How to Improve Your Courses by Properly Testing and Vetting Them

Sometimes when e-learning professionals are developing courses up against a deadline, the Testing and Quality Assurance phase can take a backseat or, worse, be ignored altogether. This is a bad idea! Properly testing your course will help you spot issues and problems ahead of time. It will not only help ensure a smooth experience for all your learners, but will also ensure that the content is on target and well-understood. Here are three tips to help you thoroughly review and test your course for the best learning experience:

Tip 1: Incorporate Testing Time in the Project Plan

One reason testing is often neglected is that it’s not included in the preliminary planning of the course design and development. Make sure to incorporate plenty of time not only for the testing but also the follow-up edits and changes that may be required as a result of that testing.

Tip 2: Use a Diverse Group of Testers

Try to use as diverse a group as possible to test your course. Include people with different levels of technical experience and background knowledge to get a good idea of how your real-life audience will interact with the course. Your tech-savvy 20-year-old might breeze through the course, but is your less technically proficient worker struggling to identify a “next” button? This is why you want a diverse group of testers.

Tip 3: Test for Various Things

Your various testers should be on the lookout for different things in your course.

  • Content accuracy: Your subject matter expert should take a final spin through your course before it goes public to ensure that all the information, facts, and processes within the course are accurate.
  • Spelling and grammar: Even if you don’t have a professional editor to work with, it’s always great to get a second set of eyes on your textual content, to weed out any obvious typos and mistakes. Try to involve someone who’s a good writer!
  • Navigation: Ask your testers to take note of any time they become stuck or unsure of where to click or where to go. You can edit to make the navigation path clearer based on their feedback.
  • System issues: Try to have testers who use different software and hardware applications on their systems. You might see an issue in the course for someone viewing it on a Mac system versus a PC. Or there might be a piece of the course that isn’t viewable without the learner installing another application, etc.

These are just a few helpful tips you should follow to make sure your courses are properly tested before they go live to your audience. Here are a couple of related articles:

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Christopher Borum
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Deborah Cassidy
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