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The surprising leap - LMS to Learning Experience Platform

by Eoin McDonnell

Learning platforms

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 engaging is challenging. Learning Experience Platforms (LXP’s) offer a solution.

Barrier-free access to learning - the Learning Experience Platform (LXP)

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 LXPs 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.

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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. 

LXPs combine high impact, easy to consume digital learning content with an insightful analytics capability

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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.

How people prefer to learn in the workplace:

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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. 58% of companies are dissatisfied with their learning management system (LMS).

  • "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 experience reflects how we often 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’. Like how many of us learned 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. We must respond to these challenges:

  • The engagement crisis – employee engagement worldwide is still low and this has direct impact on productivity. Learning platforms need to accessible anytime, anywhere and on any device.
  • Time to learn - we have less time to learn per week than 10 or even just 5 years ago. Learning content needs to be delivered in manageable pieces of learning.
  • The half-life of skills and knowledge - what we know goes out of date much more quickly now. Content should be consistently updated.
  • The experience benchmark - we are used to great user experiences with our Smart devices and tech outside of the workplace. The user experience should be comparable with the other platforms that learners use at home.

According to LinkedIn learning research, nearly 60% of staff join companies for better career paths or more opportunities, and over 55% of organisations struggle to hold onto high potential or top performing staff. The good news is that the LXP platform helps address these challenges by making it easy for your staff to learn in the ways that suit them best.

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The features of  LXPs that will make a difference

Self-service learning: make it easy for staff to find the content they need, at any time. Learn more about self-directed learning here.

Content expansion: add your own online learning content, such as links to external resources along with SCORM and xAPI content, in an agile content tool.

Open ecosystem: connect your LXP to other enterprise systems to make a joined-up next generation learning environment.

Measure engagement: analyse content usage trends to understand their impact on staff and their value to the business.

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 at that moment in time.

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, skill gaps and career path.

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.

Social learning: staff gather around set topics, like job roles or subject areas, in digital learning environments that encourage the sharing of best practice

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 opportunities should be available in 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 more about the LXP market and how this learning solution can make a big impact in your organisation - read our Ultimate guide to Learning experience platforms  

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