One of the biggest challenges for organisations is how to close skills gaps now while also making sure that staff have the right skills for the future. This blog looks at a new option for doing that – the Learning Experience Platform (LXP).
Barrier-free access to learning - the LXP
The LXP is what the LMS 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). And 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.
How people prefer to learn in the workplace:
The evolution of technology for workplace learning
Learning technology has evolved quite dramatically over the past decade. Most medium-to-large sized organisations have traditionally used Learning Management Systems, 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! Business has changed, and so we must change how we support our staff to learn and develop. We must respond to these challenges:
- The engagement crisis – employee engagement worldwide is still low
- Time to learn – we have less time to learn per week than 10 or even just 5 years ago
- The half-life of skills and knowledge – what we know goes out of date much more quickly now
- The experience benchmark – we are used to great user experiences with our Smart devices and tech outside of the workplace
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.
13 features we’d like to see in our LXP
So, 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 added to Netflix, or the most-watched shows. We should expect the same of a workplace LXP.
1. Self-service learning - it should be easy for staff to find the content they need, at any time.
2. Dynamic update - content updates should happen dynamically with little user interruption.
3. Content expansion - you should be able to add your own content, such as links to external resources.
4. Open ecosystem - you should be able to connect your LXP to an existing LMS.
5. Measure engagement - you should be able to see content usage trends and the impact it has on your staff.
User experience and content quality
6. User experience – The UX should match the experience you get from the consumer web.
7. User choice – you should be able to learn in a way that suits you.
8. Depth and breadth of content – topics covered should include career development and on-the-job learning at the point of need.
9. Seamless mobile, learning-on-the-go experience – you should be able to move from a mobile or desktop and have an equivalent experience, and also be able to download content for viewing offline, then continue online.
10. Personalised and adaptive learning paths - you should see content based on your preferences and skill gaps.
11. Sharable insights - you should be able to rate and share your favourite content.
12. Content consumption and discovery - the content should be presented in bite-sized chunks to encourage you to consume more.
13. Content variety - a variety of media elements, such as online books and curated topics from high-quality sources.
Learning experience platforms will engage your staff
Most research on workplace learning shows that your staff just want to get on with their own learning. They want to 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. The inflexible old LMS wasn’t really built for this purpose. The new breed of LXP platforms opens all sorts of possibilities for flexible, agile and adaptable learning, and just might be enough to keep your best staff on track.