The real scoop on Learning Experience Platforms (LXP).Do I Need One?

is it really necessary to add yet another costly training system to the mix?

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The real scoop on Learning Experience Platforms (LXP). Do I need one?

Like many other industries, the speed of change in corporate learning has consistently moved at a brisk pace. And, sometimes it can feel that the minute one system can be adopted, another has already taken its place. Each novel concept is touted as ‘next-gen’ and better than the previous. But, no matter what the software is called—LMS, LXP, adaptive learning system, AI-based content delivery solution—they’re all providing corporate training, albeit with slight variations.

Currently, the corporate training system du jour is the Learning Experience Platform (LXP). So, this begs the question…is it really necessary to add yet another costly training system to the mix?

What is an LXP?

Companies felt that, outside of compliance training, employees simply weren’t engaging enough with the LMS. So, industry leaders created the LXP to provide, in their words, ‘a superior learning experience that would motivate employees’.

Consulting firm, Deloitte, also describes the LXP as a single-point-of-access, consumer-grade system composed of integrated technologies for enabling learning.

Here are additional highlights and features that the LXP was designed to do.

  • Personalized learning with curated and aggregated content, like Netflix or YouTube
  • Consolidate different learning resources into a single portal
  • Create learning and career pathways
  • Enables collaboration and knowledge-sharing
  • Enhances skill development
  • Tracks learning activities delivered via multiple channels and content partners

What are the main differences between the LXP and LMS?

Now, you might be thinking…my LMS provides personalized learning and career pathways, social features to collaborate and comprehensive tracking and reporting, to name a few. So, what gives? How is the LXP different from what I already have?

Let’s break it down a little further.

Administrative-driven vs. Employee-driven

Historically, the LMS has an administrative team that manages the software and decides what types of training is available to employees. The LXP was designed to let employees choose the content they want to engage in. Sharing is encouraged, with few or no controls over what is allowed.

Closed vs. Open System

The LMS generally doesn’t incorporate every learning resource available to employees (e.g., external providers) into the system. With the LXP, any URL can be added as a learning resource and everybody can submit content and recommendations.

Compliance Focus vs. Impact Focus

Compliance is a big part of an organizations learning program, and it's not just ticking the boxes. It's a part of the company culture. So, naturally it plays a role in what the LMS is used for. There is also a stigma that compliance content is boring—a block of information followed by a brief quiz.

The LXP claims that it will make learning more enjoyable for employees. Because, when they’re spending more time learning, they become more valuable for the company.

Do I need an LXP?

The word ‘need’ is very subjective and not every business will have the same want and/or need. Now, whether or not you need an LXP is up to you, but generally there are two schools of thought on the matter.

Yes, an LXP provides real value to training programs and is worth the investment.

  • While the LXP was not designed to simply replace the LMS, most integrate with an LMS so that previous investments don’t go to waste. And, the combination allows for both mandatory training and elective development opportunities.

No, an LXP is just a glorified LMS and not worth the expense.

  • Why are we letting the chosen name of something spoil our ability to see it for what it really is? An LMS. The LXP is a highly engaging user experience, with a mountain of content without any contextualization to learners’ real needs. Yes, it may deliver a better user experience, but there really is nothing fundamentally different from what an advanced LMS already delivers.


Whether it’s a yeah or a nay for the LXP, the truth is that the answer probably falls somewhere in the middle. Both have a place in corporate learning…and both are just as important.

What it comes down to is this…during the selection process, it’s important to ask the right questions—like how often the software is upgraded and what new features are in the development pipeline. A scalable, customizable and flexible training system, no matter the name, will be able to grow with your business and provide a motivational, employee-driven learning experience.

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