Articulate Storyline 360’s e-Learning translation features enhancements were underwhelming – basically, it doesn’t update any features from Storyline 2. However, Articulate Review – one of the elements of the new Articulate 360 release – promises to be a game-changer for localization projects. Specifically, it will streamline the quality assurance process, making linguistic, editor and client reviews quicker, more secure, and easier to track.
Today’s post will list the four ways that Articulate Review makes e-Learning localization quality assurance (QA) more accurate and cost-effective.
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A difficult a process to manage – but a crucial one
Storyline courses contain on-screen titles (called “captions” in the program), audio, video, graphics, and embedded code – all of which must be localized separately, and then integrated back into a Storyline timeline. The process itself is quite complex because of the many moving parts – and this directly affects the QA process, which is extensive.
To start, a native-speaker QA Editor checks the course against the English, creating a “bug” report. This editor must have a deep knowledge of eLearning course functionality and requirements – and be fluent in English as well. The bugs get sorted by voice-over, video dubbing, graphics, on-screen titles/captions, or functionality; and then assigned to the different graphics editor, voice-over talents, and coders. Once the different assets files (audio, graphics, video, etc.) are fixed, they are passed on to an e-Learning editor who re-integrates them into the course. That course is then re-QA’d, to make sure all changes are made – and repeated until no more bugs are found and/or all bugs are resolved. This process is as time-consuming and labor-intensive as it sounds.
The QA setup itself is quite labor-intensive as well. For starters, the courses must be posted on a proxy server so that QA reviewers can test all content and functionality. Likewise, bugs have to be logged with corresponding screen shots into Word tables, and then tracked manually. Finally, file iterations have to be tracked assiduously, to avoid versioning issues. It’s so time-consuming that we published a post outlining ways to make it more cost-effective in our post 3 tips to make e-Learning translation QA faster & more cost-effective, which goes further into the travails of e-Learning QA.
Articulate Review is exciting because it solves some of the issues of the QA process, and streamlines a couple of its processes, in the following ways.
1. Online posting tool
One of the hardest parts of e-Learning QA is getting the published courses to QA reviewers in different locations and on different platforms. Articulate Review provides specifically that – an online platform that can be accessed through an internet connection, re-creating the user environment. We published a quick demo to Articulate Review – this is what it looks like in the browser window:
Note that I’ve selected SHARE from the menu on the top right – you get a shareable link to send to reviewers, and best of all, you can password-protect it.
2. Comments, replies, and the Resolve button
Managing QA comments is always difficult, especially conversations between linguists and QA reviewers. But on Articulate Review, you can simply stop the slide that’s playing and write a comment – note that I’ve written two of them for this slide:
Better yet, Review can compile all the comments on one page, with a corresponding screen shot of the course – following are the comments for our demo course:
Note that this pane allows for replies to the comment, as well as a Resolve button (both in yellow) – allowing a PM to track bug progress.
3. Screen shot capturing
This is part of the comments and replies feature, but it’s such a stand-out that it bears mentioning by itself. Screen shot capturing for e-Learning QA is time-consuming – not only does it require taking the screen shot, but also copying and pasting it into a Word document, then re-sizing it, and then writing the actual comment. Review takes a screen shot automatically every time a comment is entered.
4. Course versioning
Finally, newer versions of the course (with bug fixes implemented) can be automatically published and uploaded to Review. We did this with the demo – this is what it looks like in Review:
This means that the updated versions can be checked against the initial bugs, and then compared to the previous version of the course – all in the same interface.
More potential benefits for localization projects
One of the potential drawbacks of Review is that it doesn’t seem to replicate different learning platforms, so that an additional round of testing may be needed when courses are part of a larger LMS. However, this is a minor quibble, and the platform seems to promise real benefits for multimedia & e-Learning translation and localization projects. We'll update this post as we find out more about this exciting new feature.