We know the processes and demands of L&D and human resources (HR) are changing. As professionals, we hear it everywhere. The skills gap is growing, technological advancements are displacing workers, AI continues to change the way teams operate. . . . And all the while, expectations for learning leaders continue to grow.
But here’s the good news: A whole marketplace of solutions has developed in the past decade to help reskill your workforce, gather data on your people, and help inform business and HR decisions. From learning technology ecosystems to LMSs and LXPs, this post is intended to help you cut through the noise (and acronyms) of the marketplace and help you identify the solution that fits your needs best. Here are the quick and dirty answers to your most frequently asked questions about learning technology.
1. What’s an LMS?A learning management system (LMS) allows companies to create, deliver, and gather data on training courses and learning programs. An LMS is designed to deliver formal learning courses and internal training such as onboarding and compliance courses.
Companies typically have administrative teams managing the LMS and selecting the content to make available to their employees. As an administrator-driven platform, they’re best suited for implementing top-down learning initiatives and aren’t flexible, meaning they won’t recognize any resources users access outside of the system.
2. What’s an LXP?A learning experience platform (LXP) provides a single point of access for formal and information learning. Formal learning resources, like online courses and internal training created on an LMS, are tracked and measured from the same platform as informal learning resources, like articles, videos, podcasts, and e-books. Rather than administrators managing employee learning from the top down, LXPs enable employees to manage their own learning, pulling from the resources they use in their everyday flow of work.
While LXPs are known for having an intuitive user interface, the most important characteristic of an LXP is the ability to connect the dots between all of the points of learning in a modern work environment.
3. What features should an LXP have?In reality, capabilities are more important than features. Features constantly change and evolve with the technology, while capabilities serve as your solutions. Therefore, you should identify the capabilities you want from an LXP based on your learning and skilling strategy. Here are some common capabilities learning leaders look for in an LXP:
- guidance or insight into what skills employees should be developing
- a process to provide feedback on users’ progress, offering both guidance for employees and visibility for the organization
- motivation in the form of clear career paths and relevant development opportunities for employees
- ability to use behavioral science to recommend and connect users with relevant resources, experts, and experiences
- a process to measure the skills of your current workforce
- diversity of learning experiences and content (user-generated content, social learning, articles, videos, classes, and more). This includes the ability to create, syndicate, and consume content.
Today, people expect utility, relevance, and personalization, and you create that through a comprehensive learning ecosystem. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but platforms like Degreed help integrate and enable the needs of your organization and its individual workers, allowing organizations to meet the demands of a changing workforce.