Viewing 9 reply threads
  • Author
    • #34346
      Juliet Parfitt

          Please share your thoughts on the two questions you were considering when looking at the different content.

          What are the main differences in design and layout between Rise and Storyline?

          What kinds of content seem better suited for Rise and which kinds of content are better suited for Storyline?

        • #34625
          Brenda Allen

              Comparing Rise and Storyline

              Based largely on the materials provided for viewing, these are my initial impressions:


              The most striking difference is the sheer visual appeal of Rise.  It is immediately arresting with a contemporary, vibrant and very beautiful look.  Storyline could be described as more traditional looking and certainly appears to be a great deal more intricate, although that may be a feature of the materials themselves or the way they have been interpreted.


              The Storyline layout is more segmented and more layered. An extensive selection of graphic devices and types of hotspot are in evidence across the screen. These assist in breaking up some otherwise very dense content and illuminating meaning. Progression is primarily horizontal – left to right – although there is a side bar available. The layout of Rise is much more open, sweeping and organic. Progression is vertical, aided by the side bar and the way the content index is designed.  The impression given so far is that Rise has a more flowing orientation with plenty of built-in space, whilst Storyline is more multi-dimensional and tightly structured.  I realise I am lacking the right terminology to express all these characteristics!  Not least as we are effectively operating in three or more dimensions.


              Storyline seems to be very well suited to providing language lessons, whether teacher-led or learner-driven.  The variety of features lend themselves to the transfer of familiar styles of lesson plan to an online format.  It also copes well with the complexity of language learning materials – bringing the content alive on the screen and making it truly interactive.  I notice that the examples are highly customized, which could be a deciding factor when choosing the more appropriate tool for exploitation. I imagine there would need to be far more investment, financially and therefore creatively, which could potentially lead to a greater sense of ownership.  It would also encourage a higher level of expertise – requiring more training at the outset which would, hopefully,  be reflected in the final content.

              From what I have seen so far, Rise seems to excel with a text-based approach.  There is also some very attractive artwork close to hand.  I suspect it has great flexibility in creating a far more eclectic range of courses across different subject areas. As it is browser-based, it will be highly accessible for users and course designers alike.  This convenience factor will be reflected when it comes to content selection.



            • #34862
              Robert Anderson

                  Based on the examples given here I notice a couple of key differences related to design and style:

                  • Rise gives a sense of vertical progression, like a presentation with slides or a webpage, whereas Storyline gives a sense of horizontal progression, more like a book. These may appeal differently depending on learner characteristics such as culture and age.
                  • Rise has s limited number of fixed blocks that seem to create a fairly standard and familiar style regardless of content, while Storyline seems to offer greater flexibility and creative freedom, resulting in courses that differ significantly.

                  In terms of which kinds of content is better suited to each tool, I feel that Rise may well be better suited to imparting information, to providing self-access resources and to more self-regulated learning. This is due to to the high degree of learner-control, allowing students to skip content easily. On the other hand, Storyline seems to be better suited to more traditional input-based content, where regular checks on learning are required as the lesson progresses. This is because of the apparent greater degree of programme control, ensuring that learners do not skip content. Therefore, it can be argued that the correct tool should be chosen not only only based on the nature of the content, but also on the characteristics of the learners (e.g. stage of learning, level of autonomy, familiarity with content, etc.).



                  • #35175
                    Sue Everest

                        @azurial Spoken like a true editor! Always interesting to read your in-depth comments! Some very interesting points, including financial and expertise.

                      • #35176
                        Sue Everest

                            @robert, I think we’ve noticed some of the same points regarding vertical progression, information-sharing and knowledge-checking. I, therefore, agree with you.

                        • #34882
                          Paul Middlemas

                              What are the main differences in design and layout between Rise and Storyline? What kinds of content seem better suited for Rise and which kinds of content are better suited for Storyline?

                              I agree with a lot of what @azurial has mentioned above, especially the point that Rise looks very contemporary (but also quite traditional, too?) and vibrant.

                              A few points I thought of, some of which Brenda has already mentioned.

                              * As with the example, Rise might work better for any kind of guide, providing instructions, perhaps things like a student/teacher induction or orientation. Rise appears more ‘serious’ so, as was mentioned, could be used in many contexts e.g. in businesses.  Storyboard very much could appeal to younger learners / students.

                              * Both have elements of programme and learner control, but Storyline appears to be more interactive (activities, use of hotspots, student has more to click on) and so in some ways might be better for controlled practice activities (lexis or grammar). There is an element of this in Rise, too (learner can control sequencing and pacing with both). Although, to immediately contradict myself, the layout of Rise and the overview style, does give the feeling that you are more in control of where you go, whereas Storyline works in a more linear fashion.

                              * Although avatars/pictures can be used on both, could be said that Storyboard might be used more as a replacement teacher role, i.e. flipped learning tool (the avatar, the language used usually more personable) whereas Rise might be more like a textbook?

                              * Rise might work well at curriculum or course level. Whole units could be presented through Rise, and probably Storyboard could be embedded into some of these units for practice.

                              • #34985
                                Brenda Allen

                                    Some excellent points and observations extending here, thanks both @robert and @paul-m.  I do hesitate over words like ‘traditional’, especially when used for a relatively novel medium, and sense that a new vocabulary may be in waiting in the wings.  It seems that the potential for either tool relies upon the expertise of the creator, their interpretation, the intended ‘audience’ and very much upon the materials under origination. A reasonably consistent picture seems to be slowly emerging, though…

                                  • #35089
                                    Paul Middlemas

                                        Traditional perhaps a poor choice of word, Brenda. I meant to say that despite its vibrance and contemporary look and feel, there’s also a sense of familiarity with Rise; kind of reminds me of an EFL textbook.

