Remote learning management system QA with eCornell University

How Cornell University’s online learning platform manages & acts on 1000s of pages of content...

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eCornell University

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The Problem: Internal QA on 1000s of moving parts

Cornell University’s online learning platform, eCornell, provides online professional and executive development training to students around the world.

With 90+ online programs for professional development, they required a cloud-based bug tracking platform for internal QA. A platform that could enhance their workflow for tracking the technical aspects of their STEM courseware.

eCornell provides STEM learning certificates like Python Fundamentals, Machine Learning, Front-End Web Development, and Data Analytics, which are a key and growing part of eCornell's strategy. Time-to-market is always an issue. QA on technical functionality and coding exercises has to be both speedy and accurate.

eCornell required a powerful and flexible tool to facilitate this process and streamline the review cycle during development.

"We needed a tool that would tag and track feedback on specific pages of our Canvas LMS, while providing specific and contextual information. It had to be intuitive and flexible for both admins and reviewers to use."

Ted Blanchard
Instructional Technologist at eCornell

How eCornell uses BugHerd: An ever-evolving project workflow

eCornell uses BugHerd only for the internal feedback stages and technical testing of their STEM-focused courses. Their workflow is furthered via project-management software (like Wrike) for task-tracking, as well as the use of existing QA spreadsheets in Google docs.

Consolidation of the workflow is an ever-evolving process.

Internal QA is performed by a few teams:

  • QA/Copyediting Resources and Content Specialists
  • Instructional Technology Resources
  • Instructional Designers (IDs)

The internal process for QA incorporates BugHerd in two distinct stages for eCornell’s STEM-focused courses:

Stage 1 -  During the initial code exercise development stage, instructional technical resources and instructional designers implement and perform initial testing;

Stage 2 - During the review & QA phases, with additional technical resources, Content Specialists and IDs work on bugs collaboratively.

Using the BugHerd browser extension, eCornell tags and tracks issues on specific pages of the Canvas learning management system as well as the embedded tools like Codio, RStudio, and OmniDB.

A major advantage of BH is that each issue can be linked so closely to a particular location in the course.

Though improvements using BugHerd's software are more qualitative than quantitative, there is no doubt it has become an essential tool to improving eCornell’s workflow and process.

The bug tracking and feedback tool has formed an integral part of the revamped project management process for STEM/coding courses. It has provided a much-needed level of clarity and flexibility to the development and review phases.

It's safe to say that several potential issues on at least one project have been avoided so far. This kind of intervention saves a potential (estimated) several days of back-and-forth communications and extra bug-fixing.

The ease of use, the flexibility and the different ways to tag, categorise and comment on bugs makes BugHerd a game changer.

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The Problem: Keeping everyone on track

Studio Moso is a digital agency based in Melbourne, Australia with a clientele that ranges from large scale banks to local glass manufacturers. The agency provides digital web services, including user experience, web design & development and UX design.

While managing projects involving external and internal stakeholders the team at Studio Moso needed to find a website feedback solution that provided an infrastructure to not only support their internal feedback needs, but that could also loop in external stakeholders.

Ultimately the product selection needed to minimize the number of email and document exchanges, thus save precious team member time and in turn reduce project budgets.

"The team at Studio Moso needed to find a feedback solution that not only supported their internal feedback needs, but could also loop in external stakeholders."

How Studio Moso uses BugHerd

Every staff member at Studio Moso uses BugHerd on an almost daily basis. In fact, the Studio Moso team is one of the earliest adopters of BugHerd (2012). Today they are using the tool as a part of their studio feedback infrastructure.

“We use a combination of software in our studio when managing projects: Bugherd (of course), Trello, Slack, Jira & Team Gantt all play an important role in our studio infrastructure.”

Senior Account Manager

Studio Moso mainly uses BugHerd with new clients, before launching the final website, feature or campaign. They do occasionally use the tool on a live site to mark up changes as required.

How Studio Moso uses BugHerd

After finishing the internal QA process of the new site, the Studio Moso team provides client access to BugHerd. The clients mainly use Chrome capture screenshots to pin issues and feedback, creating tasks for the team to action.

With the help of the upload documentation function, the feedback loop can get started and bingo! The tasks are sent back to the QA manager at the studio.

Once all the tasks have been collected from the client, the studio account manager will jump in and validate the tasks by replicating them. Once completed, the content of the tasks will be modified for the developer or the account manager to take over the ticket to be resolved.

Once the requested tasks have been completed, the tasks gets dragged and dropped to the DONE column on the Kanban board. In the tasks final review stage, the client gets the tasks assigned to them for one final review for them to be closed off.

The whole process usually takes under 2 weeks, for multiple rounds of feedback and communication. Imagine doing that all over email… shudder.

"BugHerd is a software we write into all our proposals and our clients love it just as much (sometimes more) than we do."

What Studio Moso loves about BugHerd

It’s really hard for us to remember a time prior to BugHerd! We have on a few occasions not provided a client with BH access and it’s been a slew of documents + emails with changes - enough to know that it’s saving us time (and money) by providing client access to it!