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f you're an avid fan of digital learning 😍, you've probably used a learning management system at some point. LMS may have been a household name in online education, but a newer concept, LXP, has emerged to challenge its place.

As a result, we've been thrown into a heated debate over LMS vs. LXP. Of course, in response to the ongoing discourse, organizations and educators face the tough decision of selecting the better one.

Sadly, choosing, in this case, is not as easy as rolling the dice. It requires a careful look into your needs and what can best solve them. Some companies thrive on the flexibility that LXPs provide, while others require the order and structure that come with LMSs. 

But if you still can't wrap your head around the difference between LMS and LXP and which is the right pick, we've got you! 😎

Join us as we finally settle the score between learning management systems and learning experience platforms in this article.

And if you want to cut right to the chase, here's a handy table to learn.

Software that helps to manage and distribute training courses by collecting and analyzing data.   Technology that promotes a more user-centric, self-paced, and self-directed approach to corporate training.
Administrators, data, and compliance.
Users, content, and personalization. 
Excellent for data analysis and offering additional features.
Excellent for student-directed learning and content variety.
Learners must adhere to a prescribed structure and personalization is limited.
Diversifying the content may cause learners to become overwhelmed.
Learning approach
Top down.
Bottom up.
SCORM based, predefined, and managed by the administrator.
xAPI-based, adaptable student-generated content.
L & D professionals, certificate seekers.
Modern and self-directed learners.
Unique features
Personalization, social learning.

Comparing LMS and LXP: What Is the Difference?

LMS and LXP didn't just pop out of thin air. A stroll through their histories will help you understand how they differ or complement each other.

Before the widespread use of the Internet in education, the curriculum was referred to as CBI or CAI. The emphasis was then on using computers exclusively in the classroom instead of utilizing the Internet for distance education. With time, the Internet's advantages, such as fewer restrictions on time and distance, became more apparent. 

Simultaneously, internet-based innovative technologies gained greater acceptance. Educators realized the need to adapt to the new style while taking advantage of the benefits of digital learning. These modifications led to the development of LMS. In the 1990s, the first LMS software was released, officially launching the online learning concept. The LMS was still in use, but flaws and deficiencies were soon discovered.

The traditional LMS was more geared toward instructor-led programs to meet policy and compliance goals. To address their specific challenges, newer millennial learners demanded a more feature-rich and adaptable solution. This shift from instructor-led to student-led learning gave birth to LXP.

The first products using LXP technology appeared on store shelves between 2012 and 2013, providing a rough start-up year. There is speculation that some businesses may have used LXPs even before their official founding dates.

Does this imply that LXPs have replaced LMSs?🤔 In no way. Let's delve deeper into the analysis of the platforms to see why they're both essential for modern businesses.

lms vs lxp definition

What Are Learning Management Systems?

Learning management systems (LMSs) are software that helps educators and businesses manage and disseminate training courses by collecting and analyzing data. 

Through a learning management system, students may also have access to collaborative tools like threaded discussions, video conferencing, and discussion forums. 

The system's two main components are the server, which handles the core functionality, and the user interface, which is managed by instructors, students, and administrators. 

Top-down learning has been the traditional focus of LMS development. Using an LMS, a company tailors its training to its specific requirements and provides its employees access to SAP (systems, applications, and products).

Unlock the Full Potential of eLearning with Modern LMS

Discover how modern Learning Management Systems can help you achieve your eLearning goals

What Are Learning Experience Platforms? 

Learning Experience Platforms (LPs) are AI-driven education technology that promotes a more user-centric, self-paced, and self-directed approach to corporate training. 

LPs are designed to operate from the bottom up, in stark contrast to the traditional, top-down LMS approach. But most learning experience platforms use a hybrid solution that combines top-down and bottom-up learning methodologies.

LXP is consumer-centric, whereas LMS is data-centric. LXPs identify students' abilities by analyzing their preferences and suggesting learning-specific paths. Some even employ algorithms to recommend career choices to learners based on their profiles. 

The remarkable storage capacity of LXPs is their distinguishing feature. By digitizing the contents of the company library and making it accessible on an LXP, organizations can provide a wealth of educational opportunities for their employees. For instance, your staff members may access pertinent blogs, articles, videos, podcasts, and training programs. 

LPs are great wingmen for sharing business training, but they can also help you publish blogs and post on social media.

Important Features That Define LMS LXP

lms vs lxp features

LMS and LXPs may have similar features. A closer look at each learning software provides a clearer picture of their unique capabilities.

Here's an illustration of what we mean.

Learning management systems
Learning experience platforms 
Multiple integrations  Simple integrations
Course management UGC
Personalized skill development
Course templates
Extensive content
Data tracking
Detailed analytics
Web and mobile UI
Ideal UI for students and admins
Artificial Intelligence, automation
Regulatory compliance

Responsive layouts, mobile apps, gamification, collaboration tools, virtual social networking, and API integrations are some of the modern features of LMSs. 

However, LXP products do not include the full LMS suite. Chatbots, leaderboards, badges, and the sharing of digital content are all examples of social and digital features that can be incorporated into LPs.

