Table of Contents

5 Elearning Quality Assurance Lessons Learned

elearning quality control

When developing elearning as part of a team or even as a team of one, it is critical to think about how you’re going to test it. At Endurance Learning, we have evolved our elearning quality assurance processes over many years and many mistakes.

When we started building elearning as Endurance Learning we were a small, nimble team where everyone did every role. There was no real structure to quality assurance (QA) and everyone took their turn at testing elearning. We often tested live with one person taking the course while the other watched on a Zoom call. Over time, we have evolved and created some more effective processes.

1. Create Traceability

An early lesson was that we didn’t know why we changed something. Did the customer ask? Did we find something? Did we open up the wrong file to make edits? We had used the Storyboards but it got very hard to tell if we had addressed all concerns. Some of us had used Trello before and it seemed like we could log issues and move them from one column to the next when we addressed them. Over time, we’ve continued to evolve this practice and have gotten better as a team at commenting on issues so that we not only know the issue was addressed, but have a quick way to tell who and how it was addressed.

elearning quality assurance trello board

2. Be Consistent

Early in our elearning journey, our internal team was responsible for Storyboards while external contractors were responsible for development. We worked with a ton of really smart people and they each had their own way of working. With each person, we adapted to their style. Suddenly, any process we thought we had was out the window. Some developers liked the feedback in a Word document. Some wanted it in Slack. Some liked the Trello board but didn’t move the tickets. We acquiesced. Eventually, we learned that we were doing ourselves and our customers a disservice. We couldn’t remember from project to project what process we were following and issues would get lost. To verify that every issue was addressed took additional time and energy. Once we started requiring the same exact process for every developer, we found ourselves being more efficient and more confident in the final product.

3. Unit Test

Our consistency had improved and we were producing enough elearning that we needed help with quality assurance. We hired a contractor who would regularly do QA on modules. She eventually became an employee. One day during a check in, it became clear that our team of internal and external developers were handing off elearning to be tested that wasn’t what we expected. When you receive a module where the “Start” button on the first page doesn’t work, you know you have a problem.

We quickly talked to every developer about their process for testing their work. In software development this is called unit testing. While the concept in elearning isn’t identical, the message was that developers had to take what they developed as a learner. At the same time they needed to have the software open to make edits. Our team saw immediately that we had to document fewer issues and go through fewer rounds of QA. Even if the developer’s unit test added two hours onto an eight hour development effort, it proved to save time and money.

We published our Elearning Quality Assurance Checklist so you don’t have to make the same mistake.

4. The BEST Elearning Quality Assurance Happens Before You Build

Our QA team and developers reported that we were fixing issues in the elearning that could have been caught in the storyboard. Software industry studies prove that catching bugs early can save 15 hours for every 1 hour of effort. Our own internal study showed this to be true for elearning work, especially for minor but important issues. If we didn’t include the trademark on a product or use consistent terminology to describe a process, identifying and fixing these in a developed module was way more expensive than catching them in the storyboard.

5. Agile Quality Assurance

Our team builds everything from 3-5 minute microlearning to extensive onboarding programs. In almost every case, we’ve learned that we shouldn’t wait to test. A larger course on a deadline is very hard to test. We build a lot of custom scenarios (what, you thought we build page turners?) and these need to be tested. While our team is still getting used to not seeing a course all at once, we’ve started to publish sections of a module to be tested. This has a few wonderful benefits. First, we can start testing long before we’re near the deadline. Second, it can really reduce the overload that our QA team feels when they test modules. Finally, it can inform changes to be made in additional parts of an elearning module.

Bonus: Add New Tools for Efficient Elearning QA

One of our latest changes also pulls from the world of software development. Whether it was project leads or those in QA, reviewing elearning modules was proving to be too time intensive. We did some research on tools that would integrate with Trello to allow our team to more quickly capture feedback. While we are still only a month into our implementation, our team reports that the use of has been a big boost to their productivity and accuracy. We’ll talk more about this in the future if it continues to show the benefits we expect.

adding quality assurance ticket to trello with

Articles Similar to 5 Elearning Quality Assurance Lessons Learned

elearning developer qa checklist
Lindsay Garcia

Elearning QA Checklist

Elearning developers should provide the first, and maybe the most thorough, quality assurance (QA) of an elearning module. Our team uses an elearning QA checklist

better learner certificates
Hannah Radant

Better Learner Certificates in Articulate Storyline

Learner certificates often appear at the end of a course to verify and recognize the achievement of a learner. Articulate Storyline has made it very easy to do this by adding a print slide trigger.
Today’s blog post outlines the steps to elevating this print feature to a lightbox slide. It includes how to build it and a downloadable file as well!

adding audio in articulate rise
Erin Clarke

5 Ways to Add Audio in Articulate Rise

What is one way to make Articulate Rise more engaging? Audio! Our team took on the challenge of exploring the options, benefits, and limitations in adding audio in Rise.

elearning easter eggs
Brian Washburn

Fun with Elearning Design: Hiding Easter Eggs

Planting an Easter Egg (or a dozen Easter Eggs) in your elearning project is next level engagement. Today’s blog post offers a variety of ways you can drop an unexpected, surprise element into your next project.

Kate Udalova on microlearning and AI
Brian Washburn

Using 7Taps with AI for Microlearning

AI is all the rage these days. 7Taps has figured out a way to embed AI into their microlearning platform to make your experience even quicker. It looks like this is the future of AI in learning tools. 7Taps co-founder Kate Udalova shares her insights.

Subscribe to Get Updates from Endurance Learning

Brian Washburn, Author

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll send you the latest updates from our blog. Thanks for following!

Elearning QA Checklist

Improve the quality of every elearning course you create with this reusable checklist.

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF.

Find Your L&D Career Path

Explore the range of careers to understand what role might be a good fit for your L&D career.

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the What’s Possible in L&D Worksheet.

What's possible in L&D

Let's Talk Training!

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll get back to you soon.

Download the Feedback Lesson Plan

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the lesson plan as a PDF.

feedback lesson plan
MS Word Job Aid Template

Download the Microsoft Word Job Aid Template

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the Word version of this template.

Download the Free Lesson Plan Template!

Enter your email below and we’ll send you a Word document that you can start using today!

free lesson plan template
training materials checklist

Download the Training Materials Checklist

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the Training Materials Checklist.

Subscribe to Endurance Learning for updates

Get regular updates from the Endurance Learning team.