Global E-Learning Market to Reach $325 billion by 2025 – Rapid Growth in Online Content & Digitization / Innovations in Wearable Technologies are Flourishing the E-learning Industry – Nasdaq
Why is it so important to test E-Learning platforms?
e-Learning applications and websites are fastest emerging sector because it is the medium of choice when it comes to educational content delivery to students, tutors, and global learners. These applications and websites have changed the education landscape by providing world standard learning solutions. There are different types of e- learning platforms available in the market, which are listed below
- Flash-based e-learning applications
- Web-based learning courses, some of them use SCORM (shareable content object reference model)
- Content assessment of web-based learning courses
- CD-ROM based learning courses
- Server-based learning management systems
Testing eLearning products at each stage of development are becoming critical due to increased number of platforms and devices, growth in online content & digitalization. It is very much essential to ensure defect free product/application with faster time to market and fulfill end customer requirement.
What is the difference between the eLearning testing and software testing?
The main objective of testing a software application is to ensure seamless functionality, efficiency, and usability. The main objective of testing an eLearning program is to ensure its “learnability” that is how “learnable” the course is.
Learnability is a combined measure of application’s functionality, accessibility, usability, and performance.
Like all another application testing, e-Learning or LMS application is also validated for the end to end functionalities such as users’ management, courses, authentication, roles, instructions and LMS administration etc. The testers ensure that these modules are seamlessly integrated with each other. Tools such as Selenium, Telerik, Coded UI Test, UFT, SoapUI or TestComplete can be used to automate the functional testing e-Learning app / LMS application. The application should be checked for performance under heavy load that is for the maximum number of concurrent users.
UAT plays a major role in eLearning and learning management system, as it helps to demonstrate that required course is operating in a manner that meets the expectation of the user. With UAT, the stakeholder can be sure “What to expect” from the course, rather than just presuming. The benefit of UAT is that there will be no major surprises when the application is rolled out to the user.
Security is a very important aspect for any application. Many LMS solutions have a single sign in hence a thorough session of security validation is essential to ensure authentication and data security. Vulnerability assessment and regular security audit of security systems should be practiced to mitigate this.
As a refresher from above explanations, learning management systems (LMSs) are web-based software application platforms used to plan, implement, and assess learning processes related to online and offline training administration and performance management. LMSs allow an instructor to create and deliver content, monitor learners’ participation, and assess student performance. LMSs also allow learners to use interactive features such as threaded discussions, web conferencing, discussion forums, and other methods of communication.
What is SCORM?
SCORM stands for “Sharable Content Object Reference Model” and it is a set of technical standards developed for eLearning software products.
In its core, SCORM allows interoperability between eLearning software products. Especially, the model determines how online learning content and Learning Management Systems (LMS) communicate with each other. The most recent version of SCORM is SCORM 2004, which includes the Run-Time Environment, the Content Aggregation Model and the Sequencing and Navigation specification. SCORM 1.2 is a previous version that is often still used. One of the best things about it is that it is pretty easy to test and diagnose problems in SCORM powered applications.
It is very much essential that the e-learning isn’t fully SCORM compliant to access the LMS MIS Report. Version SCORM 1.2 is widely used and is the standard supported by most Learning Management Systems today.
The another compliance which is very much necessary is AICC. LMS / e-Learning vendors, as well as testers, should be well aware of both SCROM and AICC. AICC stands for Aviation Industry CBT Committee and primarily uses the HTTP AICC Communication Protocol (HACP) to facilitate communication between the course content and the learning management system (LMS). AICC standards apply to the development, delivery, and evaluation of training courses that are delivered via technology. AICC stands for the Aviation Industry CBT [Computer-Based Training] Committee (AICC), which is an international association of technology-based training professionals that develop training guidelines for the aviation industry.
Other than these two LMS should be compliant with Accessibility, Interoperability, and Quality Standards.
Pictorial representation -The below-listed testing is very much crucial to make an e-Learning application a grand success.
- Functionality testing
- Accessibility testing
- Usability testing
- Performance testing
- Security testing
- Compliance testing including SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) testing
That’s pretty much about it!!!