Keeping onsite and remote employees engaged, productive and well-trained is critical as companies continue to adjust to volatile business environments. Incorporating a learning experience platform into HR's learning infrastructure can help.
LXPs are relatively recent entries into the corporate learning market. They build on the idea of a learning management system (LMS), the software many organizations have long used to implement and track their learning and development initiatives.
The difference between a learning experience platform and a learning management system is easy to sum up.
An LMS focuses more on the administration of learning than the experience, while the strength of an LXP lies in the ability to facilitate and personalize learning, said Mark Vickers, chief research analyst at HR.com. An LXP also simplifies linking to external resources and fostering social interaction among employees.
In other words, LXPs make learning content more accessible.
Learning experience platforms have grown in popularity as employees and employers attach more importance to learning. Many job seekers place a high priority on development opportunities when they decide whether to join or leave a company. Recognizing that trend, employers have come to see learning as a retention tool.
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Key features to look for in an LXP
Selecting the right LXP requires collaboration between the HR staff who handle learning and development, IT workers involved in system implementation and line-of-business managers who want their employees to develop skills and competencies.
This LXP buying team should consider the following features when evaluating systems:
- Strong integrations. The LXP should be able to pull employee data from the company's human resource information system (HRIS) and keep the data current. Ideally this will be done with an API rather than a Secure File Transfer Protocol server, which can be cumbersome. The LXP should also be able to pull content from other systems, such as an LMS and systems used by course vendors. In addition, when learning content is graded in another system, such as an LMS, the grade should be visible in the LXP.
- Deep personalization. Employees should be able to customize the look and feel of the application for their own use. The platform should also recommend relevant learning content to them based on their interests, skills and competency ratings, and their jobs in the company.
- Good UX. The LXP's UI should be easy for employees to understand and navigate. Training or online help should only be needed for advanced features.
- Ability to use a variety of learning methods. An LXP should draw from learning content from multiple sources. This includes an LMS, internal websites, videos, blog posts, microlearning content and external sites.
- Gamification. There may be rewards to encourage learning, such as awarding points for course completion, adding content and otherwise sharing on the platform. Using a leaderboard and other gamification tools can encourage employees to become active on the LXP.
- Strong mobile capabilities. Providing employees with a feature-rich mobile experience is important, especially for employees who don't sit at a desk, such as factory workers. A mobile app or progressive website (a site that performs like a mobile app) allows employees to learn at their convenience.
- Social learning. Employees often have experience and training that can benefit other employees. Using an LXP's social learning features, such as forums and communities, will not only help with training, it can help connect employees who need mentorship. It can also help groups of employees learn faster.
- Built-in AI. Artificial intelligence has come a long way in the past couple of years and should be integrated into the LXP on some level. AI features can help employees identify the training most applicable to them, help learning specialists quickly develop courses and assist with measuring employees' learning experience.
- Analytics and reporting. Such capabilities are crucial to almost any software system, and an LXP is no different. Being able to measure how and when the LXP is being used is critical for the learning team. Not only does it help them understand the interests of employees, but the data can help justify investing in learning and development. Analytics and reporting are also important tools that managers can use to track the progress of employees.
- Simple content creation and management. It should be easy for anyone to add content to the LXP. That includes the LXP system administrator, learning specialists and employees. Some platforms will include a browser plugin that allows users to easily link content to the LXP and make it available to other employees. The LXP may offer authoring tools that streamline content creation through drag-and-drop functionality, templates and the ability to add surveys and quizzes, for example.
- Learning paths. Administrators should be able to create learning paths that incorporate many different types of content. Employees might also be able to create their own learning paths based on content provided in the LXP and share them with other employees.
- Automated assessments. The LXP should offer the ability to integrate assessments into courses and learning paths to evaluate learner comprehension. The results should have an impact on the employee's skills and competency ratings.
LXP providers emphasize different strengths in their messaging, but all of them offer core features that help create and compile content, ensure that employees receive the training they need and keep records of who took courses and how they fared. The top LXPs also offer strong mobile and web-based access.
The following guide should give you a good sense of how some of the leading systems stack up.
1. Axonify Learn
Axonify focuses its message on microlearning for frontline workers, which it defines as an approach to training that delivers content in focused bites, according to its website. The platform tracks workers in their day-to-day jobs to determine where they may benefit from training, targeting frontline employees at retailers, call centers, sales organizations, financial firms and warehouse and distribution facilities. The platform then serves up important content in brief segments based on those findings. For example, employees in retail might take a micro-course after logging in to learn about the new items on sale for the week.
