Building Microlearning Courses in Articulate Rise: Pros and Cons
Building Microlearning Courses in Articulate Rise: Pros and Cons

Building Microlearning Courses in Articulate Rise: Pros and Cons

When I first started at GAAP Dynamics a year and a half ago, I got the opportunity to attend a four-day, in-classroom training on Articulate 360 taught by the amazing folks at Yukon Learning. I went into the training knowing it would focus heavily on Articulate Storyline, which was the program I’d be using most often to create our full-fledged eLearning modules. I also knew I would dip my toe into the other Articulate tools and programs on the final day of the training, including playing around in Rise. What I didn’t know was just how perfect Rise would turn out to be for our eventual microlearning courses! (Want to learn more about microlearning? Check out this blog!)

Rise is a web browser-based, mobile-responsive authoring tool that makes it easy to create visually appealing eLearning lessons quickly using blocks. I got my first opportunity to create content in Rise soon after the training when programming the Financial Reporting module for our Investment Management Industry Fundamentals eLearning path. I created the main portion of the course in Storyline, and then the learner moved into Rise to complete a case study of their choosing. I primarily used the Labeled Graphic block to point out errors and discrepancies in example financial statements. Since then, I’ve been itching to get back into Rise and play around with the updated functionality and new, interactive block types. A couple of weeks ago, I got my chance!

One of our longtime clients recently came to us wanting training on specific accounting topics that was broken up into short, digestible lessons. Mike thought this sounded like the perfect chance for us to get back into Rise and start building up our microlearning library—something we have been wanting to do for a while but hadn’t made a priority until now.

We chose to tackle the subject of affiliated transactions first, with a specific focus on compliance with section 206 of the Investment Advisers Acts of 1940. Mike gave me a crash course on the technical information we’d be walking through in the course, whipped up a course outline, and we were off to the races! Mike had the great idea of presenting the content as a case study, and we got excited thinking about the different blocks and lesson types we could use in Rise to present each section. For example, we planned a quick, but fun, introductory video explaining the scenario, and decided to let learners choose whether to listen to, or read, a debrief of the situation. After all, the point of microlearning is to let the learner take the driver’s seat!

Throughout our journey to creating our first microlearning course in Rise, we confirmed that it’s a great tool for the job; so, I thought I’d share a few of its pros and cons I’ve discovered along the way:


  • Web-based: Course author can access the tool on any operating system, right from their browser (as opposed to Storyline, which is only PC friendly)
  • Mobile responsive: Learner can use any device to seamlessly complete the course at their point of need
  • Development speed: Production time is much faster than authoring in other, more complex programs
  • Selection of drag-and-drop tools: Rise offers a decent number of multi-media tools to build lessons, allowing the course author to present information in a multitude of different ways


  • Reduced customization: Compared to Storyline, the course author can’t do quite as much to make the course interactive
    • No triggers or variables
    • No “timeline” for editing, synching animations with audio, etc.
    • Limited customization options within the drag-and-drop blocks
  • Limited assessment features: Rise doesn’t offer quite as much customization for assessing knowledge as other programs, such as Storyline’s ability to create freeform questions
  • Difficulties with version control: There’s no simple way of saving a different version of the course or reverting to a previous version
    • There’s no undo button when editing a lesson in Rise, so it’s not always possible to go back after making a mistake (sometimes using the back arrow in your browser works)
    • If you hit delete on a lesson, it is immediately permanently deleted in its entirety (there’s no “are you sure?” prompt)

My colleague Emily is also currently finishing up a client project in Rise. She’s breaking up a public company’s accounting policy and creating an interactive course highlighting the most important takeaways. The finished product will be pushed out to the internal auditors at the company, who will be able to take the course, demonstrate their knowledge of their accounting policy, and get CPE for doing so!

After finishing up our current projects in Rise, our next step is to apply to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to grant CPE in 0.2 increments. Upon approval, we’ll have a lot of work to do! We have hours upon hours of eLearning and in-classroom training materials that we can pull from to create a full library of microlearning content. This will help us realize our ultimate goal of becoming a one-stop-shop for accountants to satisfy all of their training needs, so stay tuned!

Interested in microlearning (or a different type of training!) for your team? Contact us to start a conversation about how we can best help you.

About GAAP Dynamics  

We’re a DIFFERENT type of accounting training firm. We don’t think of training as a “tick the box” exercise, but rather an opportunity to empower your people to help them make the right decisions at the right time. Whether it’s U.S. GAAP training, IFRS training, or audit training, we’ve helped thousands of professionals since 2001. Our clients include some of the largest accounting firms and companies in the world. As lifelong learners, we believe training is important. As CPAs, we believe great training is vital to doing your job well and maintaining the public trust. We want to help you understand complex accounting matters and we believe you deserve the best training in the world, regardless of whether you work for a large, multinational company or a small, regional accounting firm. We passionately create high-quality training that we would want to take. This means it is accurate, relevant, engaging, visually appealing, and fun. That’s our brand promise. Want to learn more about how GAAP Dynamics can help you? Let’s talk!


This post is published to spread the love of GAAP and provided for informational purposes only. Although we are CPAs and have made every effort to ensure the factual accuracy of the post as of the date it was published, we are not responsible for your ultimate compliance with accounting or auditing standards and you agree not to hold us responsible for such. In addition, we take no responsibility for updating old posts, but may do so from time to time.

Join the Revolution!

Comments (0)

Add a Comment

Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment:

Ready To Make a Change?

Cookies on the GAAP Dynamics website

To give you the best possible experience, this website uses cookies. By continuing to browse this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more details about cookies and how to manage them, please see our privacy policy.