Chapter 2: Intermediate Quality Assurance Testing
In our first chapter, we discussed some of the basics of quality assurance (QA). Now, we will discuss some of the more involved tasks that are associated with making sure the project you and your team have spent months developing has as few flaws as possible.
• Test the most common browsers – There are four common browsers: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, mostly for Windows users, and Safari for Apple/Mac users. There are others, but most developers tend to design their products for these four.
When creating eLearning, it’s important to know which browser the organization or students use the most. That way, you’ll know which browser to focus on first. But don’t stop there! Also check your product’s compatibility and stability on the other common browsers as well.
• Test on mobile devices – As the number of people using tablets and smartphones explodes, more courses are intended for mobile use. Make sure that the course cleanly fits inside the screen parameters of the intended device, can be viewed without eyestrain or can be zoomed into, and operates without error. On any course which supports orientation change – where you turn the device so that it views in landscape mode instead of portrait mode, or vice-versa – make sure that no bugs occur because of the move. Screens should seamlessly rotate without error.
• QA the bookmarking feature – “Bookmarking” refers returning to where you left off in a course, similar to how you leave a book mark in a book you’ve been reading. This is often, but not always, done in a SCORM or LMS setting. Many programs also simulate this in their Preview features. Settings vary, but generally you want your learners to return to the screen they exited from. Also, if it’s a screen with interaction, such as a quiz question, it should be in the same state the learner left it in. If they have already answered the question, the screen should reflect this when they return. It should not reset.
• Check branded courses – Some courses are built for multiple audiences or are tailored differently for different brands of an overall corporation – such as a series of branded hotels owned by one chain. In these cases, much of the content is similar and must be shared across these audiences and brands, but there will be a percentage of the content that will be different. This can be tricky to keep up with. Make sure you have storyboards at the ready to check these differences.
• Assessment QA – Make sure that assessments operate, save, and score properly. Check bookmarking with these as well.
• Get a second set of eyes on all QA – Much of the QA is handled internally with a small staff, often only by one person. This can be a problem, especially if they are QAing several projects at a time.
Once a tester has gone over a course several times, invite a 2nd or 3rd person to run through the course. All testers eventually start to miss things because they have been looking at the same screens constantly for a period of days or weeks. Eventually, it all starts to blur in their minds. A “second set of eyes” helps discover items that the first person may be missing.
These tasks are certainly not all-inclusive, but will go a long way in ensuring your eLearning works properly and reflects well upon you and your organization.
In our next and final chapter, we’ll look at more advanced techniques for QA. Look for it soon!
If you’d like to learn about custom course creation from Digitec Interactive, visit our eLearning page.
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