Creating High Quality eLearning Courses With zipBoard

Explore how KnowBe4 managed their collaboration and feedback loops in zipBoard to increase productivity by streamlining the process specific to their eLearning platform.

Problem statement

As the world’s largest security awareness training company, managing feedback and communication with the multitude of stakeholders involved while developing quality learning materials was a major headache.

With zipBoard

The KnowBe4 team used zipBoard for the initial rounds of testing, where the majority of the dirty work is done. Coupled with the seamless collaboration with their tenacious QA team and the subject matter experts, KnowBe4 observed their review process become extremely efficient.


After adopting zipBoard as a collaborative and eLearning review tool, John noted that the improved review process the eLearning team now used resulted in an overall improvement in the survey results for their courses. Many of the new courses were now earning ratings of 4.5 stars or higher out of 5. Elevating the company to a better position than before.


John Just

Senior VP of Learning Innovation – KnowBe4

Founded by IT and data security specialist Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 helps organizations address the human element of security by raising awareness about ransomware, CEO Fraud, and other social engineering tactics using a new-school approach towards providing awareness training on security. KnowBe4 also provides free IT security tools that help with testing users and networks to identify problems related to social engineering, spear-phishing, and ransomware attacks.

The overall value comes from efficiently gathering feedback from our quality assurance team and any other stakeholders. This is very important because we want to ensure quality but at the same time, if we had to collect the feedback in another way and coalesce them, this would take time and effort that zipBoard makes easy for us. So it’s very valuable.


In his current role as the Senior Vice President of Learning Innovation at KnowBe4, the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, John Just trains users on how to protect themselves online.

With the rising use of cloud technology for communication, storage, exchanging information, it is easy to be vulnerable to security attacks.

John’s team, internally referred to as the Courseware department, builds games, assessments, and video and training modules for companies to help manage the problems of social engineering.

knowbe4 team large uses zipBoard

Building quality learning has many challenges when it comes to managing feedback and communication with all stakeholders. This is why John and KnowBe4 have shared their method of managing feedback in zipBoard and have given insight into how this has allowed them to continue working productively, even with the current situation of entirely working from home.

Challenges in gathering and managing feedback

Spreadsheets, LMS, emails, and calls were the tools used to gather feedback from stakeholders to communicate worthwhile content changes. The process was haphazard and lacked structure. The Courseware team at KnowBe4 was moving away from these tools and needed something that would be more efficient when reviewing all of their online content.

Quality is a High Priority at KnowBe4

Quality is very important to the KnowBe4 teams and they needed a tool that allowed them to comment and resolve issues efficiently in the online content that they create. Their customers had no time for bugs, mistakes, or anything inconsistent, so a review tool and process were critical.

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Turning point

While researching potential solutions, the bug tracking tool “zipBoard” was brought up during discussions with colleagues as a viable option. After a short demo, the KnowBe4 team was impressed with the features and functionality of zipBoard, as well as its flexibility and ease of use. zipBoard promised a higher level of quality and seemed to be a much simpler and organized way of streamlining the process specific to the e-learning platform.

Using zipBoard in their course creation process

When we asked John about how courses are developed at KnowBe4, this is what he said:

“When developing a course at KnowBe4, our main objective is to plan, collaborate, and execute the delivery of a world-class product for our customers and their end-users. This kicks off with the development of our content where an outline of the training course is thoughtfully created.

The content outline is reviewed by the eyes of our tenacious QA team who grants their approval or recommendations for changes. This cadence continues through multiple phases of our agile development process including Graphics, Technical Development, and Console Administration.

Our QA team serves as the gatekeeper between each phase until the final delivery of our well-executed product. zipBoard assists in our development process by providing visibility, structure, and tracking of any changes made along the way until our final deliverable is made.”

zipboard supports all content types for learning content review process
Collaborate better with stakeholders

Streamlining reviews and improving course quality using zipBoard

John mentions that they used numerous tools, as well as some old-school spreadsheets during their review process. They still use spreadsheets for testing logs after the content piece has been loaded into their LMS, but for the initial rounds of testing, zipBoard made their process extremely efficient and interesting.

On the topic of using zipBoard, John noted that the improved review process the eLearning team now used resulted in an overall improvement in the survey results for their courses. Many of the new courses were now earning ratings of 4.5 stars or higher out of 5.

I would say the review and feedback process contributed to the overall high results of our training modules. We have a great team here at KnowBe4 who create the courses and we want them to be as efficient as possible, so they can deliver the quality materials that our customers expect.

According to KnowBe4, creating a quality eLearning course does not have to be difficult for teams especially when they are working remotely. A well-laid-out process, proper communication tools, and an efficient feedback mechanism help immensely, when creating quality eLearning without employees having to be in the same room or working synchronously, zipBoard helps streamline that communication between all stakeholders.

We hear similar advice from leaders at other eLearning companies who use zipBoard. Here’s Beth Epperson from ELM Learning sharing similar advice on eLearning design, development, and QA processes.

If you want more great interviews with eLearning leaders like John, sign-up to our newsletter.

Pro tips

  • Have a clear nomenclature for your multiple iterations of the same file.  You can add the version name and details while adding the file. You also have the option to tie your version files to the relevant project phase.
  • Start small. Create a prototype and have most of the differences on design and functional elements ironed out early on. The prototype doesn’t need to be more than a few slides or some selected modules.
  • Once the prototype has been reviewed by the internal team, you can get it reviewed by the client. Client feedback will assist you to identify where you and your colleagues can improve providing you with an insight into the client’s overall experience/expectation.

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