QA InfoTech Talks About Uniqueness of Testing for Learning Applications

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QA InfoTech, a 500+ person independent quality assurance and software testing firm that focuses on testing for educational and publishing software has released today a set of elements that form the core of quality assurance for the learning domain. Given the increasing penetration of technology in education, they see enormous potential for Software Quality Assurance services in this domain

QA InfoTech, a 500+ person independent quality assurance and software testing firm that focuses on testing for educational and publishing software has released today a set of elements that form the core of quality assurance for the learning domain. Given the increasing penetration of technology in education, they see enormous potential for Software Quality Assurance services in this domain

According to Mukesh Sharma, CEO of QA InfoTech Worldwide, “Software Testing approaches and methodologies have lately been undergoing a lot of customization to provide in-depth value added quality, specific to the domain a product falls under. While a core end-to-end test strategy can be leveraged to some extent to fit any product under test, such customization is becoming imperative to ensure product acceptance and success in the market place.” The company has identified these core elements for testing educational software, based on its 7+ years of experience testing for marquee brands in this space.

1.    Testing for Learnability – since the primary goal of learning software is to efficiently teach the subject to its target audience, testing for how learnable the software is, is a key. Thinking through how the instructional design needs to be done, testing for effectiveness of the story board are all required to ensure the software is designed to meet its goals. Usability testing to determine how intuitive the software is, is these days being done on most software. Usability testing extends itself further in learning applications to verify the learnability of the content.

2.    Testing for content – Although content testing is important for any software to ensure correct use of language and the right messaging to appeal to the audience, content for learning software goes an extra mile; strong subject matter experts are needed to create the content, and unless the content is correct, precise and effective in teaching the subject, the target cannot be reached well enough. That said, often content testing is compromised due to several challenges such as access to experts, lack of time and budget etc. Newer approaches to facilitate content testing are taking shape around areas such as crowd sourced testing; more on this has been outlined at: http://www.qainfotech.com/blog/2011/04/content-qa-%e2%80%93-is-this-really-required/

3.    Compatibility testing more important than in other applications – Given how learners are these days empowered to learn in a self sufficient mode including offline/anywhere/anytime learning, the use of devices to take on such courses has come to the limelight. This calls for testing the software on a wide yet optimized range of supported platforms and devices. Herein, besides core functionality testing, importance is given to the performance, security and usability aspects of the software under test.

4.    Role based testing very important – Specific to learning applications, a lot of roles come into existence such as teacher, student, administrator, evaluator etc. State transition testing, along the sequence of expected and unexpected paths are more important for learning applications in comparison to non-learning applications

5.    Out of Box thinking very critical in testing for learning applications because learners are often very varied in how they think, use a product and learn.
a.    Some might prefer offline disconnected learning
b.    Some might want online connected and interactive learning
c.    Some might go for offline yet connected learning
Thus as a tester, it is a good idea to give a lot of importance for ad-hoc testing on a regular basis to come up with creative scenarios to test. Periodic bug bashes inviting different end users is also a good idea to generate more usability based testing.
6.    Integration testing is very important as often times content comes from various sources; not all required feature set and content reside in the application under test. When such cross collaboration happens, there is a good chance integration scenarios might not work seamlessly, unless adequately tested and verified for. For e.g. a student may have downloaded some questions from a web application, some questions off a memory drive, some questions from a friend on a social network etc. to consolidate the set of questions he / she wants to prepare for. Such cross sharing of information and consolidation is often going to be supported by learning applications to make the learning experience holistic.
In addition to the core E2E functional testing, if one were to specifically keep in mind the above points in defining the test strategy for a learning application, the software will certainly be rich in its content and effective in its reach to the target audience.

QA InfoTech’s Independent Quality Assurance Services
By providing end-to-end software testing, and using its proprietary testing frameworks developed using open source technology, QA InfoTech (an ISO 9001:2008 certified company) reduces costs and time-to-market for its clients’ products in addition to improving overall product quality. The company offers everything from functional testing to globalization and internalization testing, automation frameworks using open source technologies, performance testing, security testing, usability testing, mobile testing and much more. QA InfoTech specializes, and has domain expertise, in several industries including education, publishing, banking and finance, mobile, retail, cross-industry, government and healthcare.
Offering comprehensive and world-class testing facilities that can scale at short notice using virtualization and cloud computing technologies, QA InfoTech can take on software testing projects of just about any size. QA Info Tech has been actively serving the North American market for more than seven years.

About QA InfoTech
QA InfoTech has been helping its valued clients with quality assurance and software testing since 2003. With more than 500 employees and five Centers of Excellence in the U.S. and India, the company prides itself on the high-level of satisfaction and repeat business from its clients. Always a step ahead technically, QA InfoTech ensures projects are delivered efficiently, on-time and at the lowest cost possible to its clients. For more information on QA InfoTech, please visit http://www.qainfotech.com

Media Contact:
Rajini Padmanaban
Director, Testing Engagements, QA InfoTech
425.829.5131

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Rajini Padmanaban
rajini.padmanaban@qainfotech.net
425.829.5131
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