                                      • #35150
                                        Brenda Allen

                                            Hi @Paul-m, so sorry, I was referring to my own choice of the word ‘traditional’. Would not dream of commenting on yours!  I know what you meant about the familiarity. I agree it can veer towards being somewhat textbooky (did I just coin a new vocabulary item there?!), especially when the blocks chosen do not display much variety or use of the more interactive functions.  To me some formats seem reminiscent of a coffee table artbook – all that white space and wide illustration to (what would be) the margins (bleed).

                                        • #35153
                                          David Read

                                              Thanks @azurial @paul-m and @robert, thanks for your initial thoughts on this. You are right that finding the language to describe this is tricky, intuitively we can see the differences, it’s about finding the exactly vocabulary. Brenda, the way you describe is really very accurate, the term ‘layered’ and ‘multidimensional’ to describe Storyline, while ‘open’ and ‘sweeping’ are also good terms for Rise. Storyline allows for more information to be contained in a more compact space certainly and that information can be controlled by the use of layers (in fact when using Storyline, one of the key tools is the ‘layer’ tool).

                                            • #35160
                                              Georgina Lloyd


                                                  I agree with much of what as been said by @azurial, @robert, and @paul-m.

                                                  Control has been talked about a lot, my general feeling when I was moving through the courses, was that the Storyline content had more programme-control. In some of them I couldn’t/didn’t access the menu at all, as this was never pointed out to me, and so I had to move the content and complete all of these activties. This maybe more suitable for younger learners, or also for ‘high stakes’ learning, i.e. learning that is essential in order for the student to progress. For example, the student content in Rise was for some pre-class activities, but the Storyline content felt more like flipped content, as @robert said, more input-based content.

                                                  I prefer the Rise layout and deisgn, which makes me think back to the article we read last week that said students prefer more learner-control, but it’s not always what is best for them! There seems to be more flexbility in Storyline for knowlegde checking.

                                                  I do agree with @paul-m when he says that Rise seems a bit more serious, but from my minimal knowledge and experience business contexts seem to love Storyline. I wonder whether this is in part because it generates more learner data – i.e. all those knowledge checks etc. to be analysed/given as proof of learning. Or that in company training tends to consist more of short-sharp chunks rather than long courses.

                                                  I also thought about embedding Storyline content (lessons) into Rise (course). Is this something that is done in Sheffield?



                                                • #35174
                                                  Sue Everest
                                                      • What are the main differences in design and layout between Rise and Storyline?


                                                      Rise appears to be more linear in format, using mainly continue buttons and is student-paced. A side menu can give students control to navigate the site. It can be stand-alone or lead into more sessions.


                                                      Storyline can appear to be more interactive, give a uniform look to a course and control the completion of activities before being allowed to continue.


                                                      • What kinds of content seem better suited for Rise and which kinds of content are better suited for Storyline?

                                                      Content-wise Rise would appear to emphasise sharing information, although there might also be some built-in knowledge-check activities.

                                                      Storyline seems to focus more on checking knowledge, e.g. activities that need to be completed before the student can continue.

                                                      Both can be personalised with the use of photos, avatars and videos and offer a variety of activities; however, Storyline appears to be more interactive and have greater scope. Perhaps Rise is more suited to a stand-alone session, whereas Storyline offers so much variety that it can form the basis for a complete course.

                                                    • #35187
                                                      Naomi Rabin

                                                          Not much more to add, really that hasn’t been said before. Interesting though on the subject of control – as the Rise and Storyline software has been used more and more throughout the ELTC – (but until now, I didn’t really know or think about the difference between the two) – I now know the one which I found incredibly irritating / frustrating that I couldn’t skip through the content to find what I needed easily – Storyline – and why I found this was so.

                                                          I’d agree Storyline is better suited as a ‘lesson replacement’ and has a wider variety of knowledge checks, whereas Rise is great as a reference tool for larger bits of information.


                                                        • #35689
                                                          Robert Jackson

                                                              As Naomi says not much to add to what has been said.

                                                              I would just like to add something which is perhaps a bit anecdotal. An example is given of a corpus lesson in both formats. Because I am really, really interested in corpus linguistics, it did not matter at all to me how the information was presented; I was much more focused on what I was being told.

                                                              I would say I prefer Storyline but as I think has been commented in the posts, it is probably a matter of learner preferences; if the intrinsic motivation is there, the information will presumably be assimilated effectively whichever format is chosen.

                                                              Storyline seems a bit more interactive to me e.g. I don’t think you can write in boxes easily on articulate, but that is about all I noticed. And the avatar David seems to be guiding me through it more interactively than is the case with the quotes on articulate. Maybe I just need someone to hold my hand as I go through the materials; others may not )))

                                                              • #35756
                                                                Brenda Allen

                                                                    Definitely with you on the hand holding front @robj :good:

                                                                • #36040
                                                                  Zsofia Tarjani

                                                                      I’m late to the party so there is not much to add apart from a marriage idea:

                                                                      Perhaps the next step is to embed Storyline in Rise to have the best of both worlds. On a macro level, Rise could be guiding students through a process/lesson whatever it is and on a micro level, storyline would provide the more interactive, learner-controlled and fun activities. As a learner I like looking at the big picture first so I’d very much like the textbooky (Allen, 2021) feel but then the embedded storyline elements would be useful to practise a certain language point for instance.

                                                                  Viewing 9 reply threads
                                                                  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.