Even in the post-pandemic workplace, remote and hybrid training is more than likely to prosper as many companies have decided to allow employees to work from home, at least partially. The necessity to provide their workforce with the suitable tools for this type of training has prompted organizations to an e-learning debate — LMS vs LXP. 

The first, learning management systems (LMSs), have been used for quite some time by organizations of all sizes. The second, learning experience platforms (LXPs), are slightly newer tools that have gained attention in the past years thanks to their learner-centered approach. 

So, which one of these tools can help companies deliver better training to their staff? We’ll try to shed more light on this topic. First, we’ll walk you through the definition of each one of these platforms. Then, we’ll explore their advantages so that you can understand which one might be more suitable for your current training needs. 

Finally, we’ll tap into a solution that now incorporates both these tools’ features – the intelligent learning platform (ILP) and briefly describe how this AI-powered technology works. 

LMS vs LXP — what are they? 

Here is what sets these two systems apart and defines them. 

What is an LMS?

An LMS is a platform where L&D departments can create and deliver training for different purposes ranging from onboarding to compliance, workforce upskilling, or internal policies. These platforms offer numerous administrative features that allow L&D specialists to manage their training material, monitor trainees, evaluate them, and easily track their progress. 

Therefore, LMSs mainly focus on helping create and deliver internal content. This is also the reason why they’ve been adopted by so many organizations that were looking for a solution to their internal training needs. 

What is an LXP?

A learning experience platform is also a digital learning platform that enables users to acquire new knowledge via online courses. Nonetheless, what sets these systems apart from LMSs is that they rely more on third-party content. For example, in an LXP, learners can access courses from marketplaces such as Udemy, videos, e-books, and all sorts of other learning materials. 

Moreover, these platforms don’t generate random content recommendations. Instead, they track user behavior and offer suggestions based on their previous training performance and interests. Even their interface is similar to what you see when you log in to your Netflix account where the new content that’s being showcased is linked to your previous searches. 

The advantages of each system 

The LMS vs LXP competition is tight and each system has its advantages. Here is an overview of the main highlights of each:

LMS advantages

If you want to provide your employees with well-structured, formal training and easily track their progress, LMSs are the solution. These systems offer lots of tools that allow trainers to create interactive courses. 

Elements such as videos, photos, different website themes make courses more memorable. It is also possible to simply upload ready-made courses without creating everything from scratch. 

Moreover, a course can include as many sections as you want to and learners will progress from one module to the next after watching/reading the content and completing the related assignments. 

However, one of the biggest advantages are the comprehensive LMS reports on training completion, goals, and course results. Their findings can help stakeholders make the most appropriate decisions in order to get a better ROI from training programs. Easy goal-tracking is also possible within an LMS. Trainers can also build personalized learning paths based on learners’ skills, progress and goals.


Read more: Why it’s important to calculate the ROI of training in order to ensure the L&D budget


LXP advantages 

In the LMS vs LXP debate, apparently, the latter seems to win the battle when it comes to improved employee experience. LXPs are designed with the end-user in mind – the trainee. These platforms focus on personalized learning by allowing users to choose the content they want to consume from a large array of options. 

Unlike LMSs, which mainly focus on in-house learning programs, LXPs allow employees to broaden their horizons by accessing different learning sources. From marketplaces such as Udemy to more unconventional learning resources such YouTube videos, blog posts, tutorials, or forums, these platforms provide a wealth of information. 

LXPs offer a less formal approach to learning and put the learner’s interests first. These platforms also prioritize flexibility enabling employees to access different course formats. Users are also able to create their own content, curate external content, and build their own learning paths. 

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that modern LMSs now incorporate most of the features of LXPs. Therefore, these tools are also able to provide a learner-centric experience in which the employee can set goals and competencies and enjoy personalized learning paths based on their professional interests. 

Summing up, here is an overview of the main advantages of an LXP vs LMS: 

LMS LXP
Enables structured training The trainee is in control of the content
Easy, automated evaluation Diversified, third-party content 
Goal-setting and tracking tools A flexible and intuitive platform
Comprehensive training reports Personalized recommendations

Read more: Why LMSs will soon have LXP functionality


Which one should you consider for your business? 

It’s hard to reach a conclusion in the LXP vs LMS debate as each company has its own priorities and both systems offer different benefits. If your priority is giving your employees the freedom of choice and flexibility when it comes to training, you might want to choose an LXP. 

However, if you want to be in control of your training process, help employees set and reach concrete learning goals, and measure the ROI of your training efforts, an LMS might be the best choice. These complex systems not only allow you to deliver internal training and measure its success as well as offer a good compliance system. They also help set and monitor goals and gain valuable training insights at a glance. 

Yet, there’s also the possibility to make the best of both worlds by using an emerging technology — the intelligent learning platform (ILP). This system incorporates both LMS and LXP features. It basically works like an advanced LMS that also offers highly tailored content recommendations based on user behavior and interests. 

This innovation leverages the power and many advantages of AI to provide personalized recommendations and even predict user behavior. Hence, trainers can spot deficiencies in time and help learners who struggle to complete their training. ILPs also come with features that foster collaboration and learner engagement that LMSs didn’t previously have. 


Read more: How AI will change corporate training in the near future


LMS vs LXP? 

Both LMS and LXPs have their strong points. The first favors structured training programs, prioritize automated evaluation and goal tracking. Moreover, now they also incorporate many of the features you can find in LXPs such as personalized learning paths and goals. LXPs also offer different advantages that empower learners to take ownership of their training and access resources from different providers. However, the intelligent learning platform is the key to tackling the LMS vs LXP debate as it unites the two systems into a robust, AI-powered, feature-rich solution suitable for any type of organization. 

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