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Cross-faculty collaboration to create reusable online courses using Rise

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

Contributor details: Dr David Allison, Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, Catherine Wasiuk, Division of Population Health, Health Services Research & Primary Care


The learning and teaching context

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health and development threat. One strategy to slow the development of AMR and promote understanding of the key issues is to adopt a consistent approach to education on this topic. This presented an opportunity for a cross-faculty collaboration to create a short (60–90min) online self-study course to introduce an awareness of AMR relevant to undergraduate students in the Faculty. The course is aimed at first-year students as an optional introduction to the topic as a forerunner to core curriculum content. This project was based on an existing course for MPharm undergraduate students, which could then be adapted and repurposed for other healthcare (e.g. Optometry) and biological (e.g. Bioscience) subjects, thereby introducing a consistent approach to educating and raising awareness about this global healthcare issue across the Faculty.

The challenge addressed

One of the main challenges was to adapt an existing course that could be reused in many different healthcare contexts. This involved thinking about how to design the course for reusability whilst keeping a consistent approach to the topic. Another challenge was to produce content that was relevant and academically and professionally informative, which did not assume any prior knowledge of the topic, and most importantly, was produced in a succinct, user-friendly style. This involved condensing a text-heavy word-processed document to relevant screen text along with the incorporation of static and interactive images (e.g. hover diagrams) to help illustrate and reinforce key elements of learning. In addition, a desired feature was to adopt a style of presentation that would encourage participants’ thoughts, ideas and reflections throughout the course, building on content from lesson to lesson. It was also deemed important that participants could navigate backwards and forwards within the course depending on their progress and to receive immediate feedback to some of the reflective and applied questions.


Embedding the technology

The existing course was developed using the content package, Rise. Rise is a content authoring tool used extensively in the i3HS Hub that was chosen for this project because of its many features and functionalities when building an online course. It has lots of interactive elements that can be easily embedded in a course including sorting, labelled graphic, process, timeline, and accordion blocks, it is automatically responsive to desktop, tablet or mobile (content reflows based on the dimensions of your screen) and is easy to collaborate and get feedback on the course with others through the Review tool. Online courses can be built quickly in Rise and easily copied so that they can be adapted for different audiences.

List of courses in Rise — the master copy and subject-specific copies to deploy

The courses in Rise can also be exported as SCORM packages and embedded into Blackboard to measure student engagement and understanding of the topic.

Intended outcomes

The main intended outcomes for this project were:

  1. Develop a user friendly but informative course that incorporates supported learning
  2. Roll-out of course variants across the Faculty
  3. Measure student engagement with the module
  4. Improve student understanding of antimicrobial resistance

Evaluation of Impact

Photo by Samantha Borges on Unsplash

The course was created by David Allison (Pharmacy) and Catherine Wasiuk (i3HS Hub) based on the existing course. Catherine developed the course in Rise using the interactive elements to bring the content to life then shared the course via the review link to gather rapid feedback from David. Once completed, the Pharmacy orientated course was shared with colleagues across the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Sciences with a view to variants being produced that would be specific to different subjects and/or professions. Core academic material would be consistent, but subtle subject-specific changes made to make the content more relevant to particular subjects along with changes to the case studies. Immediate interest was shown by Optometry and Bioscience to produce courses relevant to these two subjects, and discussions are currently underway with Dentistry. An optometry version of the course has now been created. The course has also been shared with some other Schools of Pharmacy across the UK, some of whom have shown great interest in using the material. Discussions are being held to adopt the course across all schools of Pharmacy in the UK as a small but consistent approach to raising awareness about antimicrobial resistance. Consideration needs to be given to how copies of the course are made and how to implement changes to content as each course is a copy and not linked to an original source. This has been overcome by creating a ‘source’ copy that can be updated as the master copy and then copied into the other courses. All changes are recorded in a change log in an Excel spreadsheet.

The course will be launched this academic year via Blackboard. Due to the intensity of the core curriculum, this will be a voluntary activity for students but will be measured by the academic lead. The course will be uploaded to Blackboard as a SCORM package, which will allow tracking of how many students have accessed and completed the course. At the end of the course, students can complete a very short and optional questionnaire that will provide feedback to the authors and production team. This will be useful in taking the course forward in terms of both content and style of supported learning. Understanding of academic and related content will be assessed by student performance on the embedded quiz.


Without the technologies used, the learning experience would have been very dry and boring. Rise is a fantastic means by which to make self-study based learning an enjoyable yet informative experience. This manner of delivery also allows for participants to gauge their knowledge and understanding as they progress through the module by means of reflection and immediate feedback. Once an initial module is produced, there is the possibility to use this as a template for other, similar modules. Reusability of course content within the faculty is a priority and this presents an example of this working well using existing technology. However, the process of copying, updating and managing the content needs to be taken into consideration if this way of working is to be scaled up.

Additional information

For more information on this project and how to use this resource in your teaching, please contact david.allison@manchester.ac.uk. If you have any further ideas for cross-faculty collaboration or if you want more information on how to use Rise, please contact i3hs@manchester.ac.uk.




The i3HS Hub is a multidisciplinary project to promote teaching and research across disciplines for population health benefit through data sciences.

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Catherine Wasiuk

Catherine Wasiuk

Freelance Digital Learning Designer

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