From LMS to LXP: Why the Learning Experience Platform Is a Must-have to Develop Your Company’s Talent

August 25, 2019 | 3 minute read
Kate Farrow
Senior Marketing Manager
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Still in its infancy, the Learning Experience Platform (LXP) market is already valued at more than US$350 million. As it continues to double every year, it looks set to supersede the US$ 4 billion Learning Management System (LMS) market in just a few short years.

Why are LXPs becoming so popular? Why will the LMS alone no longer suffice for the learning needs of tomorrow’s workforce?

The Rise and Plateauing of the LMS

When Learning Management Systems first emerged in the late 1990s, they were the ideal tool to help Learning and Development (L&D) teams manage their function – particularly as digital learning began to take hold in the corporate world. LMSs enabled companies to effectively organize and deliver formal learning content, as well as track and evaluate the training activity and progress of learners throughout the organization.

However, as much as LMSs have progressed in functionality over the years, employee learning needs have changed even faster.

Today’s employees demand an individualized learning program and seek out a variety of personal learning experiences – from the traditional day and week-long planned courses to microlearning, job shadowing, and just-in-time, on-the-job learning.

Furthermore, the types of learning available have also rapidly evolved. These days, in addition to formal classroom-based and e-learning courses, employees now acquire their knowledge from informal sources like:

  • Professional blog articles
  • Podcasts
  • Discussion groups with colleagues
  • TED talks
  • Industry web forums
  • Intelligent on-line chatbots

Since traditionally the LMS is a closed system, there had previously been no way to deliver – let alone track – the full range of these individualized and informal learning modalities. Yet much of their use was in fact actually being driven by the inadequacy of the LMS itself, as learners were unable to find what they are looking for from the content available.

While the LMS will still be a valuable tool for corporate learning for the foreseeable future – for example, for employee onboarding or to ensure regulatory compliance – companies have increasingly been looking for alternative solutions that will enable them to incorporate and manage the full range of learning content that their employees currently access.

Enter the LXP

The term ‘Learning Experience Platform’ was coined just a few years ago by leading industry analyst Josh Bersin. Bersin recognized that LMSs were designed to be focused on business rules, and foresaw the need for an employee-centric learning solution that would be experience-driven rather than concentrating purely on the consumption of corporate-led content.

Bersin likened the emerging LXP technology to the Netflix of L&D – an aggregated portal for content on-demand, which would drive engagement by using AI to make personalized learning recommendations.

In its essence, an LXP is an open system that pulls both formal and informal learning from a wide array of sources – and in a wide variety of formats – to create comprehensive and individualized learning experiences.

Advantages of the LXP over LMS

Unlike the traditional LMS, the LXP enables end-users to:

  • Customize their learning paths – which could include a range of online and offline learning activities
  • Create, curate, and aggregate content
  • Share and recommend relevant content to their peers
  • Learn through their preferred medium, whether articles, podcasts, blogs, videos, courses, or microlearning
  • Receive personalized learning suggestions based on past activity

Furthermore, LXPs enable L&D teams to:

  • Track learner activity across multiple data sources
  • Grow content libraries significantly faster
  • Rapidly author relevant content
  • Offer highly personalized learning programs to all employees
  • Easily introduce relevant assessments, badging, or certifications
  • Empower learners and increase user engagement

The Future of LXPs

The LXP journey has just begun, but already several types of companies are heavily engaged in its development. This includes all the well-established LMS vendors themselves, many of which are creating LXP features as add-ons to their existing technologies. Additionally, a new group of LXP innovators has emerged, leveraging the latest mobile, social, and AI technologies.

Vendors of related tools such as performance and talent management systems are also developing their own LXP solutions. Finally, LXPs are even being created by professional career and jobs networks looking to recommend learning based on an individual’s career trajectory and job searches.

Because of this competition, many learning technology categories are currently overlapping, and this trend is likely to intensify as the LXP market evolves and new features and technologies emerge.

Many businesses are watching the LXP developments with interest. Meanwhile, early adopters are already reaping the benefits. Where is your company in this process?

We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.


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Kate Farrow

Senior Marketing Manager

Kate Farrow has worked for Oracle University for many years and has a passion for transferring knowledge to others. Her favorite quote is by Albert Einstein:

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge

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