Solving Training Challenges: Rise Character Counts

If you are an instructional designer who writes for Articulate Rise 360, chances are that you have scripted an interaction, only to find that your planned interaction exceeds the character counts allotted. It’s an upsetting feeling when you discover that you need to make a choice between your ideal interaction, and using the necessary words! 

Keep reading for a helpful design resource on character count and interaction restrictions in Rise 360. 

The Challenge

Recently we were rapidly developing a course on a very tight timeline. We had quickly and effortlessly soared through the project analysis and design phases. Things were looking great until I heard from one of our developers that the scripted sort interaction was exceeding the character count limitations in Rise. 

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The Approach

We have a rule around Endurance Learning — if you’re writing for Rise, write for Rise! It’s a tool that truly is most effective when you design to fit within the given constraints. Typically, we would probably have returned to the SME and worked together on editing down what we had to some more concise wording that fit within the character count restraints. However, in this case, our SME was not only traveling internationally, but had also come down sick. Rewording the interaction within the tight timeline was not an option. 

The scripted activity was also a sort. It’s not an interaction that has an easy back-up option built within the Rise interactive blocks. We did not have the option to simply swap it out with a different block type.

If you’re thinking “scrap the activity,” well, that’s certainly one option, maybe even the easy way out, but this interaction was intentionally crafted to meet the learning objective. It was time for our team to come together and find a solution that would not only maintain the content, but also would align with the learning objective.

The Results

Our team met up and decided to create a custom sort in Articulate Storyline 360 and add it into the course as a Storyline block. Our developer was able to quickly and easily build the Storyline block to match the look and feel of the course in Rise. 

Instead of creating an imposter sort with the exact same look as a Rise sort (there’s a time and a place for that, too!), we opted for a more visually appealing look — one that incorporated speech bubbles to more appropriately match to the content. As a result, we had a beautiful custom sort interaction that we ended up reusing elsewhere in the course as well. 

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While the build took us a bit more time than it would have if we were able to use the Rise sort block, we didn’t need to compromise on either the interaction type nor word count. Win-win! 

A Chart to Help You Learn from Our Experience

As I mentioned earlier, “If you’re writing for Rise, Write for Rise!” We should have been conscientious of the sort character count restrictions during scripting to avoid this last minute switch-a-roo entirely. But as most instructional designers can attest, character count isn’t something that you often think about while you’re scripting. There are also a number of instructional designers out there who don’t have access to an Articulate account to test out their character counts during scripting. Chances are that, like us, you are simply unaware of the character count restrictions on certain Rise interactions. Below is a list of the restrictive Rise character counts that you should be aware of to help you to effectively write for Rise. You can also download this Character Count Cheat Sheet to keep as a reference.

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