Rise 360 is an awesome tool for quickly creating engaging e-learning courses. The beauty of Rise is threefold: it’s easy to use, the courses look polished and professional, and the content is fully responsive. However, at the end of the day, e-learning designers know that great e-learning is not about the tool you use, and more about the quality of the content within the course itself, and some basic mistakes can have a big impact on the learning experience. Next time you’re designing a course with Rise 360, review your content and make sure you avoid the following common mistakes:
Too much text
Ultra text-heavy content is a common offense in Rise courses. The text blocks tend to be an obvious choice, the go-to block for most people. The problem is that this often leads to courses filled with endless paragraphs. This is something you want to avoid as learners can become discouraged when there’s too much reading involved.
Pare down the text content in your course to strictly need-to-know information. Make sure there is no redundant or duplicate verbiage. Keep paragraphs short and to-the-point, no more than 2-4 sentences each. Break things out into lists, or use accordion and tab blocks to hide text; this will help avoid overwhelming learners with too much to read at once.
Not enough visuals
Visuals can be a key part of a learning experience, so it’s important to use them consistently throughout your Rise courses. As a best practice I recommend using at least one or two image blocks per lesson; if the lesson is on the longer side, perhaps even more. Consider sprinkling them throughout your lessons as something that captures the eye, adds colour and aesthetic appeal. Images can also add value in that they can help divide content within a lesson or drive home an important point or piece of information. Consider using an Image with Text block to add visual appeal while sharing an important sentence, fact, or piece of information on top of it.
No block variety
Text blocks are definitely the most-used block in Rise courses. Makes sense, right? Most learning content is text? Wrong! Images, interactions, videos, audio clips, drag and drop activities… are all great ways to share information that take it beyond the boring old text block.I recommend ensuring that each lesson has no more than 50% text blocks. The other 50% needs to be a variety of blocks to keep things interesting. Add images, a scenario block, a sorting activity, flash cards, or a Storyline block. There is a large variety of block types available, so familiarize yourself with them and make a consistent effort to go beyond the text block in each lesson.
Lack of interactivity
This point ties into the previous mistakes of having too much text. You don’t want to bore learners and have them read the whole time; you want learners to interact with the content.Seek out new ways to have learners engage by making decisions about content. This can be dragging choices into a Do or Don’t pile in a sorting activity, or walking through a real-life situation and making tough choices in a scenario block. Adding interactivity and the ability to interact with the on-screen content is a very helpful way to bring the learning experience to life and engage your learners.
One of the things I love about using Rise is that I’m not restricted to slide dimensions, like I am in Storyline 360 or PowerPoint. The lessons can scroll endlessly. The problem is: the lessons can scroll endlessly. While your lessons can be endless, that’s certainly not a best practice. You want to present the learning content in small, digestible chunks. If your lessons are going 20 blocks, strongly consider how you can pare it down; perhaps one long lesson can be re-organized into 2 or 3 shorter lessons instead.
Rise 360 is a wonderful tool for quickly creating beautiful, responsive e-learning courses. But it’s important to remember that at the end of the day: it’s all about the quality of the content within our courses. By avoiding the five mistakes listed above you’ll ensure your Rise courses are top-notch and provide a great learning experience!
What are some common mistakes you’ve seen in Rise courses? I’d love to hear opinions from other instructional designers and training specialists. Let me know in the comments! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for more e-learning and training content.