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LMS vs LXP: Friend or Foe? Top Benefits & Differences

Blog posts | 20.07.2021


Shaping the future of learning

No doubt you’ve recently come across an article or blog that lists features and functionalities to clearly define the differences between LMS and LXP.  Everyone’s talking about it.  And the LXP market continues to expand, and expand, and expand…But let’s not lose sight of why this is the case. While an LMS provides robust features to enable effective and efficient administration of learning, when it comes to the LXP it’s all about the learners.  And by learner, we mean employees.  And by employees, we mean organisations’ most valuable (and most difficult to find and keep) resources. 

The Modern “Modern Learner”

Back in 2017, Bersin by Deloitte introduced us to the Meet the Modern Learner infographic. Those of us in the learning industry were shocked to find out that on average, these overwhelmed, distracted, and impatient learners only had 1% of their work week to devote to training and development.  That translated to only 24 minutes a week!

And during the brief time they did have to learn, these modern and tech savvy learners wanted to be empowered. They wanted to control their own learning destinies. They wanted learning on the go. They wanted to collaborate.  And they wanted it NOW. 

Fast forward 5 years, and today’s modern learner might be more adapted to and less overwhelmed by constant distractions and rapid advances in technology, but not too much has changed with regards to what they want.  Except maybe their expectations are even higher!

LXP’s: Putting the learner first

The smart AI algorithms built into world-class consumer experiences like Netflix and Amazon, drive powerful personalisation features like recommendations and showing what other customers have purchased – all based on what the consumer is, well, consuming. 

And while technically, LXP’s have been around for about 7-8 years, the same advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics that power Netflix and Amazon have more recently enabled LXP’s to serve up more robust, personalised, and holistic learning experiences.  To put it simply; LXP’s learn about the learners, and in turn, options are presented in a more “consumer-focused” way.

7 Key Learner Benefits of an LXP

Yes, companies still need to push out compliance learning and learning recommendations to address foundational development needs.  But learners desire to control their own destiny. And they expect to be able to pull learning that’s just for them and served up to them, based on their habits, their needs, their preferences and their goals.

While LXPs have a multitude of enhanced features and functionality, some of the most popular and beneficial features that appeal to learners include:

  1. Serves up highly personalised learning recommendations based on learner preferences, habits and goals

  2. Allows for social collaboration via tools like discussions, ratings, reviews and comments

  3. Enables “open sourcing” and access to multiple types – or modalities – of learning from multiple sources

  4. Goes beyond corporate-required training and provides holistic learning options for enhanced employee professional and personal development

  5. Provides portability of learning through the use of badges, which allow learners to take their learning with them as they advance their career and/or pursue other opportunities (but hopefully they stick around)

  6. Provides learning paths that are tailored to the learner, fully customisable and easily updated

  7. Allows learners to easily access learning on a multitude of mobile and personal devices – anytime, anywhere

5 Ways LXP’s Attract and Keep Employees

Today, finding qualified workers is more challenging than ever.  Keeping them is even harder. Engaged employees are happier. Happier employees stay longer.  And the overall goal of investing in a personalised, enhanced, and interactive learning experience for employees is to keep them engaged

Some highlights of how LXP’s can help companies attract and retain employees, include:

  1. Learning opportunities continue to be at the top of the most desired list for job seekers. Organisations that are known to invest in their employees and help them grow are more likely to attract qualified candidates.

  2. Delivering learning on the go and within the flow of work means that learners get the information they need when they need it.  This helps decrease downtime and increase productivity.

  3. Many skills today, especially IT skills, have a much shorter shelf-life.  So continuous, adaptive learning is even more critical for helping employees increase and maintain their knowledge, which increases their value to the organisation and in turn gives their companies a competitive edge.

  4. LXP’s drive collaboration. To stay motivated and interested in their work, today’s employees need to feel connected, listened to and heard. And they also like learning from their peers and sharing ideas and information quickly and easily.

  5. LXP’s deliver enhanced reporting that tracks more than just utilisation and uses visual dashboards to reveal learner preferences, analyze learning impact and provide ROI.  In turn, this provides organisations with more useful and actionable data to help focus drive learning investment where it’s needed most.


Both LMS and LXP have their place.  And while they can easily be delineated by listing the specific features and functionality, the intrinsic value of the LXP - focusing on the learner - cannot be overlooked.  In other words, LMS puts learning in the hands of the administrator, while LXP puts learning in the hands of the learner.  The learner gets what they want most – the ability to control their journey and focus on their wants, their needs and their goals.  In turn, organisations are rewarded with more engaged, self-directed employees who collaborate, create, and innovate.


Shaping the future of learning

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