Don’t Fall Behind: Align an LXP With Your LMS
Like “artificial intelligence,” the term “Learning Experience Platform” (LXP) has become a trendy concept that companies are clamoring to associate with. Indeed, at Learning Technologies UK this last February, most vendors exhibiting claimed to fall under, or offer services related to this category.
While the LXP is, indeed, a burgeoning and important space companies (particularly enterprise L&D organizations) should consider joining, LXPs should not completely replace “Learning Management Systems” (LMS) but instead work alongside them, to enhance the LMS.
Before we go too far, let’s take a step back and define both terms.
We’ll start with LMS. Traditionally, an LMS is a standalone platform designed to catalog and track employee learning activities. More precisely, it’s a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery for educational courses, training programs or L&D programs. An LMS might offer video courses, online courses, instructor-led virtual training, and more.
An LXP, on the other hand, consolidates disparate learning content and resources into one portal, aggregating both an organization’s internal learning assets, as well as outside content available on the Internet that might be relevant to employee learning (this includes podcasts, mobile performance support, user-generated content, and so on). The outcome, then, is a more personalized learning experience beyond the LMS curricula, capturing learning that happens outside the formally assigned training courses.
So, why is the LXP important, and why should you start taking it seriously?
1. We’re a society of avid Netflix viewers
Thanks to media service providers like Netflix and YouTube, we’re accustomed to consumer-like interfaces that curate and offer up recommendations – including artificial intelligence-driven recommendations, customized specifically for each individual (based on usage, history, a user’s implicit signals, explicit feedback, and so on). These content delivery systems make modern content easy to find and consume. People want a visually appealing and intuitive experience – one akin to discovering new shows on Netflix – and the LMS was never built for this kind of use. In most cases, an LXP also resembles Netflix or YouTube in that it has a mobile interface, which is important in our next point.
2. We’re addicted to our smart phones
It’s sad, but true; cell phones are ubiquitous. The opportunity here is for people to be using their devices to keep learning, when they’re stuck in traffic on their morning commutes, or waiting in line for coffee. Learning need not happen only in the workplace – someone learning a new language in advance of a job transfer can practice conjugations while on-the-go. In fact, this kind of “bite-sized learning” has been proven to be more effective than trying to digest chunks of information at one time.
Because training and reinforcement content consumed on mobile devices is likely to fly under the LMS’s radar, consider adding an LXP to both allow your employees to learn whenever, wherever and to be able to still track completion and assess progress and performance.
3. …and to social media
Today, many of us belong to at least one social network and some of us really like to stay digitally connected. Social media not only increasingly offers opportunities for collaborative learning, but learner motivation can be increased in situations where people must compete amongst themselves. In other words, in many cases, if you have some kind of “leaderboard” (even if it’s an internal company social platform), employees push themselves harder, as they’re aware they’re being weighed against their peers. A little friendly competition holds everyone a bit more accountable.
4. Choice and control
Typically, for an LMS, only an organization’s administrative team manages the software and decides what courses and training modules will be available to employees. It is likely then that only L&D managers (and executives) will be adding content to the platform – the vast majority of employees won’t be directly influencing their own learning experiences or content offerings.
Because it’s a closed system, learning resources from external providers are not assimilated into an LMS.
An LXP, however, offers learners choice and control as it’s typically employee-centric (and partly driven by employees themselves). That means individuals can decide which content to consume – as well as when, and how. They’re also able to share content with their colleagues or peers – a nod back to the importance of social media, and social collaboration in general – along with personal recommendations or endorsements.
Additionally, learners themselves can publish their own content – which means that if you have an employee who is an expert in, say, video editing, he or she can upload a lesson and the organization is able to tap into and also make use of internal resources, versus having to outsource or look externally for information and materials.
5. Extend learning opportunities
Again, the LMS was built to closely monitor only the information contained within the platform – not a learner’s entire ecosystem – and strictly adhering to compliance, laws and regulations. It is limited in its scope.
An LXP can accommodate any form of content – including articles, podcast, blogs, videos and more.
Again, LXPs should not simply replace the LMS; most LXPs integrate with LMSs, so LMS content is available as part of the LXP. LMSs are generally more tailored to the skills required of an employee within an organization – laws, rules, regulations an individual need to master as being part of that organization. Additionally, previous investments in corporate training need not go to waste. Like a university curriculum, this combination allows for mandatory training and elective development opportunities. Students, then, are given some control – but not complete control.
Now that the LXP concept is better understood, we can expect this market to boom. Indeed, Josh Bersin recently wrote a piece about its market explosion, noting that it’s just too big to ignore.
Speexx has its own version of an LXP – Speexx Essentials, which uses a variety of engaging micro-learning activities. Each user’s activity feed updates constantly with new content, like video exercises and articles from renowned publishers such as The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Euronews and more – while integrating into all your systems. It also includes social and collaborative learning tools to help build long-term engagement throughout your entire workforce. Stay tuned for more information on Speexx’ LXP.