Quality assurance of eLearning content is an important part of the overall eLearning development. There is nothing more embarrassing than submitting your eLearning course to a client and getting an angry phone call later about the typos, inconsistencies, and technical errors in the course you thought was just perfect. How do you make sure that this scenario does not happen? In this article, you’ll learn some tips that will help you make sure that your projects are free of errors.
Use a Style Guide
In marketing, style guides and brand guidelines are very common. Unfortunately, it is still not the norm to use style guides in eLearning. Style guides help companies maintain consistency both within and across projects. In other words, a style guide is a set of standards that help guide content creators in the writing process to ensure that they consistently use best practices in composition and typography.
If your client has not created their own style guide, you can use choose from one of the many existing guides -Associated Press (AP), Chicago Manual of Style, APA Style, etc.
Proofread Every Stage of Your Project
On one occasion, I joined a quality assurance team during the final phase of an eLearning project. I was surprised to find typos and grammatical errors so late in the process. I thought that these errors should have been caught during scripting or during the alpha phase, and I thought that the editor who worked on the project before me didn’t do a good job. As I learned later, I was completely wrong!
Even though we try to prevent it, content often changes in the middle of the project. As more and more subject matter experts review the eLearning content, they can request content and script changes after the alpha and even beta reviews. Moreover, developers often just copy and paste the content from the script or storyboard to the program that they use to develop the eLearning course, and errors can happen there as well. That’s why it’s crucial to proofread your content during each phase in order to make sure there are no grammatical errors and typos once you are ready to submit the final project to your client.
Test Every Single Button
It’s easy to assume that all the ‘previous’ and ‘next’ buttons work correctly since they’re often added automatically by the eLearning development programs. During my time conducting quality assurance reviews, I’ve often become lost by clicking ‘previous’ buttons which did not take me to the right location. I’ve gotten confused after clicking ‘knowledge check’ buttons that showed incorrect feedback for the correct answer as well. I’ve almost lost my cool by dragging and dropping cards in an attempt to find the correct place on the screen where they should finally stick. It’s important to test all the buttons and all the ‘knowledge check’ answers –including the incorrect ones as well- and all the interactions.
Use a Checklist
There is a lot to review when you want to create a perfect eLearning course that is free of errors. Your best bet is to use a checklist in order to make sure that you cover everything every time you review your course. Having this checklist is even more important if you have others reviewing your course. It’s a way to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
You don’t have to start with an empty page when you are putting together an eLearning project quality assurance checklist. You can search for one online and edit it to fit your project.
Have a Second Set of Eyes Review Your Course
You and your team have seen the content many times -from the time you put together the script until you developed the final version. It’s really easy to overlook errors (even if you use a checklist) because your eyes get used to the text. It’s always a great idea to have somebody else conduct the quality assurance testing of your eLearning course. Just make sure you don’t take their feedback personally! Both you and your reviewer should have the same goal in mind: to create the best possible eLearning course.
Michaela Pacesova is an eLearning instructional designer and quality assurance expert. Known for her attention to detail; Michaela collaborates on high-quality eLearning projects for companies like Apple, Google, Twitter, ESPN, Intuit, Microsoft, McKinsey, and others.