It’s no secret that instructional designers spend a lot of time working in PowerPoint. It’s a great presentation tool, a handy image editor, and a lightweight drawing tool, just to name a few uses. But when it comes to creating e-learning, you typically want to grab people’s attention with something that’s more polished and engaging than a PowerPoint presentation.
That’s where Rise really shines. In a few minutes’ time, you can transform content that would have otherwise ended up as static slides of text into a beautiful course that looks great on every device your learners might use.
Rise is the web-based authoring tool that comes with an Articulate 360 subscription. Folks choose Rise when they want to build fully responsive courses in minutes. If you’re just getting started with it, here are a few ideas for how you can add Rise into your e-learning development workflow.
1. Text-Based Content
When you’ve got a lot of related content to share, it’s pretty easy to end up with a slide like this:
There’s a lot of information on that slide and no context for all of those key terms.
The problem with placing lots of bulleted text onto a slide is that it quickly becomes overwhelming and hard to parse.
But there’s another option: make that content feel more inviting with a streamlined look. That’s easy to do using the accordion block in Rise, like this:
Wow. Those terms and definitions look so polished and professional now!
Learning blocks in Rise are modular components you stack to create unique lessons—all you have to do is drop in your content. You can add a supporting image, an animated GIF, or even a short video to help illustrate concepts. Blocks like this accordion interaction give you a great-looking and flexible way to present information while making it easier for learners to absorb content at their own pace.
Want to give this a try yourself? Head on over to this article on how to choose different lesson and block types in Rise.
2. Deep Dives Into Diagrams & Charts
Using PowerPoint to give learners an overview of a process or to get them acquainted with an organization’s structure is pretty standard in onboarding or sales process trainings, for example. You might have even created a slide like the one below to make the organization or a process a little easier to understand:
A diagram like this is a neat visual for giving folks a high-level view, but you’d probably end up adding a lot more text to this slide so learners could get the detailed content they need to really understand these steps and apply them on the job.
So here’s something new to try: it takes just a minute or two to reuse that PowerPoint diagram as a labeled graphic lesson in Rise. A labeled graphic lesson is an easy way to take advantage of diagrams and charts to help folks visualize the process, while also keeping it light on text and easy for them to read on every device. Here’s how to do it:
1. In PowerPoint, save the slide where you created your chart or diagram as an image. Here’s an animated GIF to show you one way of doing that:
2. Over in Rise, select the Labeled Graphic lesson from the prebuilt lesson types.
3. Click the Edit button and then select Upload Image. Browse to the image of your chart or diagram and click Open. Here’s an animated GIF to recap the steps:
4. Now you can click on each marker to edit the text and title, or add new markers. You can also customize markers by changing the marker type and adding images, video, or other media, or by adding audio. Here’s another GIF to show you how it’s done:
5. Finally, just drag-and-drop your markers to place them on the appropriate parts of your image. Watch it in action, below.
3. Case Study Exercises
When you’re developing a blended training strategy, it’s common to use exercises like case studies to prompt critical thinking.
In a classroom setting, case study exercises are usually delivered by an instructor with the help of some PowerPoint slides. But when you’re trying to capture the essence of that case study in an online course that learners need to explore on their own, it’s nice to be able to mix different kinds of content to tell a story.
Rise to the rescue! By mixing and matching a few block types you can create your own case study lesson in minutes. For instance, if you want learners to review one part of the case study first and then answer some questions after, you could insert a few text and image blocks and then add a knowledge-check block with a continue block beneath it, like in this example:
Using this approach, you can chunk out the original case study content into smaller decision points that grab and keep your learner’s attention. And because you can configure the continue block to require learners to answer each question before they can move on, it encourages them to pace themselves and take in all the important information.
Check out this article on controlling learner progress with the continue block in Rise, to learn more about using this super-handy block type.
These are just three ideas for morphing content you’d normally share with PowerPoint into beautiful, responsive content created with Rise. And there’s so much more you can do with the app! Here are a few of my favorite examples of Rise projects to inspire your thinking.
Performance Support Demo by Allison LaMotte
Stating the Problem Interactive Scenario by Tom Kuhlmann
Outbreak Investigation by Elizabeth Miles
A Collection of Curated TED Talks on Leadership by yours truly
How are you using Rise to transform your content? We always love to learn more about what you’re creating. Share your ideas and comments with us below.
Want to try something you learned here, but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 60-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any questions, please share them in the comments.