Course beta-testing

This post is a checklist I created from my experience in beta-testing courses before their first public release. I would be grateful if anyone could point out stuff I might have missed. Everyone is free to use and adapt this list.

Global controls

  • A Google Docs file is created at the start of a quality control and shared with the course design coordinator
  • All written contents have passed the linguistic revision (consult design coordinator).
  • The dates of registration, opening of the course and end of registration / course have been indicated in the page “Dates & details”
  • The About page is available and correctly configured in advanced settings.
  • The dates are consistent with the wiki. (consult design coordinator)
  • The certificate has been validated by the course designers and put online
  • eCommerce is properly configured
  • Coupons are generated (consult design coordinator)
  • The deadline for the purchase of the certificate is 2 weeks before the end of the course
  • Evaluations The pass mark has been set under the “evaluations” option, The types and the number of evaluations have been correctly configured under the “evaluations” option
  • The communication plan has been communicated by its manager to all the stakeholders of the course (facilitators, coordinator, user support desk)
  • The “mass email” tab is available (when requested)
  • Advertising surrounding the launch of the course is ready
  • The scripted communications during the session are dated
  • The reminder for the purchase of the certificate (recipients: users “Audit”) is in the com plan and dated to 3 weeks before the end of the course
  • The reminder for the verification ID and the download of the certificate (recipients: users “Verified”) is in the com plan and dated for 3 weeks before the end of the course
  • Course tabs : added FAQ and Certification tabs (custom tabs for our courses, with course-specific FAQ and a tutorial on how to get the certification)

Introductory Module (Module 0) (we use a Module 0 instead of a syllabus, for more flexibility)

  • The duration of the modules are indicated in the lesson plan
  • The total duration of the MOOC is recorded in the lesson plan
  • The reminder for the certification is included in this module
  • Check the certification deadline indicated on the course plan, in accordance with the wiki sheet

All modules + About page

  • The duration of the modules are indicated in module introduction
  • Units with jobs and quizzes have been correctly configured as part of the assessment types
  • Units reserved for an audience (cohort, enrollment course) are correctly configured
  • Section and subsection titles, unit names and headings are consistent (Sentence case vs Title Case For Example)

For each content page
–Texts are re-read (shells, omissions, logical order of texts)
–Links are tested (broken links, bad redirects)
–Videos are listened to (audio / video problems)
–The exercises are tested
–The course displays correctly on mobile to ensure no sizing weirdness

Universal accessibility
–Text: titles are in H3 and H4 only
–Images: alt text is properly filled everywhere
–Video subtitles / visual description are available (optional for EDUlib, required for edX, as we are also partners)
–The visual supports of the videos are downloadable (PPT / images)

Conclusion module

  • A reminder for downloading the certification is visible by the verified students
  • The appreciation survey for this course is online and awaiting answers
  • The course concludes with a text or video thank you for the participants
  • The sponsors of the course are thanked.

This list is a translation from french, excuse my Google Translate.


Feel free to visit our open edX platform, we do have some courses in english from time to time, even though most our content is in french.



I think the only extra things I typically check when reviewing courses for our customers are a few minor things like:

  • Checking course titles, unit names and headings are consistent (Sentence case vs Title Case For Example)
  • Checking how the course displays on mobile (assuming the site is responsive) to ensure no sizing weirdness
  • Checking the narrative flow through the course (by looking at the start and ends of topics and how the pieces fit together, but that’s more of a qualitative measure than a checklist item)
1 Like

Thanks for your input! I have added your first two items to my list.

I think this has been pretty thorough, so instead of adding more to the to-do list I wanted to show some things that can speed up the process.

First, I’ve got some scripts that can take a course export and auto-set certain variables. For instance, instead of checking to make sure every video transcript is downloadable, you just run a script to set them all that way. Link: hx-xml repository

Second, we have a python package that will create certain archiving spreadsheets - like a list of every single link in the course, or of every image with its alt text. You still have to check those things by hand, but this speeds the process tremendously. Link: hx_util repository

Both of these are MIT-licensed, so you can use them, edit them, whatever you like.


Oh wow, this is on a whole new level. I will try to use these tools when I come back to the office on monday, can’t wait to try them!