MLA Style Formatting (Rise Course)

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 This three-part Rise course was designed in Rise to be mobile-friendly and searchable for high school and college students addressing their learning gaps in MLA formatting. 

  • Purpose: To ensure students learn, practice, and have a resource for MLA formatting style for projects throughout the curriculum (IB high school)

  • Audience: Students, generally in high school, college, or graduate programs where they write papers that require formatting in MLA style

  • Responsibilities: Gathering Data, Project Management, Needs Analysis, Consensus Building with Stakeholders, Instructional Design, eLearning Design, Video Recording and Editing, Implementation in LMS, and Evaluation/Data Analysis

  • Learning Theory Considered: Gagne's 9 Events of Instruction, Backwards Design, and UDL

  • Project Model Used: ADDIE 

  • Tools Used: Articulate Rise 360, Loom, Canva, Photoshop, Snipping Tool, and SCORM/LMS (Canvas)

  • Date Completed: January 2022


Background: This was a real world task that came from a needs analysis process with my IB team at school. We noted common student issues with citations and formatting on end of course assessments. We have traditional lessons but found that the information needed to be accessible to students for review. The choice to use eLearning was driven by a desire to create a more effective ongoing resource than merely linking students to websites or guides.  

Problem: Students persistently struggle to remember citation rules when it is time to write their internal assessments, extended essays, and other assessments. In particular, on IB assessments, teachers are not supposed to “copy edit” and correct grammar/formatting line by line on those pieces before they are submitted. As such, Extended Essay supervisors were frustrated students lacked basic formatting and citation skills. Students also lacked technology skills to apply formatting, such as hanging indents, even when they knew they should be formatting. 

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Process: I determined that a Rise course would be a good tool since it is accessible on mobile and would work with the text, images, and videos needed. This way, students could reference it as they needed as well. Rise is also a searchable tool, which makes it good for a recurring resource. I designed a three-part Rise course with a simple assessment at the end that could be implemented and tracked through SCORM in my LMS.


The focus was on the course as an ongoing resource for students.

Design & Development
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Design & Development Priorities:

  • Chunking for Cognitive Load: I considered the category organization and decided on General, In-text Citations, and Works Cited. I created a banner above in Canva to chunk the sections to reduce cognitive load.

  • Meaningful Interactions: I tried to add only meaningful interactions and not over-do it but vary the interactions appropriately to the situation. I incorporated a brief scenario, flashcards, knowledge checks, and sorting. The interactions should help chunk the course as well, giving students a time to stop and consider the information. 

  • Culturally Responsive: I looked for free stock photos that were culturally inclusive and appropriate to high school or adult college level learners.

  • Accessibility: I created captions for the video tutorials with a free work around: I manually fixed the Loom transcripts, uploaded the videos to Youtube in order to download a caption file, and converted to vtt for Rise. 

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Implementation & Evaluation
Implementation: English teachers in the IB program had students use the tutorial at the start of the Spring 2022 semester. The implementation went smoothly and was delivered through our LMS.

Evaluation: It is too early to do a full evaluation, but 86% of learners scored proficient on the quiz at the end and 74% turned in an accurate product in writing on the first try (there was a writing task at our school that has to be graded by a person and isn’t in the course) to show formatting knowledge. Students also had overwhelmingly positive feedback and liked the tool, with nearly every student survey saying it was more effective than their previous traditional lessons on the same topic (68%) or equally effective (32%). Only 1 student said it was less effective. 

The majority of students who did not get proficient on the first try went back and all but 1 student in grades 9-12 scored 100% eventually on the quiz. So far, 92% of students have fixed errors and turned in an accurate product on subsequent tries. It will take time to see if the tool is successful long-term. 

Evaluation Data Update 2/20: In final draft assessments, 23 out of 25 Extended Essay supervisors expressed that their students used citations perfectly or adequately this year, compared to 9 who said that students had done so in prior years. This suggest student behavior on this skill changed as a result of the training tool. I don't have the final tallies of how many Extended Essays had citation issues vs. prior years but hope to update that as well when I have the final data! 


Purdue Writing Lab. “MLA Formatting and Style Guide // Purdue Writing Lab.” Purdue Writing Lab, Purdue University , 2021, mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html