The eLearning QA Imperative with Today’s Rise in Educational Software Application Demand

Timothy Joseph Timothy Joseph | April 14, 2020

The eLearning QA Imperative with Today’s Rise in Educational Software Application Demand

eLearning, once an optional approach to educational delivery, has immediately become an essential platform to learners across grades and across the country. Hundreds of top universities and school districts are turning to online education during this pandemic as a way to keep educational curriculums on track, prevent extended school years and to allow graduation-bound students a chance this semester to graduate.

Is your education software application built to support this increased demand?

Now, more than ever, is it crucial for your online software platform to perform as expected with an increase in concurrent user activity. Any glitch or crash of the system can not only create a frustrating user experience but also put thousands of students’ educational future in jeopardy.

Successful companies in the online educational software space continuously launch a quality product, even during this high-stress season, by upholding strong software testing practices. Your team too can improve your eLearning QA results by incorporating these four best practices into your QA testing process.

User Test the Instructional Software Design

Before QA testing can begin, testers must have an understanding of all UX expectations and requirements for the educational software application. By providing the QA team documentation of all business requirements and user experience expectations, testers can develop thorough test cases to either confirm that the instructional software performs as intended or identify where further development is needed.

With this in place, eLearning QA testers can proceed in reviewing the instructional software through the eyes of a student. A strong QA team tests for these criteria:

  • Is the navigation intuitive?
  • Does each module share the same structure and design?
  • Can course materials (assignments, tasks, reading materials, etc.) be found easily in the same location and format?
  • Does the instructional software support media, including videos and audio recordings?
  • Does the instructional software support all accessibility needs?
  • Is cross-collaboration easy and intuitive?
  • Can learners easily engage with other online classmates?

QA testers should also develop test cases around the user experience for the instructor. Remember to also test for the following:

  • Is the instructor dashboard intuitive?
  • Is it easy to add, update and remove modules?
  • Can course materials be uploaded easily and with no errors?
  • Can large media files, including video and audio recordings, be uploaded easily and without file breakage?
  • Is it easy to access learner participation data?
  • Can completed assignments be accessed with no issues?
  • Can test results and assignment grades be easily delivered to enrolled learners?

Execute Performance Testing & Stress Testing

Never before has the stability of an educational software application been more crucial to the online learner. The recent spike in online learning platform demand can put unforeseen pressure on an eLearning software if unprepared for the volume and performance demands. And, if that educational software crashes, students could lose valuable time and curriculum deliverables, which could result in educational roadblocks and prevent students from grade advancement or graduating.

That’s why skilled eLearning QA testers always include performance testing scenarios for every test cycle. Performance testing determines whether the online educational software can perform as expected across all network speeds and devices. QA testers analyze the performance metrics of throughput, memory, bandwidth, response time and interrupts to conclude whether or not the system can perform as expected across all situations.

Strong performance testing includes the following testing practices:

  • Stress testing
    Can the educational software handle high loads? How does it recover from failures? Does the system crash when user activity drastically increases?
  • Load testing
    Does the system meet expected response times? How many concurrent users can the software support? Is the current infrastructure sustainable for application performance?
  • Capacity testing
    Can the system handle the amount of user traffic it was designed to handle? Does the educational software meet performance SLAs under normal user activity?
  • Endurance testing
    Can the system support an increase of user activity over long periods of time? Is memory sustained during long periods of high loads? Are through-puts and response time maintained with long periods of sustained activity?

Apply Automation Testing

When it comes to launching an education software application to market, timing is everything. With the current increase in demand for online education platforms, software providers must launch only quality software now in order to provide a reliable solution for thousands of learners during this vital time in our history.

Relying solely on manual testing can delay this process by weeks, if not months. While manual testers are essential for validating user experience and executing exploratory testing, many test cases do not need a human tester to manually carry out the test. It is not an efficient use of your eLearning QA team’s time to manually test hundreds of repetitive, mundane test cases which can be carried out with more insightful results by applying automation testing.

Automated testing, when implemented correctly, leads to increased test efficiency, a higher quality of product and faster turnaround times to market. Successful teams incorporate these best automated testing practices within their development cycle:

  • Automation framework
    Establish a set of guidelines and rules for creating and designing automated test cases.
  • Development languages
    Determine which programming languages to apply to automated test cases for consistency across projects and development cycles.
  • CI tools
    Choose a platform that enables your QA testers to automate any needed test case.
  • Build and release management
    Select a system that supports your QA team’s build, test and release processes for automation testing.

Implement Multi-Platform Testing

With the rushed transition of students entering online education, not all students have access to the same type of device in order to complete their education. While some students can continue their eLearning courses on a computer, many students must rely on a tablet or smartphone to complete their classes. If the educational software application cannot support all devices effectively, it is not delivering an effective online experience for all users.

It’s more important than ever for eLearning QA testers to incorporate multi-platform testing. In multi-platform testing, testing teams verify that the online learning software operates correctly across all systems and screen resolutions by undergoing the following activities across all devices and browsers:

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

The demand for educational software applications has recently reached an all-time high. However, due to the current coronavirus crisis and seasonal demands, executing these eLearning software QA best practices may not be ideal or even feasible. You may lack proper testing equipment due to the hastened transition to work remotely, your team’s availability maybe stretched thin to accommodate high-profile QA demands or perhaps you do not have enough QA testers to complete all required testing in such a short timeframe— there are a number of reasons why you may not have the needed resources to perform quality testing for your online educational software product.

Avoid adding additional stress to your team by partnering with an eLearning app testing services provider like QASource. We have over 800 experienced engineers ready to ramp up your eLearning QA testing, especially during high-demand and budget-sensitive seasons. Our team of AI and automation testing experts can help your organization accelerate the testing process so that you deliver faster to market and meet today’s online education demands. Get in touch with a QASource expert today.

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