Examples of LMS and LXP Software 

Popular learning experience platforms include:

  • LinkedIn Learning 
  • EdApp.
  • Axonify. 
  • Auzmor.
  • Tovuti LMS.
  • Bridge. 
  • Degreed. 
  • Learn Amp.

Popular learning management systems include

  • TalentLMS
  • Docebo
  • ispring Learning LMS
  • Sap Litmos
  • Xperincify
  • Moodle

Platforms that boast features of LMS and LXP

  • EducateMe
  • Degreed
  • Udemy

Unlock the Full Potential of eLearning with Modern LMS

Discover how modern Learning Management Systems can help you achieve your eLearning goals

The Power Tussle: Who Controls the Learning Platforms? 

LPs place the selection authority in the hands of consumers. To personalize instruction for each learner, the LXP analyzes their progress and behavior information. Depending on the platform, this is accomplished by browsing or searching. 

Some LPs use algorithms to recommend careers to students based on their characteristics to varying degrees. As with most streaming services, LXPs enable users to peruse various content by selecting from various "trays." In addition, they have robust search capabilities. 

The administrator is responsible for managing the functions and training process of the LMS. The administrator owns or manages the LMS's content and decides who can access it (also known as permissions). A learning and development manager or administrator can assign training content to learners and determine what each user must see and learn.

LMS or LXP as Content King? 👑

On a learning management system, you can find extended pieces of content organized in a particular way. New hires could sign up for required training courses, have their progress tracked, and be given a final exam or quiz to gauge their comprehension. 

The LMS SCORM imposes a rigid structure on the training (Sharable Content Object Reference Model). The SCORM specification established rules and guidelines that all LMS content had to follow, much like a shoe needs to be a specific size to fit the wearer's foot. 

Nonetheless, the LXP is the one shoe that fits all content. The xAPI allows LXPs to host various content formats (or equivalents) easily. As a result, students have access to many materials, such as articles written by faculty or culled from the web, quizzes they can take online, and recorded versions of in-person or online classes, seminars, or webinars. 

L&D is responsible for creating the standardized, organized content that makes up an LMS (typically compliance training). Whether it's through curating external content for other users, creating original content, assembling learning pathways, or executing digital learning sessions, learners on an LXP have more say in the provision of content.

When Should LMS or LXP Be Used?

A learning management system is ideal for regulatory, compliance, and certification-related content. Learning management systems connect students to relevant content, such as required compliance training. Typically, students do not influence the courses they enroll in. 

Administrators or learning managers will make this determination. Data is necessary for certification, compliance, and regulation, which is why an LMS tracks and audits all data with great care. 

An LXP would be overkill for this purpose, as most organizations rely on the course materials provided by an LMS to keep their employees abreast of ever-changing regulations. 

The LXP is more concerned with the growth of the individual, while the LMS is more concerned with data compliance. Learning experience platforms (LXPs) generate recommendations for relevant content by collecting, analyzing, and interpreting learner interaction data. As a result, various resources are available to assist individuals in enhancing their skills and possibly even switching careers. It frequently becomes excessive.

Pros and Cons of LMS Vs. LXP

Users can get different benefits from different kinds of online learning software. Let's look at how LMS and lxp stack up regarding their pros and cons.

LMS Benefits

  • ✅ Your data is invaluable, and an LMS makes it easy to access.

Planning for what to do if employee X quits are essential. If you use a learning management system (LMS), you can see who among your employees has the necessary knowledge and abilities to fill open positions. A single successful hire will more than cover the cost of your learning management system. 

In this way, you can tell which of your trainers are truly invested in the platform and their growth as professionals and which are just going through the motions. You will have quick access to all relevant data regarding conformity. You'll be able to identify which workers are having trouble with a given training module and provide additional support before an error occurs. 

  • ✅ The high turnover rate of a company can be decreased by using a learning management system.

Investing in an LMS is one thing, but hiring new staff is another. Constantly recruiting and training new employees is a time-consuming process. Consistent, adaptable training; learning that fits neatly alongside regular work; interactive, engaging training; targeted interventions to help your staff; and better succession planning are likely to increase employee satisfaction and retention. 

  • ✅ Helps keep all of your learning materials in one place. 

Your eLearning resources can be kept in one convenient spot rather than dispersed across multiple computers and mobile devices. Your eLearning course will be safer from accidental deletion, and you'll save time in the process. Because everything is stored on the LMS's remote server, all of your eLearning team members will have access to it. For this reason, LMSs are ideally suited for use in virtual teams. 

  • ✅ Adds a social component to the learning process. 

Using an LMS simplifies incorporating collaborative learning into an online training program. Since the LMS already exists in cyberspace, you can provide learners with references to relevant social media accounts, professional networks, and discussion boards. Develop collaborative eLearning activities that emphasize student-student interaction, and advertise your course on social media to reach a wider audience.

