How do you draft your Rise 360 courses?

Aug 14, 2023

Hey everyone! We've been pondering a Rise 360 course creation question and were hoping to get your thoughts on it.

When you begin working on a brand new course, which are you more likely to do:

  1. Start your draft directly in Rise 360.
  2. Start your draft in another format (like a Google Doc or PowerPoint deck) and then move it to Rise 360 later on.

We'd love to know more about which approach you prefer and why.

21 Replies
Judy Nollet

I've worked with clients who wanted to approve the text in Word before it was put into Rise. But then they still had editing remarks after seeing it in Rise, so I don't think this method saved any time... 

I don't have just one approach. It depends on the topic and the source materials. If it's long and/or complicated, I might prep an outline or storyboard for myself before I start developing in Rise.

Otherwise, I prefer to draft it in Rise, and let the SME see it in Review 360. That gives them the opportunity to experience the "look and feel" and try the interactions, instead of reading instructions about how an interaction will work. 

(The same goes for Storyline courses.)

Karl Muller

Hi Bianca,

We do all of our Instructional Design work in a shared Word document.

Our ID team and SME's are able to edit the document.

We do not start any Rise development until the design document has been signed off. 

Once we have created the Rise course, we use the SHARE link for SME reviews, and the SME's make their comments in the original design Word document, and we make the final edits in the Rise course based on their comments.

Bianca Woods

Thanks a bunch for those insights!

I definitely get how the topic, source materials, and length could influence what approach you use. I feel very similarly. Sometimes I just dive straight into Rise 360 right at the start and outline in the tool. Sometimes I use a shared Google Doc—especially if I'm working on the content with a bunch of people and we're going to do a lot of back and forth on the copy or ID approach. And sometimes I go really old school and just write out my outline on a Post-it because that's just what's working for my brain that day.

Related question: is there any functionality that would make drafting directly in Rise 360 even easier for you?

Bianca Woods

Hi Karl. Thanks so much for that view on the process your team uses! It's always so exciting to hear about what other teams do to make the workflow easier.

Somewhat similar follow-up question to what I asked Judy: is there any functionality you wish Rise 360 had to make it easier to do that collaborative early work directly in the app instead of in a shared Word document?

Judy Nollet
Related question: is there any functionality that would make drafting directly in Rise 360 even easier for you?

I think drafting in Rise is already pretty easy!

One thing I would like is the ability to set the default font size for text blocks. I typically want it a bit bigger than the size in the standard blocks. So I end up creating Block Templates and going through the extra steps to insert those. (Or I just duplicate a block if it's close by.)

BTW, using Block Templates would be a lot easier if the program wouldn't always show me all the blocks shared by team members. Ideally, it should stay on whatever my last setting was (i.e., show all team blocks or show just my blocks).

Andreas Paul

After the first meeting and analyzing learners, current course material, and such, I usually enter a brainstorming phase. During this phase, I use a combination of, Rise, and Storyline.

Depending on the requirements, time, and other circumstances, I then transition to the production phase, where I select a single platform to focus on.

So, I would suggest using a combination of tools for brainstorming before proceeding to final production in either Rise or Storyline.

Luka Peters

We are currently testing our Articulate 360 workflow:
At the moment our teachers use a PPT template for the draft. This draft is reviewed in the team. We clarify which multimedia content (audio and video) needs to be produced and how the learning unit can be didactically improved (structure, interaction etc.). In the next step, my colleague produces the audio and, if necessary, video recordings, and I create the structure of the course in Rise 360 and integrate multimedia, content and exercises. Finally, we discuss the interim result in Review 360. There are 2 to 3 review loops before the launch. 

I am not yet completely satisfied with the PPT template, because it still requires some "translation work" from me. The lecturers are also used to apply typical PPT animations such as "flying-in" texts, which make little sense didactically and are not necessarily aesthetically top-notch either ;-)
I think it would be best if the lecturers could create their design directly in Rise 360, but they are used to PPT.

Bianca Woods

Thanks for the peek at your early planning stages Andreas!

Let's say you go through the brainstorming phase and Rise 360 is the right fit. Do you then only write your content draft in Rise 360 from that point on, or do you still work in other formats too (like how some others in the thread have mentioned using Word or PowerPoint)?

We're just trying to find out more about people's work processes so we can make sure we're investing Articulate's time in building the kinds of new and improved features in Rise 360 that you all would find useful.

Bianca Woods

Thanks, Phil! Yeah, I get that familiarity can help a lot with getting stakeholders to complete reviews.

Do you think there are ways we could make commenting in Review 360 more inviting for these kinds of stakeholders? Or is it really a case of them not wanting anything outside of the tools they already feel comfortable with?

Phil Mayor

I firmly believe that the first time the stakeholders see the content, it should be purely text-based. Most of the time, we are trying to tell a story and need to ensure it works before building. Building directly in the tool often confuses the situation where they comment on the interaction or the layout instead of the content. Once we have a flow, then the build starts.

Using Word or PPT allows them to edit the content and view it easily; Rise requires an Internet connect, but some of our Stakeholders will review on a plane or train and can download the file to their machine if access is limited.

In terms of making review easier or more inviting, it would be great to have a walkme type onboarding if it is the user's first time, in Rise allow the user to highlight text and add comments or click on the content and add content. Don't enforce logins as that is the biggest issue we have with reviewers. I would love to see voting functionality for comments so reviewers can upvote a previous comment or even downvote it. 

Luka Peters

I imagine one could develop a design in Rise without coming into contact with the actual functions. For example, if a lecturer creates the structure of her course and at the points where she wants to insert a quiz or interaction, an icon or other kind of placeholder is inserted instead of a quiz etc. with real functionality. Do you understand what I mean?

Tina Dean

"I firmly believe that the first time the stakeholders see the content, it should be purely text-based. Most of the time, we are trying to tell a story and need to ensure it works before building. Building directly in the tool often confuses the situation where they comment on the interaction or the layout instead of the content. Once we have a flow, then the build starts."

I use PPT or Word for that reason as well - I want them to focus on content, not 'could you make it a different font/image/interaction'. 

Luka Peters

I think your approach of focusing on storytelling is very good. But perhaps that could also be possible with a "featureless" draft version of Rise. 

Thank you for pointing out that working with Rise requires an internet connection, This can be very important depending on the group of people, with our Subject Matter Experts (lecturers) it usually is not.

By the way, it is possible to send a review link that does not require a login.

Sumrah Khalid

My stakeholders are familiar with Storyline format for eLearnings, when Rise was launched I needed to get buy-in from the SMEs to adopt this format. This bunch hates trying anything new and wants to subject learners to the 'Next, next' format of learnings, so getting them on-board was a challenge.

For a very text-heavy, compliance course that had to be launched in 3 days I proposed Rise 360. I wrote the course directly on the app, got the theme approved and shared the draft version using the share link option.  

I prefer writing directly on Rise mainly because I already receive raw content in a Word file from the SME. For text, its just easier and time-saving. I normally resort to building my interactive design elements outside of Rise by using Vyond or Storyline.

Ruth Christiansen


We use storyboards to map out a course before putting content in Rise for several reasons. 

  1. Our content is usually fairly technical and as a bank we have regulations to follow which means SME input and signoff.  We want a concrete way where the SME actually signs off on the content, hence a paper trail. (CYA)
  2. We like to have the images/graphics/icons etc. picked out and inserted into the storyboard, again as a cya that we own whatever we are using or at least properly licensed.
  3. We have a larger team of designers and priorities are known to switch often and this way we can put different developers on an already started project and not miss a beat.
  4. We also can put the type of blocks we used, brand color hex#, etc. again in case a developer needs to move to a different project, and for updating curriculum in the future, as procedures/systems are updated. (Which is what a lot of our content is, technical)

As far as future features, I'd like to ability to make content dividers that are of different heights, using images. Currently I haven't found any way to input an image full width and adjust the height. If someone knows how, please let me know.

Martin Sinclair

My recent clients have drafted the content in Word and it will be signed off at this stage.

Of course, within that document there are sometimes sections that are a little open to interpretation (eg a text heavy section and as soon as I see it, I know if is an infographic, or suits labelled diagram, or could be an accordian tab etc)

So we tend to do one review and sign of as a word document, I will then supply a very early draft in Rise (this is incomplete but intended to show that my branding attempts are looking ok!) and then a final review once the everything is in Rise - we would use Review for this last step

As someone mentioned above, being able to universally set font sizes would be a timesaver. And within the Custom Block Templates, I would love to be able to arrange my block templates into folders. I often have custome graphics for page dividers, or to draw attention to interactivity, but these could then be grouped together so I can find them a little quicker. It would also allow me to create a bunch of blocks per client and house them together