1. Differences between a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) and a Learning Management System (LMS)
The first difference between a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) and a Learning Management System (LMS), which is usually misunderstood as the main difference, is the ergonomics or user experience (UX).
However, this is not the main difference.
The appearance of the Learning Experience Platform has forced LMS vendors to revise or accelerate their approach to redesigning the user interface. They did not want to see an intermediary come between them and the learners. However, the fundamental differences can be found in other areas.
The two main differences are the change in customer orientation to the benefit of the end user and the change in pedagogical modality.
A platform for the buyer or for the user?
LMSs, with their object model dating from the early 2000s, were created to distribute e-learning content. They are also used to administer the company’s internal training offer, all modalities combined (e-learning and face-to-face).
These systems were designed by software publishers as a solution to the problems of their HR customers. The architecture was therefore thought out in the form of sessions, registrations, validation workflows, sign-up sheets for face-to-face training, invitation e-mails, deadlines… a whole functional panel that is still critical today.
Therefore, a company can do without LXP, whereas it cannot do without LMS.
LXP, for its part, has been thought out with the end user or learner as the client.
The basic premise being simple, namely that if a platform has not been built with the codes of a B2C platform (Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Spotify…) then end-users will be less likely to be engaged, to connect by themselves in order to learn.
LXP editors have a speech about ROI, pointing the finger at the purchase of SaaS licenses by companies for their end users, but only having a majority of connection and time spent on their LMS on mandatory modules (compliance).
In summary, most LMSs are almost only used for mandatory training. We are a long way from the initial promise of life-long learning and the creation of an advanced learning culture by LMS editors.
A change of pedagogical modality
The second difference is that of the pedagogical modality.
LMSs work well to develop skills over time on structured courses, with quizzes, reminders, blended or not, this is called macro-learning or formal learning.
LXP, on the other hand, does not focus on the structured or formal part of learning, LMSs do a good enough job in that area.
On the contrary, it tries to capture the informal (videos, articles, podcasts…).
LXP is a bit like Google, Netflix or Youtube, or all three at the same time, training. It is a response from the e-learning world to the B2C trend of “just in time” in a society of immediacy.
The LXP is there to aggregate and consolidate all the company’s training content, whether in the LMS or not, and to give a user the possibility, in just a few key words, of having an answer to his or her problem.
The content is shortened as much as possible (micro-learning), and well indexed via metadata to enable recommendation engines similar to those of Neflix or Amazon to be able to offer the user relevant content according to their use.
Above and beyond this essential functionality, LXP editors have integrated additional features into their product.
For example, a feature that perfectly exemplifies this positioning is the implementation of the xAPI standard.
The xAPI standard, the new digital learning standard after Scorm, was designed to help capture informal learning (i.e. outside the LMS). It is therefore not surprising to see very few LMS editors offering this standard whereas many Learning Experience Platform (LXP) editors do.