Testing quality using a laptop

Test, check and track!

In this day and age people have so many choices about even the most basic of things — what to do, what to eat, what to read. So with all this choice only a click away, why would anyone waste their time on a product that was inaccurate, broken or that didn’t function intuitively? For a learner who might have little interest in a piece of elearning in the first place, problems with the software or copy might disengage them forever!

How confident would you be in the learning outcomes of a course if it has spelling mistakes, alignment issues, or is not branded correctly?  Would you still be interested enough to go through the course? This sounds extreme doesn’t it? But there’s plenty of web copy that I’ve seen that shows that attention to detail and consistency is sadly missing.

Being a quality assurance analyst it goes without saying that delivering quality and frankly, respecting the learner, is my passion, but it’s also critical to the end outcome and effectiveness of a course. Perhaps a change to the way you assure your work can help put this aspect of course development at the heart of it rather than as an afterthought.

These three tips will help with this:

  1. Use a focused quality control technique

    It’s crucial to review courses during each and every phase of production from storyboarding (yes storyboarding) through to development. Whilst it’s tempting to hold off testing until you believe you’ve created the final product, testing is best done as an iterative process so that any bugs are spotted early and the rest of the build can continue bug free.

    Obviously, you should never take the risk of delivering a course without running a thorough quality check of the whole course but you should also complete a more specific, targeted one, called a focused quality control (QC).

    Using a QC technique requires you to check particular aspects, one by one, instead of checking the whole course package at one time. For example, you might check that all the titles in the entire course and then go through all spacing. This is more effective than reviewing for everything on a screen by screen basis.

  1. Report bugs in a smart way

    If you find an error, this obviously needs to be recorded. It’s really surprising how awful our writing skills have become since texting became the normal way for friends and colleagues to correspond with each other. Writing up an issue correctly to give a clear description of the bug to the developers or designers, which includes the location of the bug and its severity and priority seems to be a rare skill. I’ve seen so much toing and froing due to misunderstandings caused by poor articulation of the problem, meaning that bugs are made worse and require even more time and effort to resolve. Adding a screenshot might really help to clarify the issue.

    Remember, it’s important to be focused and confident whilst doing testing. Put yourself in the shoes of the learner and treat the process as a dress rehearsal before the big performance!

  2. Track valuable information after people have begun using the course

    To improve the quality of future projects or to plan the next iteration of your course you should also track valuable information from the course that’s been deployed.

    You can easily use tools like Google Analytics to answer some of the following questions:how long does the learner spend on a page? What’s their preferred device when accessing the course? Are there sections of the course people tend to spend more time on or skip through quicker?

    That way you’ll get a better idea about what areas of the course you need to focus on and how you can ensure you provide your learners with courses that truly engage and inspire them.

The success of elearning depends on how you keep your learners motivated and engaged. Providing them with courses that have undergone a full quality check contributes significantly to a return on investment by helping to deliver a return on engagement.

Do you feel like your elearning isn’t reaching the standard of quality you need? Why not get in touch with us to see if we can help?

If you’ve found these tips helpful, please leave a comment below and let us know!