Every time the Learning and Development industry undergoes a transformation, it reinvents the way we conduct our businesses. When e-learning rose to the occasion in the 90s, businesses almost shut down their physical universities. When LMS integrated with talent management systems in the 2000s, companies resolved their war for talent. Back then, it was called 'learning on demand.'
But the demands have changed now. Twenty-first-century workers are not hard workers—they are smart workers. Hence, a massive shift is underway in the learning technology market. At the center of this shift is a new paradigm called the Learning Experience Platforms.
At first, a Learning Experience Platform might seem like a traditional learning management system.But fundamental differences exist between them. If you're wondering how an LXP sets itself apart from its predecessor, here's a comparative analysis between the two.
Discover the Differences Between an LMS and an LXP
An LMS is a system designed for administration, delivery of learning content, and tracking and reporting on the learner's development.
An LXP, on the other hand, is a more a kind of personalized learning platform. It is designed to curate and aggregate content, and create learning pathways and career pathways, thus enabling your learners with continuous learning in the flow of work.
Admin-driven vs Employee-driven
An LMS system is designed to be more top-down or focused on pushing the training to employees. It is the admin that drives and manages the learning activities of the employees. The content choices, however, are made by the L&D teams, SME's and managers.
An LXP is designed to be more user centric. Employees can decide for themselves with which content they would like to learn and engage or disengage. It also encourages them to create and share their content. Thus, enabling peer to peer learning to boost engagement.
Closed vs Open
You already know that an LMS has multi-configuration capabilities. In the past 20 years, e-learning modalities have evolved to be blended, social, and micro. There are also a lot of gamified-mechanics and AR and VR simulations. But all these modalities are served in closed networks within limited time frames.
In contrast, an LXP is an open platform built with APIs or content being sources from a wide range of available content repositories. You can integrate your internal content with any external or open MOOCs. So, it's not only multi-mode but also multi-source. A part of the modalities and content you could also have consumer-grade experience for your learners like Netflix or YouTube. More importantly, you can also track and analyze learning activities outside the platform to provide a holistic and robust learning experience.
Course Catalogue Vs Recommendations:
In a course catalogue, there can be thousands of courses to search through. Administrators have always struggled with curating and indexing them based on their user-specific needs as the course library tends to expand over a period. This is what industry analyst Josh Bersin calls the 'Problem of discovery'.1
LXPs are equipped with various methods of curation mechanics like skills, interests, or content usage trends. Now with the inclusion of AI, we have additional metrics to curate and analyze user behaviors and make the content more tuned to the needs of the learner. This allows creating learning journeys targeted based on where the user is today and where they would like to grow themselves and expand their capabilities.
Compliance Vs Impact
Being compliant with government processes and enterprise business processes is vital for the success of an enterprise. Your LMS focuses on these essential areas and drives employees to be compliant. Employees may perceive learning more from a compliance standpoint rather than an opportunity to learn and grow.
With less focus on compliance, LXPs play a vital role in driving learner engagement and create a continuous learning culture in the enterprise. This can impact your workplace culture positively and influence the growth of your business. When employees have the opportunity to embrace the continuous learning culture and bring learning into their flow of work, that drives value and plays a vital role in the growth of the organization.
Why is this considered as significant shift?
L&D analyst Nigel Paine called this a 'Seismic shift.'2 Because for the first time, L&D is undergoing a user-centric transformation. What caused such a turnaround?
- A survey conducted by Dell Technologies;3, 5 stated that "85% of the jobs in the year 2030 have not been invented yet." Many industry experts have called it the moment of opportunity for L&D.
- The 21st-century employees prioritize their learning opportunities, now more than ever. But the average time an employee gets to spend on their personal development is 24 minutes a week 4. So, there is a demand for bringing learning in the flow of work. And if you don't provide them those opportunities, they will find an employer that does.
- The LMS has long served to be a competent tool for learning. But with the rise of data, there is also a demand for more open and readily available sources. And those sources need more flexible and yet robust platforms.
Not Replacing but Enhancing
Even with the rise of such demands and popularity of LXPs, the LMS's are not going anywhere. It still plays a vital role in maintaining the compliance needs of the enterprise. Most LXPs can also integrate with your LMS, so the targeted content can be repurposed. Priorities have just moved towards the learner and their self-development. There is always room for more than one tool that drives value and build a continuous learning organization.
Here's a takeaway
Before you decide which learning technology does best for your enterprise, ask this one question-
How well does your current learning landscape support the day to day needs of your employees? After all, you should be making these decisions for them, not you.
Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.