Learning experience platforms (LXPs) are quickly becoming a popular learning technology within the L&D industry. But what exactly is a learning experience platform? Let’s cover the basics—including how an LXP differs from a learning management system (LMS).
For years, the L&D industry has considered learning management systems (LMSs) to be the foundation of the learning ecosystem. However, learning happens everywhere—not just in the LMS and other formal settings.
While the LMS continues to play an important role in corporate training, it’s beginning to lose its status as the center of the modern learning ecosystem as new tools and technologies emerge.
In particular, learning experience platforms are quickly gaining traction in the L&D space.
So what is an LXP and why should you consider using one?
At its core, an LXP (or sometimes called an LEP or LEXP) creates personalized learning experiences by integrating and consolidating formal and informal learning initiatives—including LMS training programs—from across the organization.
As a result, many LXPs offer both learners and stakeholders a single point of access to
Historically, an LMS is a closed system that organizes and delivers formal learning content that’s been created by the L&D team using a content management system or authoring tool.
That means learners and other non-admin users are confined to the content in the LMS, increasing the chances that these users will seek other sources when their assigned training doesn’t answer or address their questions.
Many LMSs also allow organizations to track and evaluate learners’ activity and progress, but their closed systems prevent them from being able to deliver and track informal learning.
This limited view means you’re not getting the full picture of all the learning that’s actually happening in your organization.
In contrast, a learning experience platform is an open system that pulls learning from a wide array of sources into one central location. This allows you to deliver mandatory training—such as compliance or onboarding courses—you’d provide via an LMS in addition to educational content and resources from other tools and third-party providers across multiple channels.
LXPs help users customize their learning paths while allowing them to share and recommend relevant content to fellow users. So when learners find a helpful resource that answers a commonly asked question, they can submit that resource so it’s easily accessible to peers. And when learners feel like they’re involved in the process, they’re more likely to engage with and explore learning opportunities.
Furthermore, the flexibility of an open system allows the L&D team to grow and diversify their content library exponentially faster than if they had to create and curate content on their own.
Like most LMSs, most LXPs also offer basic reporting and analytics—such as learner usage, activity, and performance. Unlike an LMS, though, LXP reporting includes information from multiple data sources, giving you a more well-rounded understanding of your learners, their progress, and how they’re interacting with content.
Generally speaking, LXPs are intended primarily for enterprise-level learning and development—as they’re designed to aggregate, house, and deliver a vast assortment of training spanning teams, departments, and organizations as a whole.
LXPs can host multiple content types—ranging from custom interactive courses and video presentations to curated podcasts and articles. Common, but not standard features, may include
Not sure if you need a learning experience platform, learning management system, or both? Use this guide to fit the right fit.
As the LXP market continues to grow and evolve, you can expect to see new features and capabilities that further enhance organizational learning efforts and the user experience. For organizations looking to create a dynamic, continuous learning culture, having the right training platform is key to creating and delivering L&D programs that are engaging, scalable, and—most important—that meet the needs of both your organization and learners.
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