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5 Ways to Add Audio in Articulate Rise

adding audio in articulate rise

When our customers think about audio in elearning, the conversation often centers on whether users like or annoyed by audio on every screen. If you have built courses in Articulate Rise, you know that the conversation is completely different. Rise is a tool that allows you to build courses where text becomes the major driver with the addition of interactions and media. But, did you know that you can strategically add audio to your Articulate Rise courses? 

We were recently approached by a client whose needs were best fit by a Rise course, yet, they also wanted “as much voiceover as possible”. This felt like an opportunity to implement content in Rise that we had not previously explored in depth. Our team was up for the challenge!

Benefits of Audio in Elearning

Why would you use audio in elearning? Specifically, why would you use voiceover (VO) in Rise? 

Some benefits of adding audio to Rise are:

  • To share additional information that doesn’t appear on screen.
  • To eliminate some text heaviness with content the learner hears.
  • To enhance the learner experience.

Audio Capabilities in Rise

There are five block types in Rise that allow the addition of audio:

  1. Timeline 
  2. Labeled Graphic
  3. Process 
  4. Storyline 
  5. Audio 

Each of these Rise interactions presented both challenges and opportunities when using voiceover audio. 

5 Examples of Using Voiceover Audio in Articulate Rise

Here are some examples of how we used audio in each of these lesson blocks. 

Timeline of Audio Clips

Timelines can be used to show information in succession. Timelines work well for content that is linear or that should be viewed in sections one at a time. This particular timeline has a variety of published COVID-19 research findings. To reduce visual clutter of more words on screen, we moved a portion of the details of each study to an audio file. The learner selects PLAY to hear a short audio clip regarding each study.

Timeline of audio clips in elearning

Labeled Graphic with Audio Insights

Labeled graphics have quickly become our favorite use case for adding audio in Rise. Varying the image makes this block type feel different (so it’s not just more of the same in Rise.) Here we used a labeled graphic to show a timeline where the learner could select points on the timeline to learn more through short audio clips. This reduced the visual clutter of additional text on an already full graphic.

Labeled graphic in Rise that shows audio in elearning connected to an image

Process Block with Audio and Visuals

Process blocks are great for showing information in a series. In this case, we used a process block to show a variety of information about a potential treatment option for COVID-19. With each screen in the process block, the learner sees an image summarizing the key information and then can select the audio block to hear additional information.

Process Block allowing audio in elearning steps of process

Storyline Block for Deeper Narrated Interactions

Adding a Storyline block to Rise allows for both increased options of interactivity and implementing audio. Even though adding audio to Storyline is easy, it becomes a bit of a technical challenge to make sure the audio plays in Rise the way that it is supposed to.  If you want audio timed to text in your course or to give direction before an interaction, a Storyline block is the way to go.

More standard audio in elearning from a Storyline Block.

The Humble Audio Block 

We won’t lie — this option can be rather visually unattractive if not used in the right way. It’s not one we use often, but it can be valuable to provide another example for the learner beyond text and images. In the example below, the learner can hear a message from a doctor regarding use of a particular drug in pregnancy. 

Audio block in Rise module with COVID data.

5 Tips for Adding Audio in Articulate Rise

This was a fun challenge for our team and we learned a lot about using VO in Rise. Just like any authoring tool, Articulate Rise has some limitations when it comes to adding in audio. Here’s what we learned:

  1. A learner has to press play to hear the sound — it can not start automatically. This means you need to add some instructions to the block above the one with audio to prompt the learner to select play. This is a natural limitation of the way the courses are built. Auto-playing the audio would be messy.
  2. Rise does not allow closed captions for audio — this makes the course less accessible. This is a huge drawback for both our team and our customers. We hope it is something on the product roadmap for Articulate. One tip that we found and LOVE is to use an accordion directly below the audio with the transcript. It isn’t perfect, but it is accessible!
  3. Rise does not show you the audio file name once you upload it. This may seem trivial, but our processes involve a lot of double checking to reduce rework later. This small issues makes it harder to validate you uploaded the right file.
  4. Rise cannot generate a text-to-speech (TTS) file. If you want to test voiceover audio before you add in professional voiceover, you need to first create the TTS file and then add it to Rise. While you may do this using Storyline, you may also find that using AI voices can be a great option.
  5. The maximum file size for audio is 5 GB. This shouldn’t be an issue, but it is good to know.

Have you tried it? What have you discovered about adding voiceover or audio to your Rise courses? We would love to hear what you have learned or how you have used it. Please drop us a line so we can learn from you too!

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