Technology has breathed new life into the education industry. A single teacher can now teach students across the globe at the same time, using innovative technologies to make learning interactive and easy to grasp. The Covid-19 pandemic further propelled this industry’s adoption of such solutions to create an environment where education is adaptive, cost-effective, and efficient. To ensure that these solutions are catering to a diverse audience, having good software development and testing practices in place is essential. Read on below to learn more about how technology shapes this industry and what role software testing plays in making education accessible to the masses.
Use of Technology in Education
Education is instrumental in developing minds and harnessing technology to make it effective and easily accessible is the prime objective. The pandemic that made isolation a need of the hour for months together forced the world to adopt innovative ways to keep learning. Moreover, the present generations like Millennials and Gen Z are more comfortable with mobile devices than books and pencils. This has made online and hybrid modes of learning quite popular.
Different implementations of technology can be seen in the education industry right from teachers using interactive visual presentations to teach students in a classroom to a 50-year-old trying to learn a new language on a mobile app from the comfort of their home. Since there is no age limit to learning, these educational applications need to be versatile enough to cater to such a varied audience. Teachers constantly strive to make their content interesting and appealing to their students, something every educational application tries to implement.
What are the benefits of using so much technology? For starters, technology helps create an engaging environment for students and teachers. Gone are the days when teaching and learning were somber activities. These days it is all about learning using tools and methods that work for students. With the use of technology students with different learning styles can learn the concepts in a way that works well for them. Some students might prefer gamified versions of the concept while others might prefer plain text and there might be yet another lot that finds images and statistics easier to comprehend. Besides creating an engaging learning environment and improved student-teacher interaction, it prepares both the students and teachers for the future. Going ahead, technology is going to be at the heart of every industry. Getting comfortable with using technology and becoming open to learning new skills will set the students up for success as they head into the world.
Global E-Learning Market to Reach $457. 8 Billion by 2026 (source)
Technology Trends in the Education Industry
The education industry is being revolutionized by technological advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), remote process automation (RPA), big data, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies, internet of things (IoT), and cloud computing.
The rise of online and blended learning continues to reshape education. Schools and universities increasingly offer courses and degree programs online, allowing students to study remotely and access educational resources from anywhere with an internet connection. AI is being integrated into educational tools and platforms to provide personalized learning experiences, automate administrative tasks, and offer virtual tutoring and assessment.
Learning management systems (LMS) are prevalent in educational institutions since they are online platforms that support delivering and managing courses, tracking student progress, and facilitating communication between students and instructors. Educational institutions are also leveraging big data and analytics to gain insights into student performance, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to improve teaching methods and curricula. Adaptive learning platforms use data analytics and AI algorithms to tailor educational content and learning paths to individual students’ needs, pace, and learning styles. Cloud-based solutions are facilitating seamless access to educational resources, collaborative tools, and storage for educational institutions and students.
When it comes to the content itself, gamification elements, such as badges, rewards, and point systems, are being incorporated into educational applications to make learning more engaging and motivating for students. VR and AR technologies are being used to create immersive and interactive learning experiences, allowing students to explore subjects through simulations and visualizations. With the widespread use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, mobile learning apps and platforms are becoming increasingly popular, enabling students to access educational content on the go.
Educational Software Testing
As is with any software, development needs to be followed by testing before releasing it to the market. Educational applications are meant to be versatile and reliable mediums for teachers to leverage. It should not be a hindrance due to frequent crashes, downtime, and disruptions during use or have a complicated user interface, taking away the focus from teaching while also frustrating the user. Hence it is important to identify and fix bugs, glitches, and errors that could impact the user experience and the software’s effectiveness in delivering educational content.
The educational software could be for conducting coaching sessions, administrative portals, applications for learning online through videos, pictures, text, e-books, or interactive elements, or a platform for conducting seminars and classes online. Some of the common forms of testing that prove effective in testing educational software are:
- Functional testing: Each functionality or module should be tested for expected behavior.
- End-to-end testing: E-learning platforms and applications could have a variety of user flows catering to the different people intended to interact with them. Thus, testing from the perspective of these different types of end users helps ensure that the application serves its intended purpose.
- Usability and UI testing: This is important when it comes to educational applications. The users of these applications vary in their levels of technical proficiency. Often applications tend to overwhelm their users with bells and whistles, distracting them from the content itself. Testing helps assess the user experience, making sure that the interface is easy to navigate and that users can access and interact with educational content seamlessly.
- Cross-platform testing: The beauty of e-learning is that a student from any circumstance can learn at their own pace and convenience if they have an internet connection and a device. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are widely used, making them an ideal tool for e-learning. This requires testing applications on different devices, operating systems, browsers, and configurations.
- Performance testing: Load is to be anticipated for these applications since multiple students will be accessing the platform simultaneously to learn. Hence thorough performance testing should be done.
