Welcome to our second blog post in this series. Previously, I discussed three important ingredients that are essential to creating a solid index. This week, I'd like to walk you through a forth, and probably the most important ingredient, testing. Before I do that, I'm excited to let you know we now have our completed index and charts. This week we've completed phase I of our testing and have now moved on to phase II. We hope to provide a Pre-Release of our index in the coming week.
What is a Pre-Release version of the index?
The Pre-Release is not our official version of the index. The purpose of getting the pre-released version is so that you can download the index and begin exploring and testing it as you study. You are welcome and encouraged to notify us if you come across any discrepancies in our materials. Our team of students will also be testing the index in their final phase III testing. Within a couple of weeks, if we do find any additional corrections, we will send out an updated version of the index. Typically, phase III testing is about fine-tuning the index and we do not expect there to be major updates. We do not recommend that you print out the Pre-Release version of the index until phase III testing is completed.
What are the three phases of testing?
Today I want to talk about our process for testing our index. We've broken down that process into three unique stages, which we like to call Phase I, II, and III. Although its nearly impossible to have a perfect index, we do our best to give you a product that we would personally rely on. To get there, we go through some rigorous testing.
This phase begins when we receive all the completed parts of our index back from the students preparing their individual topics. Once all that information is received, we have two Ontario licensed lawyers start the first phase of testing. Our group members are instructed to use a colour coding system when they index. Green is for highlighting new terms created, usually as a result of additions to the LSO materials. Red represents terms that no longer appear in the index and yellow represents terms that are confusing or may need a second look at. No terms are added or deleted from our index without the review of our lawyers. This process usually takes 1-2 weeks to complete. In addition to going through and approving or rejecting the highlighted terms, we have a sorting system that allows us to catch terms that fall outside the range of where those terms are supposed to lie within the materials. This system allows us to spot if there are any substantial errors because a student may have forgotten to index an entire chapter or section.
In the second phase of testing, we assign group members a specific index that they did not personally work on. During this phase, students attempt practice questions for their assigned topic and go through the index as they personally study and prepare for the subject. This phase typically lasts about a week.
At the end of this phase, each of our group members receives the Pre-Release version of our index and we also make a limited number of them available to the public.
This phase lasts about 2 weeks and is the fine-tuning phase. Our group members are free to study any topic they wish. As they prepare, they'll notify us if they find any discrepancies in the index. We may also receive corrections from individuals who purchased the Pre-Release version of the index. If there are any corrections, then we'll send out an update to everyone who purchased the early release. Last year, there were no updates to send out between Phase II - III.
I hope you enjoyed the overview of our testing processes. I look forward to writing more once we've completed our Phase II testing in the coming days.