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.

INSIGHTS

FALL 2020: Collecting Learner Feedback and Applying the Results

Published By Brett Christie, PhD
on Oct 15, 2020

Recently, O’Donnell Learn CEO, Carrie O’Donnell and I began hosting short webinars to address critical issues higher education faculty are currently facing. Our aim is to provide concise, actionable resources to help faculty create a more successful learning experience, particularly in the context of this semester’s challenges.

Challenges in Equity and Inclusion for Online Learning: An Interview with Dr. Brett Christie

Published By Joana Jebsen
on Sep 03, 2020

At O’Donnell Learn, we’ve always believed the path to great learning includes every learner and provides alternative pathways for different learners. When higher education shifted to emergency remote learning in March, significant gaps in equity and inclusion became evident. As institutions seek to resolve these gaps for online learning, we reached out to Dr. Brett […]

Introducing Media Lab: Aligning Learning Design and Media, All Under One Roof

Published By Carrie O'Donnell
on Sep 01, 2020

We recently made an exciting announcement – the launch of Media Lab! Media Lab was conceived out of a desire to disrupt the current media development model and offer best-in-class learning experiences at any scale. By bringing learning design and learning media production under one roof, our Media Lab is poised to help drive this […]