The world of educational technologies is rampant with three-letter abbreviations. Before you know it, your head is spinning, trying to distinguish between LMS and LXP while trying to decide which one may be best for you and your needs. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Read on to come to grips with these two giants of EdTech. 

What is LMS?

At its core, a learning management system (LMS) is a type of software, or application, used to build, track and deliver training programs. It is a sophisticated form of e-Learning utilized by small, medium, and large companies alike. They were initially developed to identify training gaps and find ways to roll out the learnings needed to quickly and efficiently support companies. Previously to the internet and technology, the first iteration of an LMS-like idea sprung up in the early 18th century in correspondence teaching. However, we’ve come a long way since Aunt Emma learned shorthand typing in this way! Nearly every modern LMS is web-based. Trainers and teachers can use LMS to create structured courses, including images, texts, and slideshows. Accessibility and engagement are some of the most important aspects of teaching in 2020.

Key LMS Characteristics 

  • reports and analytics-focused
  • theoretical knowledge 
  • ideal for compliance and/or certification 
  • can be integrated into existing HR systems
  • establishes existing knowledge 
  • stores learning resources
  • can be customized 
  • administrator-driven
  • push-learning


What is LXP?

You can be forgiven for thinking that learning experience platforms (LXP) are just another word for a traditional LMS. Still, an LXP takes the previously established traditions and adds spice through interactivity. It is widely considered to be the future of the system. What LXP is to LMS is what Netflix is to the television industry. It can suggest popular courses and makes learning fully curateable and holistic for companies and educational institutions alike. We can’t promise that students will start binging on learning how they would binge a new season of The Crown. Still, these platforms build on the previously mentioned need for accessibility and engagement in an approachable way. 

LXP takes eLearning into the future through the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI). Suddenly, a virtual tutor who functions remarkably like a human trainer is available 24-hours a day without the cost of paying additional staff. This makes it possible for learners of any style to receive training in the most accessible way. Many forms of LXP even include testing to establish learner styles and can adapt. 

LXP actively encourages learners to engage with other learners about their training. This ‘social-mediafication’ is responsible for the sharing of information and the integration of ideas. The more learners discuss their modules with passion and interest, the more likely they are to apply concepts to their daily work and life. 

Key LXP Characteristics

  • end-user experience focused
  • practical learning
  • customizable 
  • basic reporting
  • artificial intelligence included 
  • can use virtual reality (VR) to adapt to new types of learners
  • learner-driven
  • pull-learning


What are the differences between LMS and LXP?

The key difference between LMS and LXP is in the terminology itself. While LXP focuses on the end-user experience above any additional capabilities, LMS focuses on managing the learning through metrics. It is easy to throw aside LMS for its new, flashier cousin, but there is still a need for formal learning management. After all, most businesses still have mandatory compliance training that needs tracking to avoid ombudsman troubles. 

LXP is more focused on practical learning, whilst LMS is more focused on theoretical approaches. If you want learners to apply what they have learned to their own jobs and varying situations, an LXP will be more suited to your needs. LXP is often a good port of call for complex psychological concepts such as leadership and management training. 

Pro/Con

Utilizing LMS professionally allows employers to keep track of employee training reports and become integrated into existing HR-technology. Additionally, LMS can test existing skills and determine whether further training is necessary. During downtime, employees can make use of the system and discover new training. This has been proven to keep attrition lower as it is seen as a work benefit. 2020 has shown that companies need to adapt to having to do the majority of their training remotely. LMS allows you to stay hands-on whilst not being physically present to deliver training. 

Obviously, there is often a significant cost involved in implementing and upkeeping both systems. It can be challenging to convince less engaged employees to make appropriate use of the more dry LMS. They can game the system and click their way through e-learning without taking in the information. 

Due to LXP mirroring the user experiences we have in our leisure time, it is likely to appeal to learners. Studies have shown that talented employees are always seeking out ways to learn alongside their day jobs. With a Learning Experience Platform, you can channel this thirst for development and knowledge and get yourself a holistic overview of your employees’ true capabilities. It puts the empowerment into the hands of the learner and allows them to delve deeply into topics. As a business, employees can also use these platforms to create learner-generated content (LGC). Encouraging this creates learnings in the user’s language. It can give an alternative to quizzes for management to spot errors or misunderstandings. 

Summary

To conclude our journey into the future of EdTech, both LMS and LXP have their uses in all forms of organizations. Learning experience platforms are currently used in addition to learning management systems rather than replacing them. In combination, the two of them offer a truly 360-degree view of your organization’s training needs and focuses. There is no right or wrong way to find a solution for your training needs; however complex they may be. We hope that this article has been useful in introducing you to some of the key players in the world of e-Learning. Whichever solution you pick, the correct platform or system will deliver exactly what you need to succeed, and the results are sure to speak for themselves. 

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