Quality Assurance In eLearning
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Quality Assurance In eLearning

Quality is perhaps the most critical deciding factor in the purchase decision process. And it applies to all industries. An eLearning business can thrive or fail depending on the quality of its products or services. The quality of a product or service determines customer satisfaction, which in turn, decides the fate of the business. The eLearning industry is no exception. Being in the learning industry, eLearning products have far more impact on quality—first, as a product and second, as an influencer on the performance of the customer’s workforce. Thus, Quality Assurance or QA is even more important in eLearning.

The most important function of QA is to find and eliminate all preventable errors well before you deliver the product to your client. However, quality is often a misunderstood concept.

What Is Meant By Quality?

In layman’s terms, the quality of a product or service simply means that the product or service should be able to do what it is expected to do. It seems quite simple, but achieving quality is mischievously tricky and difficult. Let’s understand the concept of quality with the example of two car models: Model A and Model B. Both are of the same make and come with the same specifications except that Model B does not have a factory-fitted AC, while Model A comes with factory-fitted AC.

Do You Think The Quality Of Model B Is Better?

Surprisingly, the answer is No. Model B is not supposed to have AC, so the non-availability of AC is not a quality parameter for this model. However, for Model A, the proper functioning of the AC is a quality parameter since it is supposed to have an AC.

What Does It Take To Ensure Quality?

Short answer—very simple—rigorous quality testing. Long answer,  it’s a very critical part of any process and needs a careful multi-layer quality assurance process. Let’s find out more.

What Is Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance is a method of identifying and correcting defects in products or services so that the final output to the customer is defect-free and conforms to the agreed level of quality. Quality assurance is a critical aspect of all delivery teams. Concerning the software and eLearning industry, quality assurance has a very significant role to play in the development life cycle.

In reference to eLearning or content services, the QA process must focus on 3 key elements:

  1. Textual information
    Content is the king and so is the textual information. The QA process must check for any inaccuracies in content in terms of language, grammar, tone, readability, and so on.
  2. Visual design
    A key element of eLearning is its visual design. A good visual design can enhance the learning experience and a bad design can ruin it. The QA process must ensure that the design is appropriate for the target audience, supports textual information, and does not distract the learner from core learning.
  3. Functionality
    User navigation and interactivity form a key layer of eLearning. The QA process perhaps contributes the most in ensuring the functionalities of an eLearning module are proper, as per clients' expectations. Any bug in the functionality can render the module useless. For example, if the user is not able to click the Next button to move to the next screen, the module has no use. Also, the use of complicated functionalities makes it difficult for the learner to use the module.

eLearning And UAT

UAT or User Acceptance Testing is a critical part of the QA process that evaluates the product from the users' perspective. It intends to find out whether the end user of the product will be able to use the product in a meaningful way and with ease. UAT plays a critical role in eLearning as it ensures the product is useful for end users, which in turn ensures customer satisfaction. Thus, QA plays a critical role in customer satisfaction.

Conclusion

While eLearning development is predominantly dependent on both an Instructional Designer and media designer, the role of QA is often not visible upfront. However, QA plays the most significant role in ensuring the final output is acceptable to customers and thus helps in the growth of the business.

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