The Limitations🙅‍♂️

  • The LMS views education as a one-off activity rather than a continuous process. The pressure to impart as much information as possible in a single sitting increases the risk of information overload among workers. Additionally, studies have shown that people forget as much as 90% of what they learn within 30 days without active reinforcement. 
  • Learners in the modern era have different requirements, and the LMS can't provide them. Refreshed content, highly rated by experts and peers, delivered when, where, and how modern students want it (quickly, easily, and as needed) is much more popular than the traditional Learning Management System model of scheduled training courses with tests. 
  • The LMS provides formal training rather than individualized instruction. Courses hosted on an LMS can be accessed by an almost infinite number of students at any given time. Employees receiving generic training will likely find the material too basic, challenging, or boring. Most students won't be engaged and won't learn very much if their courses aren't individualized to their specific needs and interests.

LXP Avantages 

  • ✅ Supports personalized training. 

A learning experience platform is a simple but effective method of instruction. Just as Netflix suggests shows or movies to its subscribers based on their viewing histories, this tool recommends training courses to employees. 

The best LPs go further by allowing organizations greater say over the recommendations made for employee training. It accomplishes this by giving administrators the option to adjust recommendation settings manually. This ensures that employees are exposed to valuable training programs that their managers believe will most effectively equip them with the required knowledge and skills. 

  • ✅ Updated course materials. 

LPs also stand out because of the wide range of content options they give companies who want to provide their employees with training. This is partly because the platform simplifies anyone—from training managers to individual workers—to upload relevant materials. 

Because of this, the pool of available educational resources can grow with the help of anyone. As a result, everyone involved in the training benefits from higher course quality and a greater sense of ownership over the process. 

  • ✅ Training administration is made easier.

Learning experience platforms' primary purpose was to increase participation, but they also offered other benefits. An LXP's simplified approach to training management is a major perk for businesses. 

The Trade-Offs🙅‍♂️

  • Integrating learning materials is difficult. Authentication, knowledge repositories, educational institutions, curated playlists, and bite-sized content are all necessities for users. Integrating learning content from different sources is difficult. 
  • Information overload is possible. Since open access makes it simple to flood the LXP with content libraries, users may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available, leading to a less-than-relevant experience.
  • Reliance on user data and an algorithm. An LXP's algorithm or AI relies on user information and content tags to deliver relevant results; if either is incorrect, users will likely be shown irrelevant results.

Should You Use an LMS or an LXP?🤷

Are LMSs and LXPs mutually exclusive, or is one required to complement the other? No, to put it briefly! The capabilities of both LMS and LXP can coexist. Learning management systems and e-learning platforms are useful for universities and businesses alike. Stakeholders must be given unlimited leeway. At other times, they require features geared more toward administrators. 

By combining these resources, businesses gain the agility to provide online training to external stakeholders, such as sales channels, franchisees, and customers. Consequently, businesses that provide the option of using either platform have an advantage in the market. Learners who are picky about their experience will value the flexibility to work at their own pace and style. 

However, every business needs to look at its top priorities before beginning the software selection process. For this reason, the services of various retailers are varied. Features and functionality may be limited across the board because some vendors focus on online sales (eCommerce) or offline sales (Marketing). Please do not use a new platform without learning everything about it. 

Because of this, picking one over the other is not necessary. But compatibility and the flexibility to employ greater amounts of this at some points and fewer of those at others.

What's Next for Learning Management Systems and Learning Experience Platforms?

After the pandemic, you may wonder if LMSs and LXPs are still useful. Is there a chance that the rate at which LMS and LXP are rolled out will increase? The resounding answer to these questions is "yes." 

In today's LMS and LXP environments, enhanced business training results are a given. These types of learning hubs are gaining popularity.

Looking ahead, educators who spoke with Education Week said that learning management systems are here to stay, but the technology use levels may vary considerably. While 38 percent of educators surveyed by the EdWeek Research Center said they plan to use more of their learning management system during the 2023-2024 school year than during the last two years, others said they'll use it less or differently.

global share of lms vs lxp

Forecasts for online education indicate that the global market for LMS software will reach $29.901 billion by 2026, largely due to current trends in learning management systems. The LXP Market is projected to increase from USD 508.5 million in 2020 to USD 2186.4 million by 2026. Due to the success of LXP and LMS, e-learning is now widely utilized by Fortune 500 companies.

LMSs and LXPs will flourish as the nature of work shifts, and the number of remote and hybrid workers grows. By 2023, an estimated 75% of professional jobs in North America will be available remotely, up from 25% today.

Getting Ahead of the Future 🧐

Choosing a learning experience platform vs. LMS should not be made frivolously. The decision is determined by the specifics of your learning requirements and the company's culture. 

If you wish to increase training adoption and learner engagement, EducateMe suggests combining formal and informal learning on a single platform. 

Consequently, LXPs are required alongside LMSs. By combining them, you can ensure that your learners' interest in formal learning remains while encompassing relevant, engaging, and up-to-date informal content. 

Unlock the Full Potential of eLearning with Modern LMS

Discover how modern Learning Management Systems can help you achieve your eLearning goals

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