How to Properly Test a Learning Management System

Timothy Joseph
Timothy Joseph | May 5, 2020

How to Properly Test a Learning Management System

A lot of conversations happen when an educational institution chooses an LMS. There are conversations on how your learning management system can deliver the best product to their users, conversations on shaping the partnership between your companies and conversations throughout the entire onboarding process.

Conversations shouldn’t end after integration. In fact, it’s expected that your company provides support throughout the partnership, from launching new product features to confirming software functionality through ongoing automation testing of your content management system.

Are you performing all the essential test cases for your eLearning website so that your product supports your partnerships?

In our second blog post of this comprehensive learning management systems series, we explore how your eLearning QA team can properly test your LMS so that your product continues to earn high marks in the online learning industry.

Manual Testing for UX Experience Through User Acceptance Testing

A learning management system has two main user groups: learners and instructors. Your eLearning QA testing team must keep this in mind not only during testing but also when developing strong test cases for an e learning website. And before any testing can begin, your QA testing team should receive full documentation that accurately explains all UX expectations and requirements for the LMS, so that the team can validate the UX across user groups or identify where additional development is required.

Once expectations are clearly defined, your QA testing team can perform test cases focused upon the user experience of the instructor. Your test cases should focus on:

  • The intuitiveness of the instructor dashboard
  • The ease of adding, updating and removing modules
  • The success of loading course materials easily and without errors
  • The ability to load large media files (such as podcasts, PDFs and videos) without file breakage
  • The capability of reviewing analytics and pulling reports
  • The retrievability of completed assignments without issues
  • The deliverability of test results and graded assignments to enrolled learners

QA testers should also develop test cases around the user experience for the learner. The test cases should be around:

  • The intuitiveness of the learner dashboard
  • The consistency of module structure and design
  • The ease of accessing course materials, including reading materials, tasks and assignments
  • The accessibility of the LMS for all types of learners
  • The support of cross-collaboration on required features including assignments, tasks, forums, and/or group projects
  • The experience of communicating with other learners online through the LMS

Automated System Checks

To remain competitive in the LMS space, your team should not solely rely on manual testing. Doing so can delay market launch by weeks or even months. It is essential to validate user experience and exploratory testing with eLearning QA manual testers, yet inessential (and inefficient) to manually execute hundreds of repetitive and mundane test cases for an eLearning website.

Many test cases simply do not need a human tester to execute successfully. In these instances, automated testing is your best option.

Automation testing of a content management system can deliver insightful results across a wide array of test cases. Performing automated system checks regularly throughout the development and testing process leads to increased test efficiency, a higher quality of product and faster turnaround times to market.

Keep these best automation testing practices in mind when implementing your automated system checks:

  • Implement an automation framework that establishes a set of guidelines and rules for when your team creates, designs and executes automated test cases.
  • Choose CI tools that enable your QA testers to automate any necessary test case.
  • Determine the development languages to apply to automated test cases so that your automated system checks remain consistent across projects and development cycles.
  • Select a build and release management system designed to support your QA team’s build, test and release processes when performing automated system checks.

Mobile Application Tests for Functionality, Usability and Consistency

Be it learners or instructors, not all users have access to desktop or laptop computer. In fact, many learners rely on their tablet or smartphone to further their education. And often instructors need access to the learning management system when they are not sitting behind their desk. A learning management system that can not deliver across devices will not provide an effective online experience for all users.

A successful LMS incorporates a mobile responsive design so that the online learning platform can be accessed across all mobile makes and models. But this responsiveness is only as successful as the executed test cases for an e learning website that confirm its compatibility.

Your eLearning QA testing team can perform both manual and automation testing of a content management system that confirms the system’s multi-platform compatibility. Mobile application testing verifies that the LMS operates correctly across all systems and screen resolutions. Consider creating test cases that focus on the following activities for all devices and browsers:

  • Software functionality
  • Performance tuning
  • Touchscreen testing
  • Accessibility performance
  • API functionality
  • Graphics and simulation
  • Patch testing of application
  • Validation of installation
  • Validation of GUI

Security Testing to Ensure Data Integrity During LMS Integration

Industry success seems to attract cyber crimes. And as online learning grows in popularity, so does its appeal to hackers and cyber criminals.

This should not come as a surprise, as learning management systems are packed with sensitive student information and confidential educational data. Any security breach of the LMS can destroy the credibility of institutions and eliminate the trust your customers have in your system.

It’s up to your eLearning QA testing team to ensure the system can safeguard its information from cyber threats, cyber criminals and scammers. This can be achieved by performing automation testing of your content management system where security soundness is the focus. Choose to develop test cases for your e learning website that center around the prevention of security threats, including:

  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Security scanning
  • Penetration testing
  • Posture assessment
  • Security auditing
  • Risk assessment
  • Ethical hacking

Performance Testing to Ensure Responsiveness and Stability Under a Rigorous Workload

Distance learning is on the rise. More students are expected to enroll into online programs as more educational institutions offer online courses across all disciplines, including those once reserved only for traditional classroom instruction.

An influx of users increases the demands expected from your learning management system. And your LMS can be susceptible to software crashes if not prepared for this spike in volume and performance demands.

That’s why your eLearning QA testing team should include test cases for your e learning website that concentrate on the system’s performance. Performance automation testing of your content management system can help you determine whether your LMS will perform as expected across all devices and network speeds.

Analyze the performance metrics of memory, bandwidth, throughput, response time and interrupts by carrying out specific kinds of performance tests, including load testing, capacity testing, stress testing and endurance testing.

Performing suitable tests regularly does more than guarantee a successful launch to market. It’s a promise that learners can receive an education to advance their lives. It’s a pledge to educational institutions that they can deliver quality education from anywhere in the world. It’s a commitment to users that their sensitive information is safe from all cyberthreats. And when you can keep your promise because of ongoing testing can you keep customers from choosing your competitors.

If you’re unsure how to properly test your learning management system, you can partner with a QA services provider like QASource to test your LMS. With over 800 experienced engineers skilled in QA testing learning management systems, we are available to help your team when you need it most, even during high-demand seasons. Let our team of experts accelerate your testing process so that you can meet deadlines and exceed expectations within the online educational environment. Get in touch with a QASource expert today.


This publication is for informational purposes only, and nothing contained in it should be considered legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out of this information and encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.