Learning Management System/Experience Platform Alpha: Sprint 5

Learning Management System/Experience Platform Alpha: Sprint 5

Now we’ve reached the end of Sprint 5, we’re now over halfway through the project. In this sprint, we’ve been working to make more strategic decisions about timescales, platforms and workstreams, whilst the Democratic Services content and user testing work continues at pace. Here’s what we’ve been up to…

Steering Group

We’ve been discussing the option of a fourth platform for the project after receiving suggestions from the Steering Group of other possible solutions. We’ve been working this sprint to decide what that other option might be, and this has been a decision that’s changed every time we’ve received more information for suppliers. A lot of those platforms we looked at are unable to meet our underpinning functional requirements including Welsh Language provision, and others don’t support the Learning Experience Platform (LXP) element of the work, being more HR-based Learning Management Systems (LMS). We’re still working on this decision and hope to have more information out for the steering group in the first part of Sprint 6.

We’ve also discussed the timescales for the project. We need more time to be able to finalise the work we’re doing around the user research and user experience audit for the platforms. Therefore, we’re extending the work for the next 4 weeks until the end of November, meaning we’re extending from a 10-week to a 14-week alpha. We’re confident this will give us the time we need, and we’ve extended Rachel and Mike to ensure we get to keep them until the end!

Democratic Services Content

We are now halfway through the content design on the 20 modules for new councillors. Phew!

In the first sprint blog we talked about a rhythm Rachel had got into on the content design, here’s a reminder:

  • Review current content and start content design process
  • Subject matter expert conversations and workshops
  • Content design shaped by participants
  • Testing with councillors
  • Revisit content

In this Sprint, the Rachel Rhythm has covered off:

  • The subject matter expert workshop for public speaking and working with the media, now titled ‘Get your message across’
  • The Introduction to Planning and Planning for Committee Members workshop
  • Testing for this course by councillors
  • Setting up the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act content design, workshop and testing planned in for Sprint 6 

The feedback on the get your message across module from a councillor was “a vast improvement on previous media training [they had undertaken], this was far more relevant and detailed.”

Rachel has also planned the workshop for the Respect Not Stress course, which covers bullying and harassment, and another for the Time, Work and Wellbeing course.


This sprint, we decided as a team to stop the corporate content work until next year. This work will go onto our backlog and be looked at in January when we’re planning to pick up new projects for the year. We decided that given we had limited time left in the project, and that it was proving difficult to find Content Designers to pick this work up, we should focus on the platform work as the priority delivery. We communicated this decision at both the Show and Tell session and the Steering Group this sprint.


Now that we have a sandbox in place, we will be reviewing the Thinqi platform this sprint, in terms of Accessibility, UX/UI design, WCAG level AA and .GOV recommendations and best practices. We will also start reviewing the mobile version of all the 3 platforms as well.


We have now tested 8 of the 20 democratic services modules, and we continue testing 2 modules a week. These are still turning up some valuable feedback and important insights.

Tom has started interviewing existing users of the 3 platforms that we’re considering to understand their experience of the platforms, starting with a Thinqi user. Interviews with existing users of Learning@Wales and Learning Pool users are being arranged at the moment.

Finally, Tom and Jane worked to set the tasks for the platform testing and ensured that the testing areas prepared for us by the platform providers are ready for testing. We’ve also brought in a contractor, Sabah Zdanowska, who’ll be supporting the platform testing to ensure we can get all the sessions completed and written up by the end of the project.

In Sprint 6 we’ll be focusing on confirming if there’s going to be a fourth platform option for testing and confirming and booking in the user testing sessions across the existing three sandboxes with our volunteers from the different user groups. We’re also getting a head start on our final report for submission to the Digital Transformation Fund in December and confirming the final weightings for the evaluation matrix. 

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