The key difference between a learning experience platform (LXP) and a learning management system (LMS) is that the LMS is set up as a catalog of available content and to facilitate tracking completions. The LXP provides help for users who want to easily find, consume, and share content dynamically.

Learning experience platforms offer a range of core features, some of which are listed here. The LXP selection process should begin with identification of the features that learners within an organization need.

Content sourcing, discovery, and recommendations

An LXP must be able to gather and present learning content from a variety of sources in formats that include text documents, video, audio podcasts, and slide presentations. The LXP collects that content from sources that include internal company servers, the organization’s LMS, subject matter experts, and external content providers.

The LXP identifies content that is relevant to a specific user regardless of format or source. This is an important difference from LMSs, which draw on content selected or created by the organization’s learning and development team. Some LXPs use artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify content that will match the user's role and interests.

Finally, learners' choices aren’t restricted by LMS catalog content or by the choices identified by the LXP. They can seek out interesting content for themselves, in addition to suggestions from the platform.

Content creation, format, and sharing

Most LXPs provide a built-in content authoring tool, so that instructional designers in the organization can develop custom learning materials in addition to content from other sources. Authoring tools included in LXPs support functions typical of standalone course authoring software including microlearning, branching scenarios, and quizzes. The software may also support other learning approaches such as problem-based learning, simulations, group learning, and blended learning. Ideally, an LXP should support gamification including leaderboards, badges, point tracking, and other related features. Collaboration and social sharing functions in LXPs enable users or designers and developers to create or suggest content.

LXPs are intended to fit into the user's workflow. An LXP should be available on the web and on mobile devices, especially smartphones and tablets. Users should be able to resume their learning at any time where they left off, changing devices as needed.

Administrative features

Learning experience platforms also need to support L&D management functions, including:

  • Security
  • Skill mapping and dynamic grouping of users
  • Identification of target skills and learning paths
  • Analytics and reporting

Vendor considerations

  • Ask for a demo: Is the LXP easy to use?
  • Pricing: Are all the features you want included in the initial cost?
  • Does the cost involve the number of users, support for multiple languages, and branding and customization?