- Accessibility testing: This form of testing ensures that educational software is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. It checks for compliance with accessibility standards, allowing students with diverse needs to learn.
- Security testing: Educational software often deals with sensitive student data and custom educational content and may require login credentials. Testing helps identify security vulnerabilities and ensures that the software protects user data and prevents unauthorized access.
- Localization testing: Students can be from different parts of the world and the application should be able to cater to all of them. Thus, the localization of the application should be paid attention to.
- Compliance testing: Educational software may need to comply with specific educational standards, regulations, and guidelines. Testing verifies whether the software meets these requirements.
Challenges with Testing Educational Software
Testing educational software and applications typically come with its own set of challenges due to the purpose of the software and the diverse user base. Some of the common challenges include:
- Testing varying types of content: Educational software often contains a wide range of content types, such as text, images, videos, interactive elements, and assessments. Testing them can be complex.
- Testing usability of the system: These applications are used by students, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders with varying levels of technical expertise. Testing must account for different user profiles and ensure that the software is accessible and usable for all.
- Testing for compatibility across devices and platforms: Though ensuring compatibility with different operating systems and screen sizes can be challenging these applications need to work across various platforms, devices, and browsers.
- Testing the UI: Many educational applications rely on interactive elements. Testing the responsiveness and functionality of these elements across different devices and network conditions is essential. These applications often undergo updates and enhancements to address user feedback and improve functionality. Testing these updates in this ever-changing environment is a continuous challenge.
How testRigor Transforms Educational Testing
When it comes to software testing, the focus should be on meaningful tasks like expanding the test coverage or exploratory testing, rather than maintaining test cases or rerunning the same set of tests after every release. By leveraging robust automation testing, you can arrive at a place where software performs these repetitive tasks for you. However, the tool you pick is crucial, as the majority of tools in the market often cause problems like extensive test maintenance, complicated test case creation, or unreliable test execution, giving automation testing a bad reputation.
When testing educational software and applications, testers will want to concentrate on the nuances of the application rather than the technicalities of the automation testing tool. Luckily, testRigor is one of the few tools in the market that makes automation testing a valuable investment. It thrives on AI and its implementations to provide the tester with the best experience possible. Best suited for end-to-end testing, UI testing, functional testing, and user acceptance testing, this tool is agnostic of the underlying framework. It can test almost every type of application. Let’s explore some of its capabilities that will make testing easier for you.
Smooth test case creation using AI and generative AI
Writing test scripts is similar to writing free-flowing, plain English statements, without any hidden conditions for you to write code to define test steps. Similarly, referencing UI elements is as simple as writing how they appear to you on screen. All this is possible due to testRigor’s AI-powered engine that deciphers your plain English statements and converts them into executable test steps. To make things simpler, testRigor also offers the generative AI feature during test case creation. The tool creates the test case for you based on the test case description that you provide which you can then edit as per your specifications.
Negligible test maintenance
With testRigor, companies are spending up to 200 times less time maintaining their test cases. The credit goes to the use of AI under the hood, which detects elements on the screen even if there are minor changes in the UI, thus avoiding false negatives.
Ultra-stable test runs
Flaky tests are out of the picture if you are working with this tool. Once your test cases are executing successfully, you can forget about them and move on to other tasks, as testRigor ensures that what runs successfully once continues to run so until a genuine issue arises.
Easy cross-platform testing
Educational software and applications are expected to run across various platforms and devices like desktops, and mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops, or tablets. testRigor supports testing hybrid, native, and web-based applications across browser versions. You can further broaden your scope by utilizing testRigor’s integrations with LambdaTest or BrowserStack to access even more devices and configurations.
Built-in support to test UI elements like text, images, audio, and videos
testRigor offers a rich set of commands that makes testing UI elements easy. You can perform basic testing of audio through playback and recording, and also check if a video is playing.
sured that security is not going to be cEasy accessibility testing
Education should be available to all, even those with impairments. testRigor supports accessibility testing out-of-the-box.
testRigor is SOC2 TYPE2 and HIPAA compliant. With stringent access control checks in place, you can be assured that security is not going to be compromised.
As you can see, testRigor is quite advanced and can test various aspects of an application easily. You don’t need to invest in specially trained manpower to get automation testing done, since with this tool, manual testers and even other members of the team are able to write and maintain test cases. Moreover, testRigor’s rich library of commands can be used to write test cases for different types of applications. For example, even if your e-learning application is a mobile app that requires 2-factor authorization for login, testRigor can automate the test scenario. Since e-learning applications tend to have constant updates to keep up with audience feedback and industry trends, regression and smoke test suites are a must. With testRigor offering exceptional test stability along with its many other offerings, it is going to be your best bet at maintaining your application’s quality.
The education industry is no stranger to using technology. In the years to come, the education landscape will continue to reform, using technology’s offerings as tools. Utilizing powerful testing tools like testRigor will ensure that you are able to release software that adds value to the market.