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Conduct a quality assurance review

“What are QA reviews, and how are they conducted?"

“What should I look for in a QA review for a learning project?”


One of learning designers’ many responsibilities is to ensure the instructional materials they develop meet quality standards. The specific processes used for managing quality varies across the industry, but it is common for learning designers to conduct peer QA reviews or to submit deliverables to a QA specialist for review.


Through this lesson, you should be able to identify the purpose of a QA review, what the QA process may entail, and what to look for when you conduct a peer QA review.

What are QA reviews, and how are they conducted?


QA reviews are typically conducted by peer learning designers or QA specialists. The purpose of the QA review may vary per organization, but generally speaking a comprehensive QA review helps ensure instructional materials are:

  • Instructionally sound (e.g. Does the learning experience follow Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction? Are the objectives measurable? Do the content, activities, and assessments map back to the objectives appropriately?)

  • Written well for the target learning audience (e.g. Are they free of grammatical and spelling errors? Is the content written in a way that is easy for this group of learners to understand?)

  • Functional, in terms of user experience (e.g. Will users be able to easily access and navigate the content and instruction? Are all of the links working appropriately?)

  • In line with style guidelines (e.g. Do the materials include fonts, images, and colors that are approved in the style guide? Do the materials use the correct capitalizations and word choices required for this project?)

In some cases, organizations conduct QA reviews that focus on a subset of the above. To complicate matters further, QA reviews may be conducted multiple times during development or only before publication.


Review the scenarios below to learn how and when QA reviews may be conducted. Keep in mind that the process for conducting QA reviews varies widely across the industry, but the goal is to produce quality materials that meet project needs.


What should I look for in a QA review for a learning project?


If you are asked to conduct a QA review for a fellow learning designer, complete the following:


  1. Identify what “QA review” means to the organization for which you are working. For instance, are you ensuring that the materials are instructionally sound, written well for the learning audience, in line with style guides, and/or functional in terms of user experience (UX)?

  2. Determine how you need to share your QA review feedback with the learning designer. Options may include tracked changes, comments, spreadsheets, and Web feedback forms.

  3. Use the sample checklist below to guide your review, targeting the sections identified in Step 1. Modify the checklist to support your project, as needed.

  4. Submit your feedback to your peer learning designer and offer to talk through any questions, comments, or concerns.


Scroll through the pages of this sample QA checklist:


Summary and next steps


To assess the quality of instructional materials, learning designers and/or quality assurance specialists should conduct QA reviews before publication. While each organization may conduct QA reviews differently, it is good practice to ensure materials are instructionally sound, written well for the learning audience, meet project and style guidelines, and are functional in terms of user experience. Now that you have completed this lesson, you should be able identify the purpose of a QA review, what the QA process may entail, and what to look for when you conduct a peer QA review.


If you haven’t done so already, consider completing all the other lessons in LXD Factory’s Learn the basics series. Otherwise, search for lessons that interest you most.

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