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How LXPs can help Learning and Development teams deliver

by Susan Dumas - January 24, 2019

One of the biggest challenges for Learning and Development teams is to deliver learning content that will close the skill gaps that Learners have today while also preparing for their needs of tomorrow.

Developing, deploying and maintaining content that is relevant, accessible and acceptable is challenging. Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs) offer a solution.

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Barrier-free access to learning

The Learning Experience Platforms is what the Learning Management System should have been. According to the industry analyst Josh Bersin, the LXP represents the new world of corporate learning. Think about how Netflix disrupted movie distribution and impacted viewing habits, and you’ll understand the potential. Combining a learning platform with easy-to-consume, engaging and high-impact digital content; the LXP has no barriers to access.

An LXP’s content is designed to be experienced just like any digital content found on the Web, and to be as intuitive and easy-to-consume as the Apps we use at home. The LXP is a new way of thinking rather than a new LMS. No more being forced to learn in just one way or waiting to be assigned content by a manager. 

It’s unlike the traditional LMS in other ways too. Acquiring an LMS was a lengthy and complex process: you bought an LMS (an expensive purchase), then added your content on top (at an additional cost). Also typically when an organisation bought an LMS, it over-bought – paying for features it would never use. Not so with the LXP, as we shall see.

We want more from workplace learning

We know from research that staff are happy to leave behind expert-led formal courses and they want to share their knowledge with colleagues. If we want our staff to embrace the future, then we have to make this journey alongside them and provide better tools. And the better tool is – the LXP.

The evolution of technology for workplace learning

Learning technology has evolved dramatically over the past decade. Most medium-to-large sized organisations have traditionally used Learning Management Systems to manage workplace learning, but many report being unhappy with what the LMS offers. Familiar complaints are:

  • "Why can't there be more learning formats - why does everything have to be a SCORM course?"
  • "It's not that easy to use, so we only use it a couple of times a year for compliance courses?"
  • "It's not much fun to use, and I can never find what I want."
  • "It forces staff to learn in only one or two ways."

 

In truth, the traditional LMS holds up a mirror to how we used to think about learning in the workplace. It took its cue from formal courses that were written or taught by experts: once-off learning based on the principle of ‘sign in, do the course, and then you are done’. The content on the LMS represented how we all used to learn in the classroom or the lecture theatre, with endless slides and text and little engagement. This long-form content has been sending your staff to sleep for many years!  How we do business has changed and how support and develop our staff has to change as well.

Learning platforms need to accessible anytime, anywhere and on any device
The user experience should be comparable with other platforms that learners use outside of the workplace
Learning content needs to be delivered in manageable pieces of learning
Content should be consistently updated

The features of  LXPs that will make a difference

What exactly should a learning experience platform do for your business? We mentioned Netflix before – consider how easy it is for you to see new content as it is added to Netflix or to find the most-watched shows. We should expect the same of a workplace LXP. But there are many other features that will make a difference to your organisation:

Business impact

Self-service learning: easy for staff to find the content they need, at any time.
Dynamic update: content updates happen dynamically without interrupting the user experience. 
Content expansion: add your own content, such as links to external resources along with SCORM and xAPI content.
Open ecosystem: connect your LXP to your existing LMS. 
Measure engagement: see content usage trends to understand the impact it has on staff.

User experience and content quality

User experience: The UX matches the experience of the consumer web.
User choice: videos, books, audio books, full programs, micro content, labs, resources, templates - allow learners to learn in a way that suits them.
Depth and breadth of content: topics covered can include career development and on-the-job learning at the point of need.
Seamless mobile, learning-on-the-go experience: Move from a mobile or desktop and have an equivalent experience, and also download content for viewing offline, then continue online. 

Learning experience

Personalised and adaptive learning paths: see content recommended by the platform based on each individuals preferences and skill gaps.
Sharable insights: rate and share favourite content.
Content consumption and discovery: the content is presented in bite-sized chunks to encourage learners to consume more.

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Learning experience platforms will engage your staff

Research on workplace learning shows that staff just want to get on with their own learning. They want to find answers quickly, share knowledge, help their colleagues, shape their own careers, improve their performance, and have easy-to-access tools that will allow them to do that. Learning should take place in the flow of work and be applied there-and-then to their daily tasks.

The inflexible old LMS wasn’t built for this purpose. The new breed of LXP platforms opens all sorts of possibilities for flexible, agile and adaptable learning to keep your best staff on track.

If you would like to know how you can be more successful in your role and make a bigger impact in your organisation - read our Ultimate guide to Learning experience platforms

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