LMS vs. LXP: How and Why They’re Different

Learning and Development (L&D) is an industry that loves acronyms – for learning platforms alone we’ve got LMS, LXP, IOL, SEP….the list, like the Energizer Bunny, goes on and on. For a lot of folks, the distinction between them is a bit hazy, but it doesn’t have to be. When it comes to Learning Management System (LMS) and Learning Experience Platform (LXP or LEP), the difference is simple – it boils down to who controls the content and the learning journey.

Let’s break down the key differences and why they matter.

 

The Basics: Defining Key Terms

Learning Management System (LMS) is a common industry term. It’s what most people think of when they think of a training platform. The traditional approach, an LMS is the software where you house, deliver, and track your training content.

Learning Experience Platform (LXP or LEP) is a newer term by comparison. It’s a platform where content is both curated and aggregated for personalized learner experience.

Everything you need, nothing you don't

The Spoke® learning platform provides a seamless experience between formal and informal learning. The results are 5.5x increase in training completion rates and 4x more user engagement.

Who Controls the Content

In an LMS, the LMS administrator controls the content.  That could be someone in HR, someone on the leadership team, or a trainer. This individual uploads courses into the LMS and makes them available to learners.

This person is typically also in charge of approving any user-generated posts that would appear within the system. If a learner asks a question, the admin must approve it before it appears for the general population. Think of this admin as the dam. They control the volume and flