Session 8 Develop Testing Best Practices

Standard

1. List the two levels of testing as outlined in the presentation and discuss each one in turn. Then describe the types of testing activities for each level of testing.

There are two basic levels of media fidelity testing: the first is at the point of media creation; the second level involves testing the media in as close to its release form as possible (Newberry).

The first testing-  This testing is most often accomplished by the creator of the media (Newberry).  As the instructional designer of my own course I am currently designing, I’m constantly testing.  First I’m looking at content and assessing its validity.  Next I’m looking at technology.  I’ve spent the bulk of my time playing with different tools within my CMS trying to determine the best way to design modules.  A trick I recommend that has worked well for me- ask your Distance Ed coordinator to create a dummy shell with dummy students you can play with.  Without “students” in the course, I couldn’t test the functions of groups or see the difference in reading postings on discussion, blog, and journal.  The next area I looked at was ADA compliance.  For that I relied on an ADA checklist-

The second testing- This usually consists of having someone review the materials as they will be situated when the consumer of those materials uses them (Newberry).  Despite the fact that I was feeling pretty confident about my own testing of my course, I was in for a lot of disappointment after I asked my Distance Education coordinator to review my first five modules.  She followed basically the same process I had applied, but a fresh pair of eyes gave a lot of insight into clarification needed on directions.  For example, I knew I was ADA complaint with captions on my videos, but she said I wasn’t.  When I checked I realized that the video referred to captions only as subtitle language options, and she had assumed that was dubbing the voice; now I’ve changed the directions to list subtitles for captions.   This review was a pre-formal review of our Distance Education committee which would use a rubric for assessing/testing our online courses; two great rubrics:

If your school doesn’t have a formal committee for testing your online class, try colleagues and don’t forget to have students test too.  You can also use a free service that will test web pages for quality, accessibility, and privacy issues; this one was recommended by University of Colorado-

2. What is ADA and how does it apply to the design and development of eLearning materials?

THE LAW

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services. The current text of the ADA includes changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325), which became effective on January 1, 2009. http://www.ada.gov/2010_regs.htm

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies and requires electronic and information technology designed, developed, and delivered to be accessible to persons with disabilities.  https://www.td.org/Publications/Newsletters/Learning-Circuits/Learning-Circuits-Archives/2012/02/Accessibility-Through-Design

When creating an ADA-compliant training program, designers need to create interesting, usable, and engaging content for people both with and without disabilities.

Tips:  https://www.td.org/Publications/Newsletters/Learning-Circuits/Learning-Circuits-Archives/2012/02/Accessibility-Through-Design

Visuals
Delivering learning material through a video tutorial is a great way to engage the user in online training. However, persons with disabilities may not have an equal opportunity to learn if the training program isnt up to ADA-compliant standards.
For a person who is visually impaired, videos are a great tool to deliver learning material. To make the video engaging for these learners, you can use multiple narrators and recognizable sounds to stimulate auditory engagement. Using multiple narrators in the video provides an element of suspense and diversity, which will help to capture users attention. By making the audio interesting, individuals with visual impairments will be able to engage with the e-learning course. A Braille version of the online course also can be a great supplement.
Images
Section 508 requires that all images have text descriptions that describe what the image is. This can be accomplished through the use of the alternative (alt) tag. Having an alt tag attached to an image informs people with visual impairments of what the image is through the interpretation of their screen reader. Simply providing an alt tag to an image provides a descriptive option for learning the information.
Along with keeping alt tags up to date, you also should use attractive and current images. Dated images will confuse the user, which could potentially lose their interest. People who have learning disabilities and difficulty focusing for long periods of time will benefit from having up-to-date images.
Video
You can use several techniques to increase the accessibility of videos used in an e-learning program. To best cater to learners with auditory impairments, always provide close-captioning or a printable version of the videos script. A printable version of the training course is easy to create and can be a great supplement for someone with auditory impairments.
As for the visual content of the video, keep it descriptive and stay away from brightly colored images, such as neon colors. Also, take into account the time of day you are filming. If youre filming outside, consider filming in the morning or at dusk to avoid harsh lighting, which often make the video difficult to see on a computer monitor.
Audio
Quality audio is important for all training programs and can help to provide consistent training for all employees. Because audio is a non-visual element, it is important to supplement all audio with text and all text with audio. The reason for this is twofold.
First, if a learner has an auditory impairment, he may rely primarily on the screens text to receive the information contained in the training, and therefore the screen text must communicate fully the key points shared in the audio. Similarly, learners who are visually impaired need audio that includes all key points that are presented through text in the training.
The second benefit of matching audio to text is that it appeals to two very different learning styles. Auditory learners learn best through listening, while visual learners learn best through reading. By providing audio and text that are consistent, the key messages are accessible to both the visually and the auditory impaired, as well as to both visual and auditory learning styles.

3. What is your institutions (You may use CSUSB’s) policy towards ADA and eLearning? Explain what this means in practical terms and what you think the strengths and weaknesses of the policy.

My college doesn’t specifically have a policy for ADA and learning.  Our Distance Education committee does reference the California Community Colleges Distance Education Accessibility Guidelines- http://collegeofthedesert.edu/students/oc/faculty/Documents/Distance%20Education%20Accessibility%20Guidelines.pdf

Strength- It’s very detailed and covers:

  • Title 5, California Code of Regulations on Distance Education.
  • Basic Requirements for Distance Education
  • New and Updated Laws and Regulations Relating to Distance Education
  • Access Guidelines for Media Categories
  • General Access Strategies by Media Type

Weakness-  It’s 47 pages, so will the majority of faculty actually read it?  It’s also not presented in a way that students could easily read, and I think it should be made available on our Disable Student Services website.

4. Revisit the 11 instructional design steps presented in chapter 1 of the text (Design Quickly and Reliably).* Revise this 11 step system using what you now know about development and testing. Try to create your own instructional design process/template that you might actually use. Briefly explain your modifications.

Test One (Instructional Designer) Test Two (Faculty Review Team, Students, DSPS Office)
Identify your underlying goal Do goals align with program and institutional goals? Compare with program and college mission.
Analyze learners’ /instructors needs and abilities Consider faculty population teaching and student population that will take courses: technology/ADA. 1.     Department poll of technology skills.

2.     Student poll of technical skills, and home technology.

Identify what to teach Faculty and Community input. 1.     Faculty of other disciplines give input on needs.

2.     Student input on learning needs.

Set learning objectives Objectives established by Curriculum/Department/State Chancellor 1.     Review committee evaluates alignment with objectives of program and stated objectives in online course.
Identify prerequisites Prerequisites established by Curriculum/Department/State Chancellor 1.     Curriculum committee reviews prerequisites on course outline.
Pick the approach to meet each objective Instructional design focused on student/student, student/content, student/instructor. 1.     Online review committee evaluates course for:

a.     Student/student

b.     Student/content

c.      Student/instructor

Decide the teaching sequence of your objectives Instructional designer does this in consultation with discipline faculty and textbooks. 1. Online review committee evaluates course.

2.     Include students in review committee.

3.     ADA compliance offer is already part of review committee.

Create objects to accomplish objectives Compare f2f vs online. 1.     Online review committee evaluates course.

2.     Include students in review committee.

3.     ADA compliance offer is already part of review committee.

Create tests Apply OEI rubric to course. 1.     Online review committee evaluates course using OEI rubric.

2.     Include students in review committee.

3.     ADA compliance offer is already part of review committee.

Select learning activities Consider:

c/c

s/c/

s/i

1.     Online review committee evaluates course.

2.     Include students in review committee.

3.     ADA compliance offer is already part of review committee.

Choose Media Play with media via cms 1.     Online review committee evaluates course.

2.     Include students in review committee.

3.     ADA compliance offer is already part of review committee.

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5 thoughts on “Session 8 Develop Testing Best Practices

  1. Hi Christen,

    We are almost done! I can’t imagine how the weeks have gone so fast. I like your reflective discussion because it give a clear understanding of issues.
    I tried testing my web page using the free tool you provided but it seems it is not working. Have you used it before?
    I have used W3C Markup Validator (http://validator.w3.org/#validate_by_uri+with_options), it has many options, and provides detailed feedback. You may want to try it.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Carolyne

    Like

    • Hi Carolyne, Sorry to hear that the web page testing tool didn’t work. I hadn’t actually tried it but had read things in support of it being used by universities. I’ll have to try the one you sent me- thank you.

      Like

  2. Aldo Prado

    Hi Christen,
    I really enjoy reading your posts. Your post is very well written and sheds light on the ADA and all of its components for me. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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