Quality Assurance (QA) testing is a big part of e-learning course development. While I think it’s safe to say that this not anyone’s favorite part of the process, that doesn’t make it any less important. Here are four tips for making sure your review process is fast and effective.
1. Get Someone with a Fresh Set of Eyes to Review Your Course
When you’ve been working on a project for awhile, it is often difficult to spot typos, spelling mistakes, and other small errors. Whenever possible, find someone who is not directly involved with the project to review your course—for example, a co-worker, a manager, a trusted friend, or even a parent. However, be careful not to share any confidential information with someone who has not signed a confidentiality waiver.
2. Include a Set Number of Review Cycles in Your Project Plan
Depending on the project and the number of stakeholders involved, you may have more or fewer review cycles. This is something you should determine at the beginning of the project, as more review cycles leads to more production time, which should be factored into your project plan. In addition to setting a fixed number of review cycles, set a timeline for each review cycle so you’re not sitting around waiting for feedback instead of moving the project forward.
3. Specify the Kind of Feedback You’re Looking For in Each Review Cycle
At each stage of the creation process you’re focused on different aspects of your course. As the course designer, you know that, but your course reviewers may not. Make sure to give them guidelines about the type of feedback you’re looking for in each review cycle. For example: when they’re reviewing a storyboard, feedback should be about content, not graphic design. And when they’re reviewing a prototype, their feedback should be about functionality and design.
If you don’t make it clear what type of feedback you’re looking for at each phase, the review process may end up being a real time-suck. For example, if your reviewers don’t understand they need to nail down the content in the first phase of development, they may keep giving you content-related feedback throughout the course creation process. If you have to keep going back and editing the content in the later stages of development, it could delay the course delivery date.
4. Use a Review App to Keep Track of Feedback
Keeping track of all the feedback received during review cycles used to be a huge challenge. I remember having to put together gigantic spreadsheets to try and keep tabs on it all. What a headache! Thankfully, now there’s Articulate Review.
Articulate Review takes all the pain out of the review process because it allows stakeholders to leave their comments in context: right next to the slide! Not to mention that the comments are preserved even when you upload a new version of the course, so you don’t have to worry about losing track of them. Just send them a link and they can add their feedback. Easy-peasy! Click here to learn more about why we love Articulate Review (and why you will too).
Obviously, these suggestions are only the tip of the iceberg. Check out these resources for more great advice about the review process:
- The Top 4 Reasons to Test Your E-Learning Courses
- The Ultimate E-Learning Design and Development Checklist
- Speed Collaboration with Articulate Review
- 3 Ways Articulate Review Is a Big Gift for Course Developers
- 5 Steps to an Easier E-Learning Course Review Process
- Follow These 3 Tips to Put the “Pro” Back in Your Review Process
- Rise Example: A Course for Stakeholders on the Review Process
What about you? What does your QA testing process look like?
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