As a digital learning specialist, James Barton, CTO of Mentor Group, has been central to the development of a new breed of learning and development technology including the architecture of a revolutionary new Digital Learning as a Service (DLaaS) solution and a specialism in ILT to VILT conversion and delivery.
For the last 3 years I have been investing in developing an LXP after spending years fighting against the horrors of the LMS. But what I have come to understand is that many people still don’t really get the difference… they are the same, right?
Well the answer is best answered by the glorious Vicky Pollard; “Yes, but no, but yes”.
I am not sure if there is an official definition that is of any use, but here is how I see it.
LMS – Learning Management System – A solution that can deliver digital content to a learner, with a focus on compliance and learning plans
LXP – Learning Experience Platform – A solution that delivers digital content that is focused on giving the learner the best learning experience.
Clear? Sort of.
The problem is that there is often significant cross over. Modern LMSs are trying desperately to be LXPs and some LXPs are under pressure to become LMSs.
There are, however, very clear use cases.
If you are looking for a solution that tracks someone through a learning journey, keeps collections of scores and awards certificates of completion (do people still seriously care about these?), then LMS is the king of the hill.
That being said, if you want to provide your learners with a rich learning experience where the consumption of content is more critical than compliance, an LXP is the right choice.
Another important distinction for me is that an LXP is something you use in the moment. They are specifically designed to give you short hits of learning, relevant to you in the moment. By contrast, an LMS is something you may sit down with for a few hours simply clicking through some content… I’m getting flashbacks of data protection training just writing about it.
In our world of sales productivity and enablement, I strongly believe that learning should be delivered alongside the learner’s role. Negotiation training should be offered when you are actually in a negotiation, or questioning skills when in the middle of discovery.
A couple of snappy 2-minute videos, delivered in the right way at the right time, will be more beneficial than a 2-day base camp, and will undoubtedly be cheaper too.
With LXPs focused on a library of digital assets, it becomes possible to build very specific, very unique learning experiences with content curated specifically for that learner.
Again, think of Netflix; log on and you will be presented with content curated with your interests in mind.
Now this doesn’t mean an LXP can’t keep a record of what you watch, or reports cannot be created to allow you to give certificates (if that floats your boat), but it is not the focus. The focus is on making sure learners actually learn stuff.
In other words, it is focused on the learner and not the learning and development department.
The Mentor Group MPA is an LXP in its truest form. Designed for short video, aide memoirs and tools, it is lightweight, simple to use and the process of adding your own content is simpler still.
Setup can take less than a minute and user roll out is as simple as inviting them to download the app or access the website portal.
So, what’s your preference? LMS or LXP? I would be really interested to know your thoughts.