An accelerated reinvention of learning technologies is underway. In 2020, the marketplace for talent platforms exploded, and many new categories emerged—from learning experience tools, to collaborative program management tools, to micro-learning tools. Each one provides a different approach to learning and development.
One of the most exciting categories of these learning technologies is the learning experience platform (or LXP).
What Is an LXP? How Is it Different From an LMS?
LXPs are a front-end layer that reside on top of a learning management system (LMS). They are used to enhance a learner’s engagement via greater personalization and an expanded breadth of formal and informal content, such as TED Talks, YouTube, Harvard Business Review, and massive open online courses. These systems employ machine learning to assess employees’ skills and recommend content.
Interest in and demand for LXPs accelerated in 2019, according to Gartner. LMSs have focused on scheduling, registration, and tracking learners’ activities, but LXPs go a step further by delivering personalized learning paths, channels, and collections that allow learners to organize, access, and share relevant resources while gaining visibility into additional avenues of learning.
The Benefits of an LXP
Many CLOs and L&D leaders understand that the processes and systems they’ve relied on in the past no longer support their strategic vision for employee learning. Event-based learning, instructor-led training, and systems that are rigid and static are incompatible with their priorities, which include building a culture of learning, expanding learning opportunities across the workforce, and supporting business growth and success.
An approach to learning that does support these priorities has been the introduction of LXPs. Organizations that have been pioneering this trend have seen several benefits.
· Learning is more experiential and immediate.
· Content is delivered when and where it’s needed.
· Learning and development teams are leaner, more agile, and more strategic.
The Challenges of an LXP
LXPs do have their challenges. One, for example, is a lack of integration. While an LXP provides certain functionality that is missing from legacy LMS platforms, an inability to integrate would mean that employees would have to log into yet another system to access the functionality. And, although LXPs have carved out a category in the overall learning technology space, there’s a growing consensus that they create an additional (and perhaps unnecessary) layer. Some feel that the LMS should carry the responsibility of innovating and incorporating the features and benefits that make a next-generation learning platform.
Moving Forward: Choose a Learning Platform With Both
Yes, the innovation of an LXP may be flawed in its effort to provide a point solution, but it is still the right innovation. Additionally, it may not be clear that there are learning platform vendors out there that have known that learner experience needed more work in the LMS. As a result, vendors have been working toward strengthening the LXP functionality in their LMS. Yet, legacy systems and an obligation to choose a brand-name vendor have left many in the dark to these new disrupters. A far better option, rather than trying to implement an LXP as an added layer to an LMS, is to choose a learning platform that includes both. This will enable you to:
· Have the important learner experience functionality you need.
· Bolster your learning programs with a more robust content strategy.
It’s helpful to remember that the LXP evolution has been driven largely by employees who are living in a world where everyone has access to whatever we need or want, whenever we need or want it—from on-demand movie viewing to food delivery. To deliver high-quality employee learning experiences, the platforms need to mirror this same level of personalization and immediacy.
Editor’s Note: This article has been adapted from the Schoox Corporate Learning blog.