Value of adding audio narration to Rise lessons?

Nov 03, 2020

Hello fellow instructional designers, I'm wondering if you would share your thoughts on the value of adding audio narration to Rise courses. I'm helping a client upgrade a course built in Studio to Rise and they're very pleased with the user experience overall. I'm leaning towards advising not to include audio narration of each text block (which is what they're used to doing) but am wondering if I'm overlooking a good reason to include it.

Do many of you add narration? What do you think is the value to adding it?


10 Replies
Marc Raskinski

I think the abscence of narration is lame. The excuse I read was even lamer (web trends?).

What makes it worse is that we can only offer the imported audio to be lauched by a micro button nestled in a tile.

Is there a way, if audio must be launched, to alter the appearance and or size of (see attached) the tool?


Stephanie Eskins-Gleason

I do think some learners like to launch audio files and listen, even in a design in Rise that expects them to read the text, and I did end up including audio with each text block. I don't know of a way to alter the appearance of the audio play button and I don't think it was an issue for our learners. In the course overview we let them know how to launch it.

Lea Agato

Hi Stephanie! There is currently no option to customize the audio player in Rise.  I'll be sure to update you here if we make changes that will help in the future!

In the meantime, you can make your audio blocks more noticeable by changing the background color of the block, and making the font caption larger.

I hope this helps!

Liz Dawrs

I think it's important to distinguish between usability and accessibility. A website (or elearning course) can meet WCAG requirements without including audio for all the onscreen content. It can actually break accessibility if it's implemented in a way that "breaks" the flow of information for screen reader users.

If the audio is being included to improve usability and inclusivity, and it doesn't negatively impact accessibility for keyboard and screen reader users, then that makes sense. If if creates an extra burden for keyboard and screen reader users, or disorients them, then I'd question the choice.

Scott Van Scotter

Wow, that is a fantastic point. I never thought about it that way. I'm new to my role and have been cleaning up our organization's old training modules, most of which have featured narration. But you are absolutely right - if it doesn't improve usability and inclusivity, is it really necessary?