What is QA?

Experience our audiobooks from a student perspective

Audrey Santos

Last Update vor 6 Monaten

Announcement: Starting on 12/20/2022, the Textbook QA role will temporarily be inactive. For current volunteers serving in this role, please close up any project you are currently working on before this date, as the project site will be temporarily removed. We encourage you to support the Literature QA role in the meantime. Thank you!

QA is the final step in the process of creating an audiobook. In a nutshell, it means playing our books back just like our students will and checking for anything that interferes with an enjoyable reading experience. Our mission includes ensuring our audiobooks support our student's education and empower them as readers and learners. 📚

Our students often come to Learning Ally after a long struggle with reading. For them, our audiobooks can be a revelation making them feel positive about reading, often for the very first time. So you can imagine the disappointment they would feel if a book they've downloaded doesn't meet their expectations because of poor quality, whether it's an audio problem, a consistency issue, or a poor performance. Our students are counting on us!

The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution app (LAABS) is the app our students use to access their audiobooks. We use it for QA review to be sure we're testing the student experience. As a QA volunteer, you should see yourself as the consumer of this audiobook, standing in for our students, so anything noticeable enough to distract you from the content should be noted. We're trusting you to report anything you may find that may have a negative impact on the student experience.

In longer audiobooks, you'll sample the book rather than listening through every page and word (which might be a daunting task in a one-thousand-plus-page textbook.) Instead, you listen to three or four pages at the beginning and ending of each chapter.

We have two types of books in our catalog: Classic Audio and VOICEtext. Most textbooks are in the Classic Audio format and differ significantly from the VOICEtext audiobooks. In Classic Audio, only the digital table of contents is displayed in LAABS. We assume the students have their physical textbooks in front of them, so they can follow along while listening to the audio. Thus, the review process for Classic Audio involves mostly listening. VOICEtext audiobooks have the entire book text, including pictures and illustrations, also displayed in LAABS so students can follow along.


The QA volunteer role is fairly independent with all our training materials, documents, and links in our volunteer portal's QA section. The instructions and video tutorials will walk you through the steps you need to begin the QA Process. However, we also have staff available to help and answer any questions you have. Their contact information is on the Literature and Textbook QA Getting Started pages. The Textbook QA lead is Audrey Santos, and you can contact me directly by selecting @asantos in the Twist thread.  Here is the link to the Textbook QA Collective Twist thread. 

Thank you so much for all your interest and help…we could not do what we do without your energy or efforts! Your work helps ensure our students’ ongoing success. 🧑‍🎓

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