10 tips on how to quality assure for eLearning

Ellie Wagstaff Sherwood | 05/10/2018

Earlier this month, I joined Cursim - Omniplex's team of learning design and development experts. As Cursim's Quality and Project Coordinator, it's my job to make sure all of the courses we create get to our customers without any errors. This can be a tough job, so I've put together my top 10 tips for how to quality assure for eLearning.

  1. Know what you’re looking for. It can help to follow a checklist when conducting your QA– it makes things much easier by having a list of outcomes to tick off and helps ensure you’re looking out for the same things each time!
  2. Check for text errors. No matter how many times you check the storyboard before a course goes into production there are bound to be a couple of spelling or grammatical errors that slip through the net! You may want to consider:

    • Are any words misspelt?
    • Do sentences make sense? Are any unfinished?
    • Has the incorrect grammar been used anywhere?
    • Is there a consistent tone to the course?
    • Has the correct punctuation been used?
  1. Check for functionality issues. It would be a good idea to include the following in your checklist (if appropriate):

    • Do the next and previous buttons work as they should?
    • Do links open?
    • Are videos playing?
    • Do popups display correctly?
    • Once you’ve completed the course, it’s sometimes a good idea to make sure you can go through the pages in reverse. This will ensure that the functionality for clicking on popups and navigation buttons are still working as they should.
  1. Check the audio. For some users it is a real benefit to have audio playing when completing a course, although this can create an added layer to the QA process. Think about:
    • Has the right audio file been inserted for the right screen?
    • Is the quality of the recording good enough? Are there interruptions or sound disturbances?
    • Does the audio play correctly from the beginning to the end of the file?
    • Is the audio correctly synchronised with whatever is happening on screen?
    • Does the audio still play even if the user is reloading the page/clicking on popups etc.?

Remember that checking for functionality, text and audio issues all at the same time could be a recipe for disaster!

  1. Check functionality works using different browsers and devises. It’s important to make sure that your course works in different Internet browsers and devices, to avoid possible user issues once released. You may want to check on:

    • Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Edge and Safari. Remember that different versions of the same browser may produce different results!
    • Laptop
    • Tablet
    • Smartphone
  1. Limit what you’re checking for. Try not to look out for too many things at once. It’s likely that something will be missed if you do.
  1. Be aware of your client’s expectations – do they have guidelines that you need to follow?

    If your client has a Style Guide, or a set of rules for the way they want their course to be presented, make sure that you have this with you when you check the course. This will save time if you want to confirm how something should look.
  1. Sit in an environment that suits you. QA can take a serious amount of concentration, particularly during the first couple of rounds, so you may find that you work better in a quieter atmosphere.
  2. Use a form to log your changes. The clear layout can make it easier to highlight issues and for whoever is making amendments to read the requests. You might think about including screen grabs of affected screens, so that the locations of amendments can be identified easily. Or the Articulate 360 Review tool is an excellent way of capturing review comments.
  3. Time-manage yourself. If you know that a full QA is going to take a whole afternoon, make sure that you factor this in. Being able to give the task your full concentration will mean that you’re able to take your time and catch as many issues as possible!

Ellie Wagstaff Sherwood

Ellie is a Quality and Project Coordinator for Cursim, Omniplex's learning design and development division.

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