Online Proofing Tools in Learning Design Process – Do You Use Them?

The review is an essential step in the creative life cycle. Online proofing tools in the learning design allow designers to quickly access SMEs and managers to feedback on their artefacts.

I am an instructional designer and learning technologist working with clients in the private and higher ed sector. Recently, having spoken to a friend in the multimedia design agency, I realized that working for several years in a creative environment and designing for learning, I had never been asked to use any online proofing tools. I had never thought about that, but now I find it a bit strange. So much effort and money are put into designing and reviewing marketing and entertainment content, but when it comes to learning, the standards are different. Why?

I asked some of my learning-designer colleagues about it, and while most were familiar with the concept of online proofing, no one could recommend any tools that can be used in online learning.
So I went a step further and asked my extended network – Linked In, Facebook and some professional groups on these platforms.

I was curious about how it works for other learning designers? Do they use online proofing tools for streamlining your creative processes or not? And if they do use them – what do they use specifically for video, audio, HTML files, and simple graphics?

Care to guess that the answers I received were?

There was a lot of following of my post with the question, but only two recommendations. The conclusion reached from these two responses was that this was not a significant concern for most designers. This was a bit disappointing, as proofing, revisions and quality checks are a critical step in the learning design project.


The two recommendations for online proofing tools for learning I received were:
  • Articulate Storyline review functionality
  • Review My Learning

Articulate Storyline 360

I was familiar with the Articulate Storyline 360 review functionality – I knew about it, and used it. It is built-in functionality of the Articulate storyline where you can ask for feedback for your articulate learning project. Comments are entered and recorded per slide, and the owner can reply, delete, resolve. It is a great functionality but unfortunately only limited to Articulate Storyline projects, and would not work with other interactive or multimedia content.

Review my Learning

The second tool, Review my Learning was new to me. I quickly checked it out. The website says that the platform works with: Adobe Presenter and Captivate, Lectora, Articulate Presenter and Storyline, iSpring, Ancile, uPerform and it is possible to request more. However, my first impression was that the interface looks a bit out-dated, plus, some pages I was redirected to, like the blog, were not secure. In terms of pricing, it can be tested for free as the basic package for one course is free.

Why do I go about this online proofing?

Review and proofing is an essential step in the creative life cycle. It ensures that all stakeholders had an opportunity to review and give their feedback, suggest changes or provide other significant input. Online proofing allows tracking all of this along with the pice being produced. This ensures that you, the team and all parties involved remain focused, deadline-driven and work on the latest versions of the piece.

What other online proofing tools learning designers can be interested in?

Some examples of areas where learning designers can benefit from streamlined proofing process are

  • Reviewing educational videos and multimedia
  • Reviewing creative designs – images, graphics, infographics
  • Reviewing audio files
  • Text proofing

I went on and did my own research, compiling a list of online proofing tools that instructional designers can consider for their projects. I published them as a series of posts. You can find out more in posts about ‘5 Visual and creative design proofing tools that will help to speed up your processes’, ‘ 12 online proofing tools for video production ‘ and ’13 Online proofing tools for creative visual design’

I went on and did my own research, compiling a list of online proofing tools that instructional designers can consider for their projects. I published them as a series of posts. You can find out more in posts about ‘5 Visual and creative design proofing tools that will help to speed up your processes’, ‘ 12 online proofing tools for video production ‘ and ’13 Online proofing tools for creative visual design’


Like a bestselling author that seeks proofreaders to double-check their work and ensure the best manuscript possible, online proofing tools for the learning design process could help to achieve a well-rounded product that would satisfy your clients and learners.

Streamlined review

There is a long list of benefits to gain from online proofing. Usually, it boils down to perfecting the message you wish to deliver. Online tools can help to streamline the proofing process by limiting the number of avenues and assuring the transparency of the process. By sharing, tracking and addressing all the comments and feedback, you don’t run into problems after the release.

Transparency of the review for all stakeholders

Keeping projects or tasks, on target, and delivering them by the deadlines agreed is another benefit of these online proofing tools. Knowing the stakeholders in the project and giving them the visibility of review stages is easily achieved with online proofing tools. Creative methods can spiral out of control, go longer than expected, and sometimes head in many directions during the creative life cycle. Online proofing tools giving others a clear view of the process and its stages can help to provide transparency and achieve deadlines.

Process automation and version control

These tools guide you seamlessly through revisions and approval processes. Have you ever struggled to find the latest emailed version of a project and realize you are working on the wrong one? These tools usually ensure version control so that the designers and reviewers involved remain on task and work with the latest version of the product.


The variety of media that is produced for teaching and learning today has become vast and varied. For this reason, online proofing software also has a variety of options on the market today. Before you begin looking into a purchase or trial, you must understand your deliverables. Think about how you want the software to help you in your creative process and who will be using it.

Design, creative, video, artwork, and document proofing are all examples of online proofing options. How these can be used differ drastically. For instance, a new campaign design layout may require internal and external stakeholders to provide feedback. Needing a software that allows freely given comments, and the ability to mark up content is critical, along with logging where you are in the approval stages. The most popular video proofing software needs the ability to post and gather feedback, and fine-tune substantial video files that design software would never be expected to handle.

When you begin selecting the software for your online content approval and proofing, ask these questions:
  • Who will need to use it? (ie. Internal and external options)
  • What are the deliverables you want stakeholders to be able to provide back during the proofing process?
  • Does it need to manage time, approval steps, or can it be a more free form?
  • Does it need to work with any specific file types or programs?

Whether you only have one other person, or a large team of internal and external stakeholders to work with – online proofing tools can certainly streamline gathering and addressing feedback for your creative and learning design projects.

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