A Strong QA Process–The Final Step for High Quality Learning – O'Donnell Learn

A Strong QA Process–The Final Step for High Quality Learning

Published by Cathryn Mattimore
on Aug 29, 2019

What’s one way O’Donnell Learn ensures learners are provided with the best instructional content? Quality Assurance, or QA. It is a necessary finishing step for course development. Without it, instructional content might be susceptible to both editorial inconsistencies and overlooked technical issues. QA is put into place to weed out errors and maintain the integrity of the content, which is carefully created by a team of Subject Matter Experts and LX Designers.

What exactly does our QA process look like? It can be broken down into the following four steps:

Step 1: Review the Course Structure.

Familiarize yourself with the course blueprint, platform and style guidelines. This step is important, as it lays the framework for a thorough QA process. Once you’re able to discern the overall structure and style of the course you’ll be better able to recognize errors. It is necessary to first be able to comprehend the materials, platform, and course style as a means to prepare for the initial QA.

Step 2: Draft a QA checklist.

The second step is identifying the various course components that need to be reviewed. Some tasks often found in the QA checklist include: confirming that all external links work properly, checking for consistency in dates and times across the course, making sure all attachments download successfully, ensuring that all images have alt text for accessibility, and checking platform functionality. While similar QA categories often emerge, QA checklists are ultimately dependent on the structure and characteristics of each course, and should be unique. Once the QA checklist has been finalized, it’s time to move on to the Editorial QA.

Step 3: Perform an Editorial QA

A vital aspect of the ODL QA process is ensuring that the content provides an optimal learning experience for the learner. First, and foremost, it must be accurate and technically correct. We also pay close attention to consistencies in diction, look for clear, concise and accessible writing, and be stylized in a way the accounts for learning goals and course outcomes. Every ODL project undergoes an Editorial QA because we believe great learning lies in impeccable, grammatical writing, developed by premium learning experience design. After this crucial step is completed it’s time for the content to undergo a technical QA.

Step 4: Perform a Technical QA

The final step in the QA process is to perform a Technical QA. This functional testing confirms that is producing error free courses through individually testing every link, double checking every setting, and testing all multimedia. It is necessary to pay close attention to the inner workings of the course platform to ensure the learner is presented with a polished, intentional experience.

O’Donnell Learn believes that QA is a vital step in the practice of delivering great learning experiences. We hold ourselves to the highest standard and by adhering to a stringent QA process we deliver exceptional work. When your designs strive for student success and deep learning, it is imperative that the instructional content is of highest quality. And we rely on our QA practices to help us make that vision into a reality.


The WOW Factor: Creating Faculty Development That Sparks Interest and Envy

Published By Carrie O'Donnell
on Jan 19, 2021

Imagine our surprise last summer when we reached out to 475 faculty and learned the online courses for nearly half were simply mirrors of their face-to-face instruction. In fact, only 22% were designing their courses differently for online. With all of the faculty development around online learning being offered, why weren’t more faculty designing courses specifically for this type of instruction? As it turns out, faculty weren’t engaging with development options at a level you might expect given COVID-19 and the rapid shift to online learning. Something we’d also learned in surveys and interviews with170 provosts and academic leaders a year earlier. The solution? The WOW Factor.

Purposeful Learning DesignTM – Why People are at the Center of Everything We Do

Published By Carrie O'Donnell
on Jan 15, 2021

I’m often asked why our company is so good at collaborating with  faculty. The first time I heard this question, I didn’t realize clients found this unique to O’Donnell Learn. We’ve always been great partners  because people are at the heart of everything we do. In fact, our entire design philosophy - Purposeful Learning DesignTM - is anchored around people.  It starts with this truth: learning is for people. As such, learning design should be grounded in empathy and it should promote success for both learners and faculty. Purposeful Learning Design is the philosophy we embrace to ensure we never lose sight of this truth. It is comprised of six key considerations.

2020 Reflective: Breathe Deep and Stay Agile

Published By Joana Jebsen
on Dec 22, 2020

While end-of-year survey results are still to come for how enrolled students are evaluating their 2020 college experience, I queried two of our staff, both students, about their overall experience and considered how these compared to what I was seeing with O’Donnell Learn clients. Kellie, our graphic design intern, just completed her Associates Degree in Graphic design. Prior to 2020, all of her courses met on campus. Cathryn, a Learning Design Associate is currently enrolled in an online Master of Education program in eLearning and Instructional Design. As this program was conceived as online delivery, it serves as a benchmark to compare against courses that were forced by COVID to switch delivery modes.