Case Study - Creation of an on-demand interactive tutorial for Doctoral researchers using Articulate Rise

Jen De Lillo, Christine Hallam, Laura Newman & Nathan Rush, Library


As part of a larger project redeveloping library training for Doctoral Researchers (DRs), we sought to develop an engaging, interactive on-demand resource to support DRs in optimising their literature searches. The team considered the technology-enhanced learning (TEL) tools available and ran a pilot using Articulate Rise: Effective Literature Searching. We present the feedback from users and report on our experience. We explore the issues faced regarding licencing and choice of platform and make recommendations for the adoption of the application in the development of interactive learning resources both within our team and in the University more broadly. 

1. Background 

The library provides training for Doctoral Researchers (DRs) to support them in developing the necessary skills to discover, manage, and use appropriate content for their research. Our training offer is reviewed annually, and given the experiences of the pandemic, we have also explored the formats in which training is delivered. As part of a previous project, we consulted DRs,1 and learnt that while many were keen to return to face-to-face delivery post-pandemic, respondents were pragmatic and thought that different formats (in person, live online, and on-demand) fitted different learning needs and goals. DRs favoured more interactivity overall and the use of specific examples. In response we created a programme of in person and on-demand training for 2021-22. However, the latter consisted largely of Panopto recordings and we wanted to improve the amount of interaction and engagement and sought to explore how new technologies might support this.  

2. Methodology 

We considered the available TEL tools which would support the creation of interactive on-demand resources and sought advice from colleagues in Enhanced Academic Practice (EAP) before choosing Articulate Rise. We attended in-house training sessions2 and identified literature searching as a topic which would adapt well to this format. We decided to adopt a scenario approach as it centres the user at the heart of the training.3 Although each individual team member was responsible for storyboarding a distinct scenario, the team worked collaboratively, reviewing others’ work and ensuring that the sub-topics flowed well together and avoiding unnecessary duplication. Similarly, we ensured that the activities included were varied to avoid participation fatigue. The resulting online on-demand interactive tutorial, Effective Literature Searching, is available on the Library’s Research Central page (Learn LBA701) in the section Discovering information for your research. 

3. Issues 

The limited number of licences and time constraints in transferring licences between team members was a major issue. For future iterations we recommend that only designated team members are responsible for translating content to Articulate Rise, while all project members gain expertise in the capabilities and learning activities of the application. To this end we created a ‘portfolio’ of potential activities. Another issue was the question of where the resource would be hosted. We decided to adopt the web-based option rather than hosting the SCORM package on Learn. The former method enhances the user experience although it does so at the cost of losing some of the benefits relating to more refined user analytics.  

4. Benefits 

It was useful to look at other projects, including those collated by EAP colleagues, to better understand how we could adopt engagement activities in our pilot. It was essential to storyboard scenarios and activities and discuss them with other team members before transferring them into Articulate. Two thirds of our time was spent on content creation. The development of this resource required a shift in mindset. It is necessary to have clearly defined objectives and be more discerning about what to include focusing on the main messages to convey. From a pedagogic perspective we have considered ways of making our content more granular so that learners can access content whenever they need it. The technology allowed us to rethink our content and how it might be presented in a novel way, whilst still meeting the needs of our users. 

5. Evidence of Success  

In feedback, all respondents said they would recommend the resource to a colleague. They stated that the course was the right length, pitched at the appropriate level and well-structured and organised. They liked the interactivity of the resource and appreciated the different ways in which they could engage with the material. One DR wrote, ‘I love how the content was digestible through interactive bite-sized elements - it really kept my attention on what was being taught! And the information was massively useful for me but if it was taught through a lecture style format, I know would not have full benefit of taking all the searching strategies from it.’ These findings reflect the literature which suggests that scenario-based learning supports action-based learning strategies. 

6. How Can Other Academics Reproduce This?  

Other staff can certainly use this resource and scenario-based approach as a springboard for the creation of their own resources. It can greatly improve user interaction with training materials. The limiting factor would be the procurement of a licence and the need to share licences between team members. 

7. Reflections 

The team worked well together and was well-supported by colleagues in EAP. If we did it again, we would entrust designated individuals with the responsibility of translating material into Articulate but have all involved in content creation. It would be good practice to more fully adopt the sharing of templates and content, whether through the Online Project Development Teams group or the Articulate E-Learning Heroes Community. Drawing on available templates and shareable content might make it seem less daunting for a time poor academic. We would also like to explore further the user analytics associated with the web-based version of the resource. 

8. References  

1. De Lillo, J. and Rush, N. (2022) ‘Realigning the Doctoral Training Programme at Loughborough University: Determining learning preferences’, Mercian Collaboration Conference, 6-7th September.  

2. Aldred, M. (2022) Building Online Courses: Creating your first Articulate Rise. [Teams Workshop]. Loughborough University. 7 April; Aldred, M. (2022) Building Online Courses: Accessibility and Rise. [Teams Workshop]. Loughborough University. 25 May. 

3. Seren Smith, M., Warnes, S. and Vanhoestenberghe, A, (2018) ‘Scenario-based learning’, in: J. P. Davies and N. Pachler (eds) Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Perspectives from UCL. London: UCL IOE Press, pp. 144-156. Available at: