Published: 24 May 2022
11 Major Software Testing Types To Leverage for eLearning Businesses
Last Updated: 19 Jul 2022
Elliott Masie, who coined the term eLearning, has rightly said, “We need to bring learning to people instead of people to learning.” In a true sense, eLearning has brought education to people and has given them the privilege to learn anything, anytime and anywhere. It has completely revolutionized the education system and has blurred the boundaries of conventional educational structure. The online education platforms have replaced the concept of fixed learning hours with flexible learning hours, four-walled classrooms with virtual classrooms, and paperback books with digital books.
The eLearning platforms are helping billions of students continue their education in the tough times of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As per the UNESCO report, currently, there are almost 43,518,726 learners that have been affected worldwide due to the closure of schools. The alternate or only way left for these affected learners is to adopt eLearning apps. Thus, it has become essential for eLearning platform providers to deliver high-quality eLearning apps that work properly 24/7 to deliver a great learning experience to learners.
1. An overview of the eLearning industry
2. Key features of an engaging eLearning platform
3. What are the benefits of leveraging eLearning platforms?
4. Some of the leading eLearning platforms for learners to know in 2022
5. Common challenges of eLearning platforms
6. 11 major software testing types to leverage for eLearning businesses
An overview of the eLearning industry
eLearning or online learning is the way of delivering education via electronic media or digital technologies over the internet. eLearning takes into consideration various aspects like audio, video, infographics, and more to deliver content to learners. There are various types of online learning platforms, such as web learning, mobile learning, video modules, virtual classrooms, etc., that facilitate the education management, creation of educational content, delivery of content, and more.
The adoption of online learning platforms is significantly rising and is expected to grow even more in the coming years. According to GlobeNewswire, the global market for eLearning was estimated at US$250.8 Billion in the year 2020 and is projected to reach US$457.8 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 10.3% over the analysis period.
Key features of an engaging eLearning platform
1. Alerts and notifications:
eLearning platforms should contain alerts and notification features to notify the users regarding important events, dates, and deadlines.
2. User-friendliness and intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI):
Proper app navigation, easy-to-read content, active links, and intuitive GUI are some features that are essential to ensure the user-friendliness of an eLearning app.
3. Responsive design:
An eLearning platform needs to have a responsive design. The content of an eLearning app should be made compatible with all devices, like desktop and mobile. Better the responsiveness of an app, the better is the learning experience it provides.
The number of learners accessing the app can vary, and on some days, there might be high user load than the usual days. An app needs to be scalable to ensure it works well under varying user loads and delivers a great user experience (UX).
1. Real classroom simulation:
Even though online education has several advantages, it still lacks the human touch or peer-to-peer interaction aspect. Therefore, it is essential to ensure a proper communication channel is embedded in an app to simulate the feel of a real classroom.
2. Audio and video conferencing option:
As compared to an offline classroom, group study in an online mode is quite difficult. It is essential for eLearning app providers to ensure their apps have proper audio and video conferencing options to let users connect and learn together as a group.
3. File sharing option:
The eLearning app must support all types of file formats, be it pdf, xls,xlsx, doc, gif, etc. An app should ideally compress the file according to the required format when shared across sources to enable easy sharing of files online.
4. API integration:
An app should have a proper API integration and seamlessly integrate with other software like CRM, talent management, or HR database. It should ensure seamless file transfer across apps and must integrate easily with other apps.
5. Data backup and recovery option:
Data is essential for everyone, be it users or businesses, and to ensure that the data is not lost, all eLearning platforms should have easy data backup and data recovery options.
What are the benefits of leveraging eLearning platforms?
1. Enables learning on the go:
eLearning platforms have made learning easy and convenient for learners as resources such as eBooks, videos, and audios can be accessed from anywhere at any time, thus enabling users to learn on the go.
2. Supports personalization:
Unlike the offline classroom, the eLearning app can be personalized by each user as per their choice. Users can choose the type of content as per their interest, customize the theme of an app for better visibility of content, track their study hours, and more.
3. Supports various formats:
With the help of eLearning platforms, teachers can now teach students using various teaching formats, like advanced infographics, animated videos, compelling audios, and more.
4. Helps in gamification of content:
Many eLearning platforms even support content gamification and make the learning process more engaging. By using video game design and other gaming elements, an eLearning app can be gamified, which maximizes users’ enjoyment and captures their interest, and keeps them engaged with an app.
5. Saves time and cost:
eLearning platform saves a significant amount of time and cost. Since every learning material is available at just the click of a button, there is no need for the users to travel or buy other resources for learning.
Some of the leading eLearning platforms for learners to know in 2022
• Blackboard Inc
• SumTotal Systems
Common challenges of eLearning platforms
1. Unclear Audio/Video:
Multimedia tools such as audio and video tools play a vital role in keeping the students engaged. However, if the audio or video is not clear or gets stuck in between due to technical issues, it can annoy the learners. Thus, it is essential for eLearning app providers to ensure the proper functioning of video or audio features of their apps.
2. Lack of proper app navigation:
Poor app navigation or excessive scrolling to reach the main content can affect users’ interest. Thus, all eLearning app providers must ensure their app contains proper and easy navigation to keep the user engaged.
3. Slow loading speed:
Faster the loading speed of the application better is the CX. Slow loading apps negatively affect the interest of the user. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the eLearning app loads fast and works properly under all conditions.
4. Frequent app timeouts:
Frequent timeout of an eLearning app annoys the learner as it breaks the flow of reading/learning. Therefore, eLearning app providers must ensure their apps do not cause frequent timeouts.
5. Incompatibility with browsers/devices:
Another challenge with eLearning apps is their incompatibility with various devices and browsers. Since learners use various types of devices and browsers, eLearning apps should be made compatible with the maximum possible kinds of devices, browsers, and operating systems.
6. Broken links/Inactive buttons:
One of the most common challenges users face with eLearning apps is broken links or inactive buttons. Due to this challenge, users often face difficulty in performing the desired action in an app. Thus, businesses should ensure their links are properly working at all times and all buttons are clickable to deliver a great UX.
7. Content-related challenge:
Content is the king, but if it contains spelling mistakes, wrong font size, or improper font colors, it can hamper the UX. Thus, businesses should ensure their apps contain proper content in an aesthetically correct format.
8. Inappropriate Graphical User Interface (GUI):
GUI of an app can make or break the user’s impression as it is the first thing that the user visualizes while accessing the app. It is essential to ensure that the eLearning app has a great GUI to deliver a great experience to the learner.
9. Poor Internet connectivity:
Consistent internet connectivity is essential to provide an uninterrupted learning experience to the user. If the app does not support the internet properly or causes trouble while connecting to the internet, there is a high chance that users might abandon the app.
Clearly, various challenges are commonly seen in an eLearning platform, but these challenges can be effectively overcome by leveraging end-to-end testing of eLearning platforms.
11 major software testing types to leverage for eLearning businesses
1. Functional testing:
eLearning apps contain several features and functionalities that must work properly to deliver a great learning experience to the user. This is where the need for functional testing for eLearning apps comes into the picture. In this software testing type, the basic or core functionalities of the application are tested to ensure it works properly.
• Ensures the app contains no broken links
• Ensures all the features of the app function correctly
• Ensures core functionalities of an app work properly
2. Integration testing:
Any kind of integration issue in eLearning apps can hamper the learning experience of users. It is essential for eLearning app providers to ensure proper integration testing of software modules, payment gateways, APIs, etc.
• Ensures integrated modules work properly
• Ensures seamless integration of payment gateway, CRM, HR database, and more
• Reduces the risk of app failure
3. Graphical User Interface (GUI) testing:
All eLearning apps should have a proper user interface to keep the users engaged and to provide a seamless learning experience. Businesses should leverage GUI testing to ensure all the GUI elements of their app, such as text boxes, menus, links, buttons, etc., functions properly.
