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5 Key Considerations for Testing E-learning Applications

5 Key Considerations for Testing E-learning Applications

E-learning Applications Testing Services

The Rise of E-learning platforms

Increasing adoption of E-learning programs, with better availability and access to knowledge, is opening up newer business possibilities by the day. Also, from a financial viability standpoint, E-learning programs have lesser fixed and operational costs, thereby enabling institutions to offer courses that are traditionally not considered as mainstream. Learners too, are increasingly adopting online learning as it allows them to take control of and pace their own learning flow to meet set goals.

E-learning platforms are also enabling development of personalised learning modules targeted at specific learner groups and has the ability to curate more relevant learning programs. Leveraging the latest technology in e-learning platforms is unlocking newer capabilities, making the learning experience increasingly engaging and immersive.

Ensuring Adoption by Testing E-learning Applications

Though the adoption rate of online learning has been on the rise, there are a lot of inherent challenges in making an E-learning program successful.

With the rising social distractions for the current generation learners, it has become imperative for the programs to maintain a consistent learner engagement.

For any online learning program, the E- learning application delivers content to the learners and hence plays a crucial role in retaining the learner engagement. Potential anomalies in the E-learning application would directly impact the learning experience. Hence, the Quality Assurance team must be mindful of the following considerations before testing an E-learning application.

1. Validating User Benefits

The application caters mainly to two types of users – Learners and Instructors/Program Coordinators. The requirements and expectations of these users are quite different from each other that the application has to comprehensively cover for all. This is important information for the QA team to internalize before planning the testing approach. The core benefits expected by both types of users are listed as below:

      1. Learners
        • Intuitive user interface
        • Quality and error free content
        • Ease in enrollment and navigation through modules
        • Ability to access the course modules across different devices and operating
        • systems
        • Ability to participate in assignments and quizzes
        • Monitor learning progress
      2. Instructors and Program Coordinators
        • Ease of adding and editing course content
        • Ease of monitoring learner progress
        • Ability to grade and evaluate learners
        • Security for managing assessments
        • Ease of maintaining Assessment history

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2. Validating the Functionalities

Testing of E-learning applications involves verifying a range of business functions that are interdependent on each other. In most cases, Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Content Management Systems (CMS) encapsulate the majority of functions involved in the application. Some of the functionalities or workflows tested in E-learning applications include:

a. Learning resources (Repositories of learning materials available in different formats)
b. Assignment modules (Interactive modules that involve response from the learner, integrated with grading and valuation functions for the completed assignments)
c. Discussion Forums (Platforms that allows learners to interact with their peers)
d. Access for specific learning modules based on the student (Generating a learner profile based on the engagement of the user with the application and providing access to subsequent modules)
e. Data visualisation of student participation (Attendance, Grades, Assignment and Overall performance of a class)

3. Validating the learnability of the content

Since the learnability of delivered content is crucial, the content will have to be tested along with the functionality. To establish the quality of a learning program, the functioning of the learning module and flow of content delivery will have to be exhaustively tested. Domain experts must be involved in testing the instructional design coupled with functional testing of the application.

4. Validating the compatibility across devices and operating systems

The users would access the application through multiple devices and platforms and it becomes absolutely essential for the QA team to perform cross-platform and cross-browser testing across multiple devices.

5. Validation of Application by concurrent testing

Since the learnability of delivered content is crucial, the content will have to be tested along with the functionality. To establish the quality of a learning program, the functioning of the learning module and flow of content delivery will have to be exhaustively tested. Domain experts must be involved in testing the instructional design coupled with functional testing of the application.

The learnability of content through an E-learning application is a combined measure of usability of the application, compatibility across devices, performance under load and comprehensibility of the content. Hence, to ensure thorough validation of the application, the QA team must define a testing approach that caters to all the parameters that directly impact learnability.

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Established in 2003, with less than five testing experts, QA InfoTech has grown leaps and bounds with three QA Centers of Excellence globally; two of which are located in the hub of IT activity in India, Noida, and the other, our affiliate QA InfoTech Inc Michigan USA. In 2010 and 2011, QA InfoTech has been ranked in the top 100 places to work for in India.