LXPs - Is the Hype Around Them Fading?



Global industry analyst and expert Josh Bersin is credited to have introduced the term “LXP” – Learning Experience Platform. An article written by Steve Foreman and published on the eLearning Industry website states that LXPs have been around for over a decade. But renewed interest in the term and the LXP as a product of its own started somewhere in 2015-16 and was at its peak for the next few years.


Every other day, there would be a big announcement and a focused PR campaign that would tout the launch of a new LXP in the market. Some other companies chose the rebranding path and repackaged their existing LMS with new features and called it an LXP. News of acquisitions and mergers would make financial experts and industry analysts happy and many leading companies across different industries started adopting LXPs to train their employees. Then the Covid-19 outbreak completely changed industry perspectives on corporate learning. So are LXPs still the rage or has the hype around them died? This blog looks to find some answers.


LXPs – The Current Market Scenario

In this summary of the market report available on the Digital Journal website, the authors enthusiastically claim that there is an increase in the market-size and the demand for LXPs will rise in the near future. The prediction seems good and a confidence-booster for LXP-vendors. But we need to ask ourselves that how valid do these predictions and claims sound?


The pandemic brought about a significant change in the way we work and learn. From school and college students shifting to online classes, IT and associated industry-professionals working from home, use of digital learning solutions for corporate training; the post-pandemic working and learning environment has seen a lot of changes. From the beginning of 2022, we have slowly seen a shift towards gradual normalcy. Schools and colleges are back to operating in full strength and students and teachers interact on-campus. Organizations are welcoming their employees back to the office. Several organizations have opted for a hybrid-working model and this is helpful to both employees and the respective companies. There is a renewed vigor among L&D teams to help employees re-skill and up-skill themselves as we look at an extremely challenging financial year ahead.


But are organizations willing to make a heavy investment and migrate to a new LXP?

This is the question that decision-makers must answer and around which our blog is centered?


Why Move to a Brand-New LXP?

How does one distinguish between an LMS and an LXP and how to justify the move to a new LXP?

Let us look at the key differences between an LMS and an LXP.

Learning Management System – LMS

Learning Experience Platform - LXP

Self-contained learning platform with pre-defined courses mapped to learners.

A learning discovery and curated course selection with the ability to link to external learning content. Popularized as “Netflix of Learning”.

Mostly organization-driven learning that is pushed on to the learner.

Learners have the freedom to choose and discover what they wish to learn. Otherwise known as “self-directed learning”.

Emphasis is on fast completion of courses within a defined time-slot/duration.

Emphasis is on flexibility of learning and the ability of the learners to “pull” the content that they seek.

Data and analytics available only for the learning that takes place within the LMS.

Use of xAPI to track learning that happens outside the system.

Courses are determined by the LMS admin/L&D manager and assigned to the learner. Opportunities for collaborative learning are lesser.

Added impetus and opportunities for collaborative learning, mentoring, and peer-reviews of assignments.


Why is an LXP a Better Option than an LMS?

The focus is on helping learners find the content they need through self-discovery and intelligent algorithms and recommendation engines. An LXP gives organizations the benefit of leveraging external learning content to their existing proprietary eLearning material. The usage of tools like xAPI help learning administrators track and predict learner behavior with ease. This helps the L&D teams understand what kind of learning content is being consumed more. Using the data derived from learner behavior helps the L&D team provide similar learning content and remove content that has no takers. Thus, it is evident that the LXP that draws heavily on the concepts of self-directed learning can motivate learners to learn better and faster. Hence an LXP is a better option than an LMS.


When Not to Opt for an LXP?

In the previous section, we looked at some key factors that describe why getting an LXP instead of an LMS is a good idea.


But does an LXP work for all learning scenarios / use-cases?

The frank and honest answer to this question is “NO”.


  • If you are a small service-provider or company you would be better off hosting your training content on your company intranet or a dedicated website

  • The costs of LXPs can sometimes make them prohibitive. Some LXPs offer user-based pricing. Check the costs and make a wise decision

  • Is your training content limited to your proprietary digital learning content? Then it does not make sense to invest in an LXP

  • Does your training content primarily comprise short learning nuggets or microlearning videos? Then a dedicated mobile learning app, an LMS with mobile-app support, or a simple responsive website for easy access should suffice

LXPs – What Does the Future Hold?

LXPs are a natural evolution of existing LMSs that were available in the market for a long time. But in now way can LXPs completely replace an LMS. There is ample space in the industry for both products / platforms to remain. When tech-vendors began to tout LXPs as a refined learning platform, LMS-vendors focused on better interactive features to come up with a highly polished and intuitive user-experience interface in their LMS products. Mobile app support is now offered for all leading LMS products along with multi-content format, detailed analytics, course-authoring, and a host of other features, which have bridged the differences between an LMS and an LXP.


The cost factor continues to be an important deciding factor as well. Though cloud-based LXPs with a subscription-based pricing model dependent on the number of users have sweetened the deal for smaller or mid-sized companies. LinkedIn Learning LXP, Degreed LXP, Percipio LXP, and EdCast LXP are amongst the most popular LXPs in the market now. As vendors develop and design faster and less expensive LXPs in the market, the competition is definitely going to heat up. Though the hype may have come down a bit, the markets remain as strong as ever, and in the next couple of years, we are going to see several new players come up in the LXP market.


Conclusion

At S4Carlisle, we specialize in learning technology consulting. Our experience extends to recommending and deploying the best LMS or LXP that is suited to your organizational learning needs. We also help you migrate your existing digital learning content to the new learning platform. Write to us at sales@s4carlisle.com for more information on how we can help you choose the right LMS or LXP for your organization.