Quality assuring your learning materials
Posted on: December 02, 2016
We were asked recently to provide an independent quality assurance service for one of our clients.
The materials in question were a series of elearning packages and associated files and assessments.
So, what should you be looking for when aiming for a high quality product?
The learner journey
Note that a QA check like this is no substitute for a full usability test with real users.
How the user is taken through the activities and resources, identifying any pain points from the user’s perspective. Consider how the learner will get to the materials - the whole journey from initial contact through to completion.
Whether the interface itself is a barrier to users.
How the activities and resources work together to ensure learning objectives are best supported. Will learners be frustrated because it’s too hard, or bored because it’s too easy?
The motivating factors that will retain the user’s attention during the learning module.
Note that a QA check like this should be complemented by a full accessibility audit with an organisation like the Shaw Trust
What happens when the user resizes text and switches of images & CSS?
Consider headings, link purpose, consistency and readability. Use a tool such as Readability Score
Consider aspects such as availability to screen readers, [alt] text descriptions, use of colour and colour contrast, and page semantic structure
Consider aspects such as Closed Captions and visual alternatives
Consider aspects such as tabbing through the interface and keyboard control
Consider any metadata requirements, content packaging conformance and use of optional runtime elements (especially if these packages need to be portable between systems)
Consider the bandwidth needed for each page
Consider which devices, screen sizes and resolutions. Should the packages support Retina displays. Should the pages be responsive? If so, to what sizes?
Which browser versions should the packages be tested against?
Consider how the packages might be localised if necessary. Will they need to be editable by someone else? If so, do they have the software required to do so?
If assessments are built into the packages, how will the answers be kept secure? If using xAPI, how will the communication between the packages and the LRS be secured appropriately?