eLearning, Instructional Design, Training and Development
5 Top Tips for Improving Your Course in Rise
As most instructional designers know, Rise is a platform that does not lend itself to much creativity or interactivity. So, how can you improve your Rise course with limited resources and zero graphic design or development skills?
In my experience, the best courses in Rise will offer content in small portions with very little text displayed at once, high-resolution images, and relevant video clips scattered throughout.
Let’s go through the tips one by one!
#1 – First up, bite size portions of text! This includes Paragraph with Heading blocks with or without an image, as well as text within interactions such as tab, accordion, or flashcard activities. I recommend increasing the font size to at least 20 with no more than 3-4 sentences in a block. For Image and Text blocks, the max should be 3 sentences if the image is horizontal and 5 sentences if the image is vertical. Tip: You can crop a vertical image to be horizontal.
If you have additional content that is important and cannot be moved to a new section, try to find a way to turn it into a tip, guideline, or standard for the learner, and add it as a ‘Statement’, located under the Block Library. You can even change the color contrast by editing the background color under Settings and then selecting the text and changing the font color. i.e., a navy-blue background with a white font as shown below.
Lastly, when writing text, I find it best to keep the tone very conversational.
#2 – Pump up the visuals! Use high resolution stock photos that are relevant and current (unlike most of the images in the Content Library). Ha! If you are presenting a process or statistic, you can create charts and diagrams in PowerPoint using Smart Art, icons, and possibly shapes found in Snag It, such as the diagram displayed.
If you have the time and budget, sites such as Pond5, iStock, and Getty Images have HD quality video clips for purchase. Video clips will bring your content to life with minimal effort. As mentioned in the last blog post, Pexels has free video clips available for download.
Hot Tip: If you have a gif and want to convert it to a video file, check out the free tool Ezgif.
#3 – Interactivity is important in any course. However, the interactivity options and the Knowledge Check options are slim in Rise. Here are some tips to spice up your interactivity:
- Add a short (less than 1 minute) Audio file (under Multimedia) made by a professional voice talent to a content section explaining the topic in detail or perhaps as a Learn More option.
- Add audio, video, or an embedded element to markers in the Labeled Graphic block, as shown below.
- Use the Interactive block, Button options to navigate the learner to content on your Intranet or an article or white paper on the Internet to read, and then ask a follow-up question after they return to Rise.
- Use the Gallery block, Carousel selection, to take learners through a process. Here’s how: Create a full-size image in PowerPoint (don’t forget to utilize the Design ideas in the right sidebar), add text to the image, group all of the objects, and right click and save as a picture. (see sample below) Now, all you have to do is add the images to the Carousel. Don’t forget to add an instruction for the learner to use the right arrows to navigate the slideshow!
- Use Storyline 360 to create custom videos (using both stock photos and video clips) about a topic, process, etc. and publish it to Rise as a Storyline file with interaction or as an mp4 video the learner can watch.
- The final tip is to use the Multimedia block, Embed option, to add other types of questions and surveys for the learner that will make the course more engaging. For example, using the Qualtrics web site, you can create a survey and then replace the link with <iframe src=”Qualtrics URL Link”></iframe> as the embed code.
Tip: Use custom graphics or photos for the front or back of flashcards, as shown below.
#4 – Consistency is key. Just like you have the instruction ‘Click Next to continue.’ in an online learning module, you should also have the same consistency in Rise. For example: Select PLAY to begin the video. OR Select each FLASHCARD to learn more.
#5 – How about a theme? Rise doesn’t have to be dull, forcing the learner to simply read paragraphs of text. Why not motivate them with a theme that asks them to ‘help a peer complete a task’ or be the first to reach ‘500 points’ by adding a race, contest, or game with a leaderboard, or perhaps they need to download a worksheet and complete a ‘clue’ for each section that will be checked or verified by their supervisor after the course. In the sample below, the learner is shadowing Gina and learning how to complete a sales task.
The point is to keep the course fun and engaging, so the learner does not feel as though they are reading a manual or going through the course alone with no external resources or interactions.
Hopefully these tips will help you Spice Up your Rise course! Do you have a Rise course you would like to improve? Book a free consult today by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time…
About the Author
Cheryl Powell is the owner of a 26-year-old virtual Training and Development company, specializing in eLearning, called Learn2Engage. For over two decades, she and her team of Consultants have helped companies move from ‘PowerPoint style’ training to fun, engaging learning materials and modules that help organizations increase productivity and satisfaction rates.
Starting out as a stand-up classroom Instructor/Trainer, Ms. Powell worked her way up to online Professor for colleges and universities, to writing curricula and training for corporations as an Instructional Designer. In 1996, she made the decision to leave Corporate America and open her own consulting firm, which has been thriving ever since.
She now resides in Orlando, Florida, where she runs GC Learning Services LLC dba Learn2Engage, which she originally founded in New Jersey in 1996.
Gamification can be super useful. Keeping your students/followers/users engaged at all times.