Axonify's administration tools aim to help learning teams define when exactly in the workflow employees need training and then tailoring content according to both the employees' and business's needs. Axonify's main platform offers real-time analytics at the individual and organizational level. It also warns frontline managers when training gaps appear and recommends actions they can take to mitigate them.
Degreed compiles courses, videos, articles and other content from a variety of sources. It aims to simplify the curation and delivery of content and help employers benchmark their employees' skill sets and identify skills gaps in the organization, according to Degreed's website. Degreed queues up multiple pieces of learning content, then organizes and delivers it according to each user's expressed preferences.
The platform also provides tools that enable users to create pathways, share content and create groups to facilitate information consumption and collaboration. Degreed also keeps records of each employee's learning and allows them to take those records with them if they leave the company.
Degreed offers access through desktop browsers and mobile devices via web and app. Employers can use the platform to measure and benchmark their workforce's skills and knowledge.
EdCast's LXP aims to help SMBs create and share videos, blog posts and articles, according to the EdCast website. Employers can create customized learning experiences and organize content by topic. The platform integrates with a number of HR software suites to help HR staff manage skills-based certifications.
EdCast offers analytics through prebuilt and customizable dashboards so users can access learner activity data in near real time. The platform then stores the data in a central repository to simplify compliance.
In May 2022, EdCast was acquired by Cornerstone OnDemand, which makes an LMS module that is part of a larger HR software suite.
The Valamis platform includes features from both an LXP and LMS, which allows the software to meet the needs of many learning teams in one system. It provides a content creation tool for developing online courses and content. You can also use the application to run large or small online or in-person courses. The system comes with built-in integrations to Microsoft Outlook and Teams, eliminating the need to manually update your calendar when registering for a course.
Valamis has extensive skills development features, such as identifying employees' skills gaps, including during onboarding, as well as attaching skills to learning content and measuring skills.
5. Tovuti LMS
Tovuti offers an LXP, despite the "LMS" in its name. The system offers many common LXP features, such as an engaging mobile experience, communities for employees to share knowledge and grow together, and customized learning portals for employees.
Tovuti also has some traditional LMS features, such as the ability to host online, in-person, or hybrid learning sessions, with integrations available for all major video-conferencing platforms.
6. Learn Amp
Learn Amp combines LXP and LMS functions, has an optional performance management module and can be used for pulse surveys.
As for LXP features, Learn Amp supports social learning, which allows employees to create content and share it with other employees, rate content and provide insights after completing a course or viewing content. The system can be used to create new content from scratch or employees can use one of the provided templates to build content more quickly. Learn Amp also provides integrations with many popular content providers if you prefer to license e-learning courses.
7. Learning Pool
The Learning Pool LXP offers a full range of features to develop employee skills. It includes content authoring tools and skills profiles and allows for user-based content curation.
A key feature of the platform is its focus on social learning tools, which employees can use to learn in a way that best meets their needs, including self-directed, peer-to-peer or cohort learning. Learning Pool comes with prebuilt no-code integrations to common systems, such as videoconferencing, HRIS and content providers. The LXP also has an API you can use to develop integrations with other systems.
This platform has a focus on collaborative learning. Employees can not only use it for training but also be involved in developing new courses. The average course, according to the website, takes 17 minutes to build. Experts in a company can develop quick, relevant courses, which helps employees receive training when they need it, and it takes the burden off a small group of learning specialists to create every course.
360Learning also offers many of the standard features, such as skills paths, course recommendations using AI and assessments.
Thrive was designed as an all-in-one learning system combining features of an LMS and an LXP. The platform allows employees to learn in multiple ways, including social media, microlearning and traditional e-learning courses. It also comes with gamification features to encourage continuous learning and participation on the platform.
Thrive comes ready to integrate with numerous technologies, including single sign-on, HRIS, communication applications and third-party content providers.
10. Juno LXP
Like in other LXPs, in Juno LXP, employees receive content recommendations from an AI engine that suggests courses based on each employee's skills profile. The LXP comes with "endless" amounts of free content, according to the website.
You can use Juno LXP to track the training budget and allocate money by department, team, individual or companywide. Employees can submit training requests through the LXP using a workflow that allows for approvals. Employees and teams can also use a channel feature to share knowledge and training recommendations based on selected skills.
Editor's note: The unranked list is based on web research and only includes products referred to by their vendors as LXPs despite having some LMS features and terminology.