eLearning Course: 

Choosing the Right Fiction Book

To date, I've built many Articulate Rise courses for clients, but am not able to use their content to show in my portfolio. To demonstrate my course building skills in Articulate Rise as well as my instructional design decisions in course creation, I created a sample course about one of my life-long passions; reading. 

Background: Articulate Rise 360 Course

This course, designed as a portfolio piece to demonstrate my course design, is geared toward people who have a hard time choosing engaging, good quality fiction books that keep their attention. In the course, participants will find three methods to consider when trying to choose an engaging, enjoyable fiction book for themselves. 




The Design Process

Problem:  How can I walk people through the very personal process of finding a good book, and help them to create their own repeatable and successful process, while simultaneously encouraging interaction with the course content (actually making a to-read list) without it being a live instructor-led course?

Woman with several journals in front of her, organizing her work.

Initial Planning

Often, people don't read because they are not sure how to choose a good book for themselves. As an educator, I saw this constantly with my students.  But even more surprising, I find that this is true for many adults as well. It may seem like an easy task, but finding a good book to read, one that you will truly enjoy, is a skill to be learned. 

In my initial planning for the course, I set two learning objectives as well as developed course material. 

This course walks learners through various methods of how to find a good fiction book for themselves; leveraging things they enjoy in an actionable way to meet their goal.


I considered using microlearning for this course, as many people possibly won't take the time to learn more about choosing good books.  However, due to the the wealth of information I wanted to cover as well as wanting to make the information more engaging as well as actionable, I decided that a course platform, particularly Articulate Rise would be a good choice due to the interactive nature of different Rise components.

I created a storyboard for my Rise course based upon my learning objectives and course material before building it out in the actual platform. I find that planning not only the content, but how it will appear on the page, and seeing it all in one document, allows me to get the bigger picture of the course. It helps me to make consistent design choices throughout modules, see if images or graphics are too similar, and easily go back and forth to revise my design decisions before adding them into Rise. 

While some blocks are easy to change in Rise from one type to another, with interactions, you typically have to start all over if you change your mind about what type of interaction you want to use in a certain space. With this particular course, after creating a module, I decided to go with a different interaction type that would be more actionable, and I was easily able to go back and make this change on the storyboard, instead of wasting time doing all of the editing in Rise.

I find that storyboards are even more helpful when working with stakeholders who have decision-making authority with courses, videos, etc. that you are developing. They help everyone stay on the same page and be able to give input before the video production or course building stages.

Screenshot of the Rise Course storyboard
Screenshot of a Rise course page
Screenshot of the scenario planning mind map on the MindMeister website


I created this course using Articulate Rise 360's course platform. As my storyboard was very thorough, the build time in Rise did not take long. 

I then tested my course, and made some initial changes for better layout, engagement and functionality.  One piece I added was a review activity at the end of the course. My original goal for the course was not to make it feel like something you had to complete to get the test correct, so I left out typical knowledge check questions, and opted for actionable items throughout (ie: adding a book to your TBR list after each section's final tips).  But as I previewed the course, I felt like a culminating activity was missing. I decided to add in a scenario using the built-in simple Storyline feature Rise offers as I wanted a short, simple way to reinforce learning in a real-world, meaningful way. I utilized the MindMeister website to plan my scenario, then built it in Rise's Storyline feature. Select the mind map image or link in this section to view my scenario planning

After I completed my own review and revisions, I also had a family member test out my course.  I asked them to focus on ease of use, functionality, as well as making sure the content was understandable, helpful, and actionable. After their review and feedback, I made some additional changes to the course. 

Key Takeaways

The main takeaway I had was in how I could improve accessibility for the course. 

After designing this course, I found that the knowledge check activity I designed utilizing the Storyline Interaction in Rise is actually not accessible to all users. 

I found a solution through another Instructional Designer I follow on LinkedIn; creating an interaction that still had movement, but that was more text and keyboard-friendly than the Storyline Interaction.  

I improved upon her initial ideas to try to really give it the same feel as the Storyline interaction so that users choosing this option would not feel like they were having a lesser experience.  

I ended up adding both options for participants to choose from; that way if there was someone who preferred text-based activity, even if they didn't need to use it for accessibility reasons, they could choose that path. 

To view this alternate user experience, view the "Applying Your Knowledge" section of the course.

Thought bubble on pink background

The Finished Project

View a sample of screenshots from the Articulate Rise course below.