Technology is changing rapidly and so are solutions to problems becoming more integrated with the environment and applications around us. Simply look at your mobile smartphone. Over a decade back, you could just make phone calls and send SMS. Today you can connect to the internet, online platforms like Google docs and email, online storage, and mobile apps that enable collaborative working and have a more personalized experience based on your usage. Technology advancements have enabled user-centric solutions that add more value to the user. The Learning Industry is no different.
According to HR Tech Central, the LMS market size is $5 billion with a growth rate of 3–4% per year and the LXP market is much smaller (around $200–250M), but it’s having a growth rate of 200%.
What is a Learning Experience Platform?
The Learning Experience Platform (LXP) is learning software that is designed to create personalized learning experiences. It helps users discover new learning opportunities by integrating learning content from multiple sources and deliver them with advanced technologies like AI (Artificial intelligence) and ML(Machine Learning).
Some of the key features of an LXP are as follows:
- Recommendation based user experience design
- AI-based recommendations for learning courses
- Customized microlearning- oriented course structure
- Predictive analytics to gain insights on learning behavior.
- Integrations with social media, collaboration tools, file-sharing systems, and document creation platforms.
What gave rise to LXP’s?
There were many factors responsible for a demand for LXP style experiences in the learning sector.
- Need for personalization
The technology environment was moving towards personalization and LMS's were serving as a digital asset library. After using connected devices, smartphones, and recommendation style services like Netflix, users found the corporate LMS was lacking a lot and sought a more personalized approach and ease of finding content.
- Data analytics and insights
LMS’s had limited integration and data analytic capabilities. AI-based technologies can work on user data to provide actionable insights like what courses a learner needs, and skill and job mapped learning needs. Natural Language Processing technologies enable conversational interaction and recommendation based on learner's usage data.
- Integration capabilities
LXP's can be integrated with many applications like Customer Relationship Management and HR systems and the integrated data can provide rich actionable insights on trends and patterns in the organization. Stakeholders can make better-informed decisions.
- Growth of internet and mobile
Mobile data consumption grew 10 times by the end of 2018 as per Hootsuite. Learning on the mobile and eLearning picked up over the years and people were expecting the same convenience in newer systems which was lacking in the LMS and the gap was getting filled by LXP’s.
- Content Generation
There has been a shift from a one-time payment to subscription-based services due to Software-as-a-Service application models and emerging digital platforms for learning. For example, people started searching Google for any information and they found it which might not have been there in the traditional LMS.
How does the Learning Experience Platform (LXP) differ from a Learning Management System (LMS)?
We all might have heard about the Learning Management System (LMS). LMS has been primarily focused on Learning and has online course catalogs with tracking of learners’ progress. Some LMS support learning paths, but the primary focus is on learning. LMS usually cater to corporate learners and educational institutions. The LMS in these scenarios is driven by the Learning Administrators and organization controls content offered.
LMS helps in centralizing eLearning content offerings and is used by organizations for compliance and learning. It tracks the learner’s progress and performance. LMS is driven by many business rules like compliance, customer education, career programs, development plans, and many other learning flows.
What makes the LXP different?
LXP is more user-centric and offers personalized information based on each user's learning needs. Let's see some of the ways the LXP creates a difference by enhancing the learner's experience.
Some of the LXP recommend content based on 3 areas. They are
- Skill-based Learning: LXP's have skill-based discovery tools that perform skill-based tagging, skill assessments and inferences, and skill-based learning paths. LXP uses a skills model that is mapped to various job roles. It can also include skill assessment by peers and self. LXP can recommend learning content based on the user's skills and job roles sought. This model is good for corporate training and in the education sector.
- Usage-based recommendations: LLXP analyzes content data based on people who viewed most and similar people who viewed the same content to recommend usage-based content. This use case can be applied to B2C organizations and large content vendors. The recommendation engine uses various algorithms to recommend content that is personalized to the user.
- AI-based content analysis: In this case, instructional content like text, audio, or video is ingested and instructions are identified using AI-based techniques. This helps to show the user the exact video segment to be watched as part of the instructional needs.
- Chat-based Understanding of Learners: The LXP should have some information about the user role, experience, content consumed, learning preferences along with goals and aspirations to make a fair assessment in knowing the learner. Here the job roles are mapped to learning recommendations. The LXP may have a chat-based question-answer session to get these inputs so it can make relevant suggestions.
In summary, we can say that LMS manages the learning needs and tracks content usage and performance.
LXP's go to an advanced level much beyond LMS by providing a personalized learning experience. They help learners discover content from multiple sources. Integration with data analytics can offer deep insights with links between job performance and learning besides business outcomes. LXP’s have seen to offer more convenience in times of the COVID-19 pandemic in providing a better learning experience remotely. The focus on Learner's need delivered with emerging technologies is spearheading LXP's growth today and we can expect more exciting features in the near future.