Learning Management System/Experience Platform Alpha: Sprint 3

Learning Management System/Experience Platform Alpha: Sprint 3

Another fortnight and another sprint down! The team have just wrapped the third sprint, and here’s what’s happened over the last fortnight.

Steering Group

We’ve had the second meeting of the project’s Steering Group and it was great to see so many people from the last session on Teams. We asked the reps from across the LAs to help us with our evaluation matrix for the project, which is designed to ensure we give the right weighting to the results of the different bits of work we’re doing to choose a platform.

We met as a team and decided on the different results we’re going to receive and what these would look like e.g. qualitative or quantitative, marks out of 5 or RAG ratings. We then discussed our weightings which ended up being evenly spread across the different criteria. We’ve shown this to the group and asked for their feedback to be able to factor that into our second round of decision-making next sprint.

We’ve also asked the board to help us with subject matter experts and their existing content around the three courses we’ve decided to work on for the corporate content, to see if it’s possible to create courses that work for all the LAs. But more on that later…

Learning Pool

We’ve had our demos from Thinqi and L@W and we’re now in the process of setting up a demo with Learning Pool. This is booked for the final week in September, and we’re excited to see another product and how it fits the requirements. We’re also thinking about other possible solutions that might be included in the work and the Steering Group has provided us with some examples to look at.

Democratic services content work

There are 20 courses for councillors and all courses are going through the content design process. Rachel has come up with a consistent look and feel for each course so the structure will be familiar as the learner works their way through all 20 courses while at the same time making them interactive. She’s using a human and conversational tone of voice for any text content and scenarios that are relevant to councillors based on real-life situations that could happen. In this Sprint:

  • The Equality and Diversity course and Community Leadership course were tested

  • The engagement and workshops with subject matter experts took place for Chairing Skills with Social Media, Introduction to Planning and Planning for Committee Members scheduled in so testing sessions can then follow in Sprint 4.

The feedback on the courses we have tested with councillors so far has been good so we know we are on the right lines, and we know what tweaks need to be made before any further testing can take place. We’re applying everything we’re learning in these testing sessions to new courses we’re creating as well.

Corporate content work

The Steering Group helped us to decide on the three corporate courses to work on, to see if we can combine content from across the existing courses to make one that would work across the LAs. Suchet is currently working across these, and they are: Equality and Diversity, General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Welsh Language. Rough drafts of these are being created at this stage, and these will be edited and iterated upon depending on feedback and suggestions from the subject matter expert (SME) for each subject. 

Suchet is also working on the course content designer’s Playbook, with input from Rachel. This will help the present designers and future designers who are working on creating courses. We’ve decided this needs to be created in HTML to ensure it’s fully accessible – making sure we practice what we preach in terms of accessibility!

We’ve also asked the Steering Group for whether the top 10 courses we identified with them are delivered online, face to face, what platform they’re on and where we can get hold of any existing content. Instead of having to wrangle a huge content audit which would take up too much of the reps time, this sample from each LA allows us to see a microcosm of the full landscape of learning and development content across the local authorities.

UX work

We have now created a UX/UI audit template and have begun documenting WCAG level AA and .GOV recommendations and best practices for the Learning@Wales learning platform.

Also, we have had a demo of the Thinqi platform this sprint and are in the process of having a sandbox set up for us to test our content on.  We will now start the UX audit on the Thinqi platform this week.

UR work

The user research has now begun in earnest, starting with user testing of the democratic services course content. After some tweaking, we have now found a system for testing that seems to be working well and is digging up some really useful insight. There is still some way to go though, as we have currently tested 3 courses out of 20 for democratic services. We’re also looking to build in bulk testing at the end of the process to ensure the content is the best it can be by the end of the process.

There will also be user testing of the corporate course content and of each of the potential learning platforms over the coming weeks. We’re working with the organisations at the moment to get access to the systems for this and planning how the UR will work to ensure parity of testing across the different platforms.

Next sprint (Sprint 4!) we’ll be focusing on other possible solutions we’d like to demo, as well as the testing for the content and platform, and the ongoing UX audits of the platforms we’ve already seen. We’re reaching a steady state now where the work is more continuing than picking up new processes, which is great to see. It’s also been great to look back over the other blogs we’ve published and see the progress from the beginning of the project to now – well done team!