Learning Management System/Experience Platform Alpha: Sprint 6

Learning Management System/Experience Platform Alpha: Sprint 6

Sprint 6 is done! And we are now at quite a crossroads in the project. As a team, we’ve set up and planned all the work and are now rapidly delivering during the final two sprints of the project until the end of November. All the planning and preparing that we’ve done in this sprint will allow us to gallop through the next few weeks at pace and deliver the last parts of the work. Ok, so what did we do this sprint to get us here?

Steering Group

We cancelled the meeting this fortnight due to half term and not many people being able to make the session. Instead, we sent out an update on our progress and are meeting next on 11 November. At this next session we’ll be asking councils to express an interest (or not!) in any potential beta phase work.

One of the things we included in our update to the Steering Group, as well as discussing it in the Show and Tell session, was our decision around any further platforms to bring into the project.

We looked at several platforms including Totara, Cornerstone, Thrive and Docebo, and they don’t support our underpinning requirements including the provision of Welsh. Because of this, as a project team we’ve decided to keep our work focused on the 3 platforms we know support the essential criteria (Thinqi, Learning@Wales and Learning Pool).

We’ve also worked to finalise our evaluation matrix weightings for making our final recommendation. We’d asked for feedback and suggestions for changes to our original weightings from the group. Jane, Gwyn, and I then met to work through our thinking, the feedback, and our assumptions to ensure we had the right weightings against the right sections. We tested and challenged each other’s thinking a lot during this session and have come out with weightings that accurately reflect the outcomes of the project.

Democratic Services Content

11 courses out of 20 have been content designed and tested. The 4 in the last sprint included:

  • Scrutiny
  • Well-being and Future Generations Act
  • Time, Work and Wellbeing
  • Bullying and Harassment

The workshop for the Welsh Language Standards on 4 November required simultaneous translation so as it is a first for the team, so we’ve been sorting out the options for Zoom to make sure this runs smoothly. The workshop for Governance and Audit module has taken place in this sprint and the testing is scheduled in for Sprint 7 along with the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence module. The Local Government Finance and the Ethics and Standards Module workshops have been scheduled for Sprint 7.

We are also finalising a process for the modules to be signed off and have decided not to do a final testing run. That is thanks to all our fantastic volunteers who have contributed to this project and taken part in the workshops as modules were well received with no mammoth reworkings needed.

In this Sprint’s testing, one councillor said about the time, work and wellbeing course “I would have liked to have a course like this when I first became a councillor. It is to the point and gives a good level of knowledge.”


In this sprint we reviewed the Thinqi platform and tested the user journeys for Learners, Managers, Trainers and Admin Users on both mobile and desktop devices. The focus of the review was on Usability and Accessibility compliance (WCAG 2.1 AA standards), along with recommending .GOV UX and UI best practices.


As well as continuing to test the 4 democratic services courses during this sprint, I began interviewing current users of the 3 platforms being considered, to get their experience and views of the learning platforms.

The platform usability testing has now begun in earnest too, with planning and arrangements happening during Sprint 6 and the testing sessions themselves taking place over Sprint 7. We also brought a freelance user researcher, Sabah Zdanowska, on board to help undertake some of the platform usability testing and to support with the report writing to make sure that the user research work is done and dusted by the end of November.

So that’s Sprint 6. For our next sprint, we’ll be focusing on getting the user testing for the different platforms completed with volunteers from across the councils. We’ll also be completing the user experience work, and more Democratic Services content. We’re also starting the final report writing for submission at the end of November and will be getting the costs and support information for each of the platforms ready for the evaluation matrix. See you in Sprint 7!

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