Is Articulate Rise right for you?

New to eLearning? This series summarises the key “need-to-knows” of four eLearning course authoring tools: Articulate Rise, Evolve, Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline. In this post we look at Articulate Rise.

Rise is a web-based eLearning course authoring tool that is only available as part of the Articulate 360 subscription. It offers the fastest way for all staff to create reliable courses that work on any device. Many of its built-in limitations can be overcome by using in conjunction with the more powerful authoring tool, Storyline.

What I like about Rise

Rise is strong where high-end authoring tools like Storyline and Captivate are weak.

  • It takes no time to learn: The learning curve with Rise is virtually non-existent. Course authors are presented with a visual menu of elements that can be added to the course (see image, below). They then simply click to add them and then click again to tailor them. After 30 minutes of learning, even your least technical staff will be ready to start creating courses.

Rise - Visual menu

  • Courses work on any device: Rise is essentially a template into which you insert content. That template has been designed to work perfectly on laptops, mobiles, tablets and any other device. A course author can create a course and be confident that it will work anywhere. Take a look at the responsive functionality in this short video (no sound).
  • Rise ensures you stay on-track: Because it’s a highly tested template and it’s so easy to use, Rise doesn’t give you the opportunity to over-complicate or over-engineer your courses. Rise courses won’t require extensive troubleshooting from a technical point of view.
  • A great tool for collaboration: Because it’s web-based, colleagues from across your organisation can collaborate on the same courses, review/make comments, duplicate and so on.

Things to be aware of

  • Most of Rise’s various standard elements are tools for presenting information, such as flipcards, click to reveal, accordions, etc. Without clever learning design the risk is that course authors create little more than an information websites (rather than learning experiences that require thought, decision-making and recall from memory – elements proven to contribute to learning.) Rise does offer multiple choice questions, a sorting activity and other elements that might be used to create a richer experience, but they are inflexible and could easily be overused (“Please, no more multiple choice questions!”)
  • Rise’s standard elements are what they are: Do you want a message to pop up after the third item is placed in your drag and drop? It can’t be done. Do you want a choice a learner made earlier in the course to be presented back to them at a later stage? It can’t be done. Rise is easy to use because its standard elements have limited functionality and therefore don’t require extensive setting up.
  • Lack of branding/design flexibility: If you’ve ever used Rise, you will be able to spot another Rise course instantly. Although logos can be added and colour schemes can be changed, because of the template approach, it is usually not possible to completely match a company’s exact brand guidelines or other graphics requirements.
  • Pricey: As Rise is only available as part of the Articulate 360 licence it’s $1,299 per annum to get your hands on it (though you’ll get Articulate Storyline and other tools as part of the deal).

Rise’s secret weapon

If you like the sound of Rise’s ease of use, but you’re put off by the downsides you may be interested to learn that it is possible to insert slides created in Articulate Storyline (included in the Articulate 360 subscription) directly into Rise. This is big news. Storyline is arguably the most powerful authoring tool on the market, allowing you to build whatever elements you wish (and are skilled enough to build) to insert into your Rise course.