Choosing the best type of learning platform for your organization is a tough task, and most likely it is the learning and development (L&D) team who is responsible for weighing up the options. Should you keep the traditional learning management system (LMS), switch to a learning experience platform (LXP), use both, or use neither and tell your workforce to learn without support? (That’s probably not ideal.)

As a result of the shift in the way people learn and absorb information, organizations are starting to realize that the traditional LMS alone doesn’t meet all their needs and ambitions. Individuals want to learn as they do outside of work — may that be through engaging videos, asking a search engine a question or by collaborating with others. Utilizing an LXP either alongside or encompassing LMS capabilities is touted as the solution. In this article, we explore what LXPs are and if this technology is right for your organization.

What Is an LXP?

Let’s start with some definitions. The purpose of an LXP (learning experience platform) is to engage people in learning through a more user-centric design, versus a traditional LMS, which was born out of the need to “manage” and report on training activities as its primary purpose.

Some LXPs have the option to integrate with an existing LMS, such as SAP or Workday, or to be the one platform that covers both the needs of an LMS and LXP. Generally, companies with less than 10,000 people prefer one platform that has both LMS and LXP functionality, whereas larger companies who already have a Workday or SAP LMS, will find it hard to replace. They would typically want an LXP to integrate and sit in front of their LMS to reduce the amount of change, whilst benefiting from more modern learning functionality.

Historically, an LMS has been the go-to option for organizations looking to meet any compliance or regulatory requirements, enabling them to upload training courses and track completion rates. LMSs are relatively easy to set up, and you can monitor learners’ progress with relative ease.

Digital Learning in the Flow of Work

Today’s leaders are starting to see that there is an extra need for digital learning that provides individuals with access to knowledge in the flow of work. This is something that traditional LMSs  aren’t set up to do. For example, this could be accessing knowledge about the company’s human resources (HR) policy, a product or service employees are selling, or advice on how to negotiate a new deal. A SCORM module may be a good way to provide the initial education on a particular topic, but as most thought leaders in our industry, from Charles Jennings to Josh Bersin to Bob Mosher would advocate, most knowledge required typically comes during the flow of work, and training to retain everything is an outdated notion.

Non-large-enterprise companies are increasingly looking toward an all-in-one platform that offers LXP functionality, along with LMS functionality, for more formal training. An LXP can also offer your organization much more than learning in the flow of work, with common functionalities including: artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled AI search, skills tagging of content, personalized recommendations, social learning, integrations, translation of content, gamification and advanced insights.

When looking at the development of LXPs over the past decade, there has historically been two different types, for two different use cases. One use case is helping a large front-line workforce develop new hires faster by adding Google and YouTube-like learning “moments” and a focus on accelerating team performance. The second use case has been around helping to upskill, engage and retain office workers across job roles and skill levels. Fast-forward to today and the leading LXPs on the market can meet both of these use cases.

In addition, with recent AI advancements, organizations now have the ability to offer their employees a learning experience that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. AI is promising to improve nearly every element of an LXP, breaking down barriers and helping to democratize learning. One prime example is the translation capabilities of AI, enabling more accurate, lower cost and faster translation of content — may it be videos, images, PDFs or audio. This is often more cost-effective and faster than non-AI solutions. This dramatic improvement in translation can reduce language barriers to learning, helping to improve global communication and foster collaboration. So, it may help to ask yourself: What type of learning experience would you like for your workforce? Would you like only one-dimensional, formal training, or do you see additional value in a more on-the-job and collaborative learning environment?

Hopefully, you found this article to be insightful and thought-provoking, and best wishes with your learning technology journey.