For many years now, the LMS (Learning Management System) has been seen as synonymous with the idea of a Learning Platform.
While a learning platform is basically any system on which to build education and training, the LMS has traditionally been used to deliver top-down training, often focused on essential onboarding and compliance content.
As many organisations have come to realise the competitive advantage that comes with making professional and career development a benefit when it comes to employee recruitment and retention, the idea of a ‘learning culture’ has emerged.
In comes the LXP (Learning Experience Platform), which puts the individual learner in control of their training and development, allowing them to explore content at their own pace and direction.
What is the Difference Between an LMS and LXP?
So in a nutshell, the LMS delivers training in a top-down or ‘push’ manner, while the LXP is bottom-up or ‘pull’ learning. The LMS is used to deliver essential training so that the employee is capable of fulfilling their role and in adherence to any legal or regulatory compliance matters. The LXP in contrast is about giving learners the tools and content that will allow them to develop knowledge and expertise based on self-motivation.
What is an LMS?
LMS stands for Learning Management System and it is a learning platform that is characterised by formulaic progression through learning materials, with milestones and assessments along the way. A good LMS will flag essential content and refresher training requirements to learners and L&D teams, and will help both parties to identify skill gaps.
While there is greater emphasis on essential training when it comes to LMS, the learning doesn’t have to be boring though, and many LMS can incorporate multimedia content such as video, audio and animations, and engagement tools such as ‘gamification’ of content with badges and rewards or full, ‘game-based learning’.
What is an LXP?
LXP stands for Learning Experience Platform (or Learner Experience Platform/Portal) and is a learning platform characterised by exploration of content, where the learner can go down various rabbit holes of learning. The training may be curated from many online sources, and by employees as well as the L&D team.
Therefore, the content library may grow and become more interesting and useful over time, rather than simply getting refreshed as company processes and the expectations of the employee change. The LXP experience is often likened to Netflix, where the learner can create their own list of content to consume, and where AI may be leveraged for a ‘recommendation engine’ that signposts suggested further content based on what the learner has explored previously.
What If You Want Both? The Learning Suite…
Clearly, the traditional LMS and LXP are very different solutions with very different goals. However, many large organisations need to manage training proactively but also want their employees to grow for their own personal development (and in turn to benefit the whole organisation).
Having a separate LMS and LXP may do the job, but creates a great deal of extra administration for HR / L&D teams, and a fragmented approach does not lend itself to learners progressing from must-have training to a culture of learning. That is one of the reasons that the HR industry analysts from Fosway Group announced that "the LMS and LXP are dead".
In comes the Learning Suite.
With a seamlessly integrated LMS and LXP, the learning suite gives you the best of both worlds, and with no downside.
The many benefits of a modern, integrated learning suite include:
- Management of mandatory training, yet with social learning capabilities that foster peer to peer support where appropriate.
- Collaborative learning and user-generated learning. When people come together to learn and discuss best approaches, new ideas can happen. This can be captured and made available to subsequent learners, facilitating knowledge retention.
- Gamification and game-based learning - introduce game-style rewards to motivate learners or turn an entire course into a game.
- Multitenancy and extended enterprise learning for external sales and distribution partners, your full supply chain, and even your customers.
- Extensive 3rd party software integrations - your learning system could integrate with popular communication tools like Microsoft Teams and GoToMeeting, ecommerce payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe, and leading CRM systems like Salesforce.
- Content curation - develop and roll out your own training content within LMS functionality, but also curate content from external sources like YouTube or LinkedIn Learning as part of the LXP capability.
- Cost and time-savings. An integrated system should prove much better value in the first place. More importantly though, a single system for staff to get to grips with (our own imc Learning Suite is quick and easy to use out of the gate), reduces the time and associated costs of implementation and any learning curve. Ongoing administration is cut in half for HR and L&D teams.
Looking to create a learning culture within your organisation? Read more about our imc Learning Suite or contact us for an informal chat about your employee training and development needs. Our team of learning technology experts is happy to help!
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