• Validates visual elements of app functions properly
• Improves the readability and quality of an app
• It keeps the user engaged and provides a great UX
4. Non-functional testing:
Non-functional testing is a software testing technique wherein non-functional aspects of the software are tested to ensure its effective performance, reliability, scalability, security, and more. The non-functional requirements of an eLearning app include its user-friendliness, high security, effective performance, etc.
• Validates the reliability, security, performance, and scalability of an app
• Improves app performance
• Ensures better user engagement with an app
5. Usability testing:
eLearning apps should ideally be user-friendly and must contain proper app navigation, and concise content with appropriate font size, color, format, layout, etc. The content placement should be appropriate so that the user does not have to scroll through a maze of content to read the desired information. Thus, eLearning apps should be tested thoroughly by leveraging the usability testing method. This software testing method ensures that the application is easy-to-use and contains proper navigation.
• Ensures an easy-to-use interface
• Checks proper app navigation
• Ensures appropriate placement of text, images, and other multimedia in an app
6. Performance testing:
Performance issues in an app like slow loading speed, frequent app timeouts, sudden app crashes, etc., hampers the learning experience of the user. Businesses should ensure their apps are free from all performance bottlenecks and perform seamlessly under conditions like fluctuating networks, user load, bandwidth, etc. Thus, eLearning app providers should leverage performance testing to deliver scalable, reliable, and high-performing eLearning apps.
• Ensures reliable, scalable, and high-performing apps
• Ensures the app is free from all performance bottlenecks
• Improves load handling capacity of app
• Ensures the app does not crash or behave abruptly under high user load
7. Accessibility testing:
eLearning apps should be accessible to all people, including people that have certain disabilities like hearing loss, impaired vision, cognitive disabilities, etc. eLearning businesses should leverage accessibility testing to ensure their apps are accessible to all including students with certain disabilities. This test also ensures that the app follows all accessibility guidelines like W3C’s WCAG 1.0/2.0/2.1/2.2, BITV 1.0, Section 508 & Stanca Act, etc.
• Ensures equal access to the app to all
• Ensures app complies with web accessibility guidelines
• It helps in expanding the user base
8. Security testing:
Rampant cyberattacks pose a great threat to the security of an app, data, and reputation of the business. Since eLearning apps contain users’ sensitive data, like personal identity, banking credentials, phone numbers, etc. must be protected at any cost. Therefore, eLearning app providers should leverage security testing to safeguard their apps from cyberattacks.
• Protects apps from cyber-attacks by identifying security loopholes
• Safeguards customer sensitive data
• Reduces business risk
9. Globalization and Localization testing:
Every business wants its app to be successful in the global and local markets. Therefore, businesses should leverage globalization and localization testing to ensure their app complies with the language and functionality requirements of the local users in specific regions and delivers a great learning experience.
• Ensures app compliance with local as well global standards, such as L10N and I18N
• Validates an app display correct time and date formats as per the location
• Ensures rapid and successful rollout of product across geographies
10. Compatibility testing:
Users access the app on various types of browsers, operating systems, and devices. It is essential for eLearning app providers to leverage compatibility testing to ensure their apps are compatible with all kinds of browsers, devices, networks, operating systems, and more.
• Validates compatibility of the app across devices, browsers, OS, and networks
• It helps in achieving compatible apps.
• Delivers a great UX as users can seamlessly access the app
11. Compliance testing:
eLearning businesses should ensure their apps complies with certain laws and regulations like the data protection rules, Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM), GDPR compliance, etc. Compliance testing is a special software testing technique that helps businesses ensure their app complies with all legal rules and regulations. It saves them from heavy fines imposed due to non-compliance.
• Validates regulatory compliance of apps
• Saves businesses from heavy fines that are imposed due to non-compliance
• Uplifts brand image as customers like to use apps that are legally complaint
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the adoption of eLearning apps. Today, students worldwide are using eLearning apps to continue their education in these challenging times. The effective performance, proper functioning, and robust security of eLearning apps have become essential to delivering a great learning experience to learners worldwide. eLearning businesses should leverage end-to-end software testing from a next-gen QA and independent software testing services provider for quality eLearning apps and a great UX.