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October 15, 2020

LMS vs. LXP

As the COVID pandemic pushes more work environments remote, businesses are being forced to reimagine current enterprise training strategies. Experts estimate the growing demand for technology-enabled teaching and training will push the eLearning market size north of 375 billion (USD) by 2026

There is a lot of growing excitement because for years it was widely common knowledge that eLearning was an inferior option to the in-classroom sage-on-stage approach. The challenge for eLearning companies during this boom will be differentiation and specialization. Meaning, companies will have to find an industry, niche, or specialized feature set, and really dig in to get noticed. 

Let’s start with a few definitions…

Learning management system (LMS)

TrainingIndustry.com defines an LMS as a system designed for the administration, delivery, tracking and reporting of learning and development initiatives.” The primary functions of an LMS are:

  • Training assignment 
  • Learning content access 
  • Course completion tracking 
  • Data collection
  • Reporting

It’s a system that is administrator-driven and great for compliance and certification purposes. By nature, LMS are libraries of content that provide top-down learning based on the needs of the organization.

Learning experience platform (LXP)

LXP is an evolved LMS that is focused on learner engagement. It balances the standard top-down learning with bottom-up learning based on the unique needs of the learner. It is more than a catalog or library of learning content, but an informed librarian that helps learners find the content specific to their goals.

“LXPs can do many tasks, such as curating and aggregating content, creating learning and career pathways, enabling networking, enhancing skill development, and tracking learning activities delivered via multiple channels and content partners. By delivering on a central platform, LXPs enable businesses to provide an engaging and learning-rich experience.” — Janet Clarey, learning expert

Among other functions, LXPs:

  • Use data and AI to engage and enable learners
  • Combine learning content from multiple sources
  • Address a variety of learning methods
  • Connect and integrate well with other systems
  • Provide rich learning experiences with content recommendations
  • Have intuitive high-tech interfaces
  • Measure learner engagement and retention

So, what is the difference between LMS and LXP?

“LMS systems were never designed to be employee-centric. They were developed as “Management” systems for learning, focused on business rules, compliance, and catalog management for courses.

The LXP, which looks more like YouTube or Netflix, is a true content delivery system, which makes modern content easy to find and consume.” Josh Bersin, learning expert

They can be used in conjunction with one another, but as the capabilities of LXPs continue to expand, more legacy LMS users are migrating away and saving costs by using only an LXP.

How can we make LXPs even better?

We think the answer is more learner personalization through better data and more intelligent AI.

In a recent eLearning Industry article, 77% of L&D professionals said personalization in learning is vital to employee engagement. But, just like all other eLearning terms, ‘personalized’ has a wide array of meanings. 

Some would say ‘personalized’ means making course content suggestions based on the learner’s interests, retention, or assessment results. Let’s do better and define ‘personalized’ as all of the above AND add the functionality of segmenting content based on the learner’s name, their role, their location, and more.

For example, your new Chief Revenue Officer in Dallas should see the “Company Values” course through a lens different from that of your individual contributor in Miami. If this course were to look the same for both parties, you’re guaranteed to lose one of your audience members, if not both of them. One should be taught to model the values, while the other is given practical ways to live out those values in the workplace. Keep those audience members engaged by teaching them through the lens they need to resonate with the content.

As more organizations are turning to a remote work environment, enterprise training must improve. For the same healthy culture you may have had in the office, it’s now imperative to reimagine how to create and cultivate that same culture remotely. Develop your team with intentionality by providing them a personalized learning experience. 

If you wish to build and deliver personalized learning experiences for your team, that’s our jam. We welcome the opportunity to help you accomplish this goal. Reach out to us on any of our social channels, at our website, or by phone. Our purpose is to love and learn. We’d love to do both with you.

Keep exploring

Barry Swihart

Advisor

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