It’s not a secret that designing and developing world-class eLearning courses can take a lot of time and effort. With different teams working, it’s easy for mistakes to go unnoticed. This is perhaps the reason why L&D leaders assume quality will be compromised in rapid eLearning development – a solution for quick and cost-effective eLearning rollout. However, ensuring quality in rapid eLearning or any eLearning development approach for that matter depends on robust quality checks and testing.
5 Ways to Ensure Quality in Rapid eLearning Development
- Corporate style guide
- Agile design and development
- Online review tools
- SCORM cloud testing
After all, even the smallest error in content, design, or functionality can impact the bottom line. Hence, a flawless course is very crucial for ensuring consistency (to sustain learner attention) and a smooth learning experience. But, what goes into the quality assurance of your rapid eLearning courses?
Let’s look at 5 ways that are used to test your rapid eLearning courses for quality.
5 Ways for Error-free Rapid eLearning Courses
1. Corporate Style Guide
Your corporate style guide is the primary asset that’ll help the development team (be it in-house or eLearning vendor’s) to ensure uniformity and consistency in the courses created by different people, at varied times. They set out the rules on how the developed eLearning courses should look.
Without a style guide, it’s going to be extremely difficult to deliver professional and polished eLearning courses. It’s quite possible that courses in a curriculum might end up looking completely different because different teams would follow their own approach.
Hence, style guides are extremely important for quality assurance because they lay down the common and accepted practices for digital learning, including:
- Template designs
- Writing style (including tone, sentence structuring)
- Spelling (e.g., American/ British English)
- Usage of symbols, lists, numbers, fonts etc.
- Grammar (capitalization, commas, etc.)
- Graphic design elements
…………………..and anything you would want the development team to adhere to.
In short, a style guide serves as reference for development team creating your rapid eLearning courses.
“We’re really sorry that you found typos in the final product.”
“We checked the courses thoroughly but somehow missed these elements.”
Do you really dread hearing such excuses from your rapid eLearning development team? Well, perhaps the team skipped the step of creating quality checklists.
To deliver 100% error-free rapid eLearning courses, checklists are a must! Checklists can be created for different teams involved in the eLearning design and development process – Instructional Designers, Visual Designers, Developers, and so on. These lists give a holistic idea of what each team should crosscheck before submitting the final rapid eLearning course.
From the welcome and summary slides, to SCORM Cloud testing, checklists are created to ensure each subsequent step is flawless in rapid eLearning development.
Here’s a checklist (containing best practices) for the quality assurance of learning objectives in eLearning courses.
3. Agile Design and Development
Is your organization (or eLearning vendor) still following the ADDIE model of design and development? If yes, I need not tell you about the quantum of changes that might be needed at the end of the development cycle! With high-level feedback implementation near the end stage, quality assurance takes a backseat and finishing the project becomes a priority. This also means you’ll have to bear additional cost with added time and efforts.
However, you can avoid all the last-minute frenzy (including additional cost, time and efforts), and get top-notch rapid eLearning courses by leveraging a more agile design and development approach.
The Agile methodology or SAM (Successive Approximation Method) exhibits a greater degree of transparency than the conventional ADDIE model. The eLearning team submits an iteration of a project for review after every milestone, allowing the team and stakeholders to uncover issues and address them before any further work is done. So, you can be rest assured that the final output will be exactly what you wanted from the beginning – flawless and high-impact.
4. Online Review Tools
Before online review tools entered the eLearning scene, reviewing storyboards involved jotting down feedback/comments in Word documents, PPTs, and even Excel sheets. This conventional process entailed a lot of problems which would often negatively impact the quality of eLearning courses.
- Keeping track of multiple feedback documents by multiple SMEs
- Making sense of contradictory feedback from different reviewers
- Overlooking minor feedback while fixing major ones
… and more that could take a toll on the quality of the courses.
However, using online review tools/apps (ReviewLink, Review 360, ReviewMyElearning) help in resolving all these issues. The development team can focus on quality assurance better since the online tools allow:
- In-context feedback with version control
- Online access to the reviewed courses
- Cohesive feedback all in one place
Apart from optimal quality courses, you save a lot of additional time – a double winner!
5. SCORM Cloud Testing
Quality assurance of rapid eLearning courses isn’t restricted to just design and development, technological compliance is equally important. After all, what’s the point of having high-quality courses that fail to function and track progress on your Learning Management System or LMS?
Hence, it is extremely important to test your courses in SCORM Cloud before the final launch. This helps in evaluating how your courses will adhere to eLearning technical standards – SCORM, xAPI or cmi5 and function on your LMS or learning platforms.
In simple terms, SCORM Cloud allows you to:
- Test how your eLearning course will play on your LMS
- Get in-depth reporting and analytics
- Score – final assessment results
- Course status – passed/failed, started/yet to start, completed/in-progress
- Learner attempts
All in all, a test run will ensure that your rapid eLearning courses are technologically error-free and of high-standards.
Summing It Up!
To sum it all up, robust quality assurance processes in rapid eLearning development means less rework and quicker finalization. In addition, the focus is on enhancing the learner experience rather than fixing errors. But, most of all, the lack of a good quality assurance process is as good as willingly risking learners’ attention/interest and (at worst) putting them off.
Since I’ve been mentioning rapid eLearning quite a times now, how about exploring it closely? Here’s a free eBook “Rapid eLearning Design for Quick Rollout” that you must download to discover 5 secrets to create courses at the speed of business, without compromising quality and creativity.