Loading RISE courses to an LMS

Sep 11, 2023

Hi - we are often asked by our clients to advise on using RISE to create courses and then load them under a specific LMS. There have been many, many discussions over the years here on E-learning Heroes and I am keen to fully understand the issues. I'm hoping the community can help me.

My understanding is that there three main issues designers encounter:

(1) Progress tracking and course completion. To allow the RISE course to pass tracking information to the LMS, it must be published for LMS, and that means loading the course as a SCORM or xAPI module. So if your LMS doesn't support SCORM or xAPI, you are in trouble.

(2) Conflicting Course Structure and Navigation - Most LMS's have a course hierarchy including Courses which consist of Lessons which, in turn may (in some LMS's) be subdivided into Topics. So the challenge is how do you load a RISE module. If you load it as a Lesson it will appear in the LMS Course Navigation menu. But, RISE has it's own internal hierachy with a Course Overview and Lessons - PLUS it has it's own Lesson Navigation menu. This can lead to a situation where you have two navigation menus on screen. Here the options appear to be either (a) load the RISE module in a separate window or (b) disable the RISE navigation which, fortunately, is an optional setting.

(3) Display Frame Size Issues - One of the main reasons why people like RISE is it's free format visual display, unlike Storyline it is not 'frame-based' it behaves much more like a responsive website which is great for touch screens and smaller screen devices. If you want to include a RISE module in your LMS but you don't want to open it in a separate window, then it will be displayed in an iframe. And the size of that iframe is likely to be dictated by the LMS lesson template. Hence people report problems with small frame sizes and fixed height frames which result in horizontal or vertical scroll bars (or both) leading to two vertical scroll bars on the page and not the free format display which is RISE's great strength.

Have I captured the issues - Or are there more???

7 Replies
John Cooper

Well this reply from Joe to another query on this subject:

HTML upload to Thinkific LMS is not saving progress - Rise 360 Discussions - E-Learning Heroes (articulate.com)

confirms point (1) I guess:

"Publishing to web will only create an HTML5 version of your course with no capabilities of tracking user progress. This format is mostly reserved for when you would like to host a course on a web server to distribute your course with no intention of tracking who views the courses."

Karl Muller

Hi John,

A very common problem reported here, is related to when a student starts a course, and then quits halfway through. When the student resumes the course later, there is no record or bookmarking regarding their previous session, so they cannot resume where they left off before, and they have to restart the course from the beginning. 

Our LMS is setup to open the course in a new window, and if a student exits the course by closing the window, NO data is sent to the LMS. In our case, we need to publish with the course Exit link turned on, and students MUST exit the course using the link.

So for each LMS, it is necessary to know exactly how and when student results are sent to the LMS, and students must be told what the correct course exit process they should use.

Karl Muller

Hi John,

You may have students reporting that they are seeing a blank screen when resuming a Rise course that was just updated.

Here is one scenario that can cause the blank screen problem.

You create a Rise course with several Lessons and publish it to the LMS. Students start using it, and there are no problems.

Then you edit the Rise course, delete one Lesson and add two new Lessons, republish to the LMS, and overwrite the previous version of the course.

Now you have students with an "in progress" status reporting that they are seeing a blank screen when resuming that Rise course.

This problem occurs because the student suspend data loaded from the LMS, no longer matches the structure of the previous version of the course, causing the Rise course to hang up

John Cooper

Hi Karl

Thanks again for the 'heads-up' on that issue.

It would appear the 'Resume' behaviour you mention also causes some users problems in that it is not possible to return the learner to the 'Home' course screen as per the posts below:

Controlling resume behaviour on Articulate Rise - Rise 360 Discussions - E-Learning Heroes

Rise Module home page in Cornerstone LMS after Exiting Course - Rise 360 Discussions - E-Learning Heroes (articulate.com)

One using Totara and the other Cornerstone - but I'm guessing this would require extra coding in the LMS for most LMS's...

With your help I'm getting a pretty clear picture of the challenges involved in loading RISE within an LMS.

Regards, John

John Cooper

An Experiment Using RISE and  LearnDash

For anyone who may be interested, we decided that we had better try an experiment using RISE modules ourselves so we could explain and talk about the issues more knowledgably...

A lot of our work is with what I would describe as 'Commercial' LMS's i.e. their main purpose is to offer courses for sale. In this situation, detailed tracking and in-course assessment is not so important. All the LMS needs to know is that the learner has completed a given lesson or course so it can mark that fact in the learner's membership record.

If there is an assessment it is normally a separate quiz or exercise at the end of the course which can easily be handled by the LMS's own functionality and is often linked to some form of certification.

So we decided to take a look at how you might load RISE modules using an LMS without SCORM or xAPI support (of which there are quite a few in the commercial LMS space!) - meaning we would be publishing the RISE course for the web.

We have recently completed a couple of LearnDash/WordPress projects so this was an obvious one for us to try. There is xAPI support available for LearnDash - BUT it is a plug-in. LearnDash itself does not have any support for SCORM nor xAPI.

We didn't like the idea of launchng the RISE web course in a new window because of the problems of getting notification of completion back to LearnDash (not insurmountable but quite complex involving server-side coding). But I think we succeeded pretty well in overcoming the conflicting course structure and navigation issues and were able to load RISE modules successfully as lessons within a LearnDash course AND we overcame the frame size and scrolling  issues to a more than acceptable extent where everyone agreed the course looked good!

We plan to write the project up as an article which we will publish here if that might help...

However, SPOILER ALERT!!... having got it working we couldn't actually see ANY advantage or reason to use RISE... We could achieve exactly the same 'look and feel' just using LearnDash. And RISE features such as flipcards, process flows, timelines etc, were achieved just as easily by using the huge number of widgets available with modern WordPress visual page builders. In fact we had a far greater choice of interactions with far greater control over the visual display elements.

Don't get me wrong, we LOVE RISE! - But would we choose to use it within LearnDash - probably not!!