A learning experience platform (LXP) provides a personalized, social, online learning experience for users, typically employees at large enterprises. It consolidates disparate learning resources into a single portal.
Janet Clarey, Lead Advisor, Technology, Analytics, and Learning at Bersin by Deloitte defines learning experience platforms in the following way:
LXPs are single-point-of-access, consumer-grade systems composed of integrated technologies for enabling learning. They 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 and may lessen their reliance on an LMS or talent suite as the learning hub.
These days, learning can happen anywhere and manifest in many forms. An LXP helps employees discover learning opportunities, offers ways to enhance them and manages all their learning. LXPs also facilitate and encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Because most employees were not engaging with their company’s learning management system (LMS) outside of mandatory compliance training, industry leaders invested in designing a superior experience that would motivate employees to learn skills and acquire knowledge.
What’s the Difference Between an LMS and an LXP?
At first glance, a learning experience platform simply might seem like a modern version of a learning management system, but with a sleeker aesthetic. Both are applications for providing courses and training. But fundamental differences exist.
Every learning experience platform (LEP) is about engagement and content. Content is the queen here, next to the engagement (king). You need both with an extensive amount of content, constantly being added. Content can be – video, audio (inc. podcasts), courses, micro-learning courses (a favorite among LEPs), documents, PDFs and various other types of files (depending on the vendor).
1.Administrator-Driven vs. Employee-Driven
Companies that only use an LMS typically have an administrative team managing the software and deciding what courses and training modules will be available. The content choices are made by Learning & Development managers and executives. The vast majority of employees cannot directly influence their learning experiences or content offerings.
With LXPs, every learner can decide what content they want to engage with. Anyone can add or create new content, which then becomes discoverable by anyone in the company. Sharing is encouraged, with few or no controls over what is allowed.
2.Closed System vs. Open Platform
The LMS is a closed system that does not assimilate learning resources from external providers. Only administrators can add content, making it more difficult and time-consuming to generate a diverse array of choices and learning paths.
Administrators have limited time to curate content, and can’t possibly scour everything available. LXPs help everyone become curators, so the selection for each learner quickly becomes vast and diverse.
3.Compliance Focus vs. Impact Focus
Organizations frequently use LMSs primarily to comply with laws and regulations. They also often use similar styles for each course — a block of information followed by a brief quiz. As a consequence, many employees perceive the LMS as a chore, rather than a portal for learning new skills and acquiring valuable knowledge. Even if the platform offers hundreds of courses on interesting topics, employees will most likely not bother engaging with non-mandatory content.
Instead of prioritizing compliance, LXPs are designed to positively impact the growth of business. When employees spend more time learning, they become more valuable and are able to make greater contributions to their companies — which, in turn, makes their companies more competitive.
Question: Are traditional LMS no longer suitable for the corporate learning environment and – if so – why?
Elfond: “Traditional LMS force participation through a specific delivery mechanism in highly-structured environments and learning pathways. They tend to follow the same educational track; a lengthy tutorial, followed by a quiz to test understanding.”
John Findlay, co-founder, of training company Launchfire and the Lemonade learning platform: “One of the most common complaints we hear from practitioners and business unit owners is that their LMS isn’t compelling enough to get employees to take non-mandatory training. Typically HR can’t change their LMS because they’ve committed a ton of money to a long term deal; so business owners and practitioners are stuck trying to achieve business goals with a tool that isn’t working.”
Typically HR can’t change their LMS because they’ve committed a ton of money to a long term deal
Q: What kind of new learning experience models are emerging (or will emerge) to replace traditional learning and LMS?
Zvi Guterman, CEO at CloudShare, says: “In the future, businesses will provide all employees with a personal learning experience consisting of a mix of different training modes and formats, delivered just in time and on-demand based on their job, seniority level, background and experience.
Tara O’Sullivan, chief creative officer (CCO) at eLearning solution provider Skillsoft: “In today’s busy world, learners want to find content quickly, complete a topic in less than five minutes, and come back to their course, wherever, whenever they like. We call this microlearning – training in 3-5 minute increments. However in certain subjects, you need even less time – like digital skills. Let’s say you want to find out how to make a pivot table in Excel – you don’t need 5 minutes, you need the right 20 seconds. This is called nano-learning and it provides highly targeted videos that deliver training in tiny pieces of information to the recipient. The videos should be available on every device that is configured to display online training videos. This helps employees resolve skills gaps, improve performance, create career agility and cultivate leadership skills just-in-time.”
Just-in-time Microlearning Experiences
Today’s workers want just-in-time microlearning experiences and intuitive suggestions. LXPs offer software with the speed and capabilities people need to be more engaged in non-mandatory online education.
Josh Bersin describes what this experience looks like:
“Imagine if you opened up the corporate training page and it showed you ‘Mandatory courses to complete this week,’ ‘Recommended based on your current role,’ and interesting categories like ‘Programs to prepare you for promotion’ or ‘Tips and techniques for your current role.’ All, including much more sophisticated recommendations based on your prior learning experience, your job role, and what other peers in your company are taking.”
Still, LXPs are not designed to simply replace the LMS.
Most learning experience platforms integrate with LMSs, so LMS content is available as part of the LXP. Previous investments in corporate training don’t go to waste. And the combination allows for both mandatory training and elective development opportunities.
Learner Experience Platforms are here to stay. They have revolutionised the learning technologies industry and will only go from strength to strength. They have taken the basic elements from first-phase LMSs and have rocketed it to the next level!
There are three elements that establish you’re dealing with a Learner Experience Platform. Namely, these are: user-centric features, contextualising the content, and boosting social interaction. Informal learning in the workplace is King!