devices. Once built, text or graphics can be updated easily, without fear of “breaking” the course by accidentally disrupting triggers or variables.
I’ve been searching for a truly responsive authoring tool so that I can provide more options to clients when Storyline isn’t the right answer. As part of that search, I’ve looked at the Adapt framework, wishing I had the coding skills necessary to use it to create custom, visually stunning learning solutions. While there are several options to make Adapt more user-friendly, they didn’t quite fit my needs.
The clean authoring environment of Rise allows you to quickly and easily create a framework for the course, and even adjust the sequence of the different elements as simply as sliding them up and down the outline. However, the options for lesson types are limited, and unless you’re working with blocks, you’re stuck with the capabilities of a particular type.
One of the things that makes me most excited about the idea of working with Rise is how it disrupts my current design process – and how the old-fashioned storyboard I use for Storyline projects needs to be reinvented.
To play around with Rise, I tried out two different approaches. Click each one to view the courses.
My Improvements Wish List
Based on my first few encounters with Rise, there are plenty of improvements I’d wish to see. These are a few highlights from my list:
- More options for interactivity. While I don’t expect Rise to have all the capabilities of Storyline, I’d like to see more possibilities for layering content in the near term. There’s currently an interaction that allows you to place markers on a graphic to reveal additional information, but it can’t be combined with elements from any other lessons, and the revealed text only appears as a popup that must be closed rather than staying on screen. I think it would make me immediately happier with Rise to be able to combine interactions from the standard lesson types with those available in blocks.
- Can you switch lesson types once you add content? If you can, I’d like it to be easier to figure out how. As it is, whenever I decided I’d like to switch the lesson type, I needed to create a new lesson and manually transfer my content. For example, I initially disregarded the timeline because I didn’t realize you could use it without displaying numbers – which required some reworking of lessons once I figured out timelines were actually a good option. I’d anticipate this to be a problem more for new users like me, experimenting with lesson types, but I can also envision a client wanting a lesson changed from a timeline to a process causing rework for a seasoned user.
- First, the default feedback in Rise is actually appealing (unlike Storyline). On the flip side, I’d really like to see more options for quizzing than multiple choice and true/false. At the very least, it would be helpful to have select-multiple questions. There’s a lesson type that allows you to drag and drop, but it appears separately from a quiz.
- Adjustable layouts. While there are different options, I’d like to be able to select whether text is aligned left or center on a graphic – or even as a regular text block. You can alter the amount of padding around some elements, but the headers take excessive space given how discrete and quick most lessons tend to be. It would also be handy to have some built-in alignment tools when you’re trying to arrange markers on a graphic.
- Free response answers. This is one that clients commonly ask for and could further differentiate. I’d like to be able to add free response text entry boxes to a lesson, then have my learner’s replies compiled on a page at the end of the training (this page should be printable as a PDF).
It’s also good to note that while authoring a course in Rise itself is very simple, making a truly custom course requires other programs to do what Rise can’t. Although the same could be said of most any authoring tool, one of the advantages of Storyline is the ability to make basic fixes right there. For example, you can’t resize or crop a graphic within Rise. And while it’s easy to import a video animation created in a separate program (such as Sparkol’s VideoScribe), you can’t create animations within Rise.
Despite the long length of my wishlist, I think Rise is a pretty fun tool to use. However, I suspect my clients will continue to require functionality that will make Storyline a better option for most projects.
If you’ve found solutions to the issues I’ve had with Rise, or come across something I haven’t noticed, please share. I appreciate the wealth of knowledge and sharing among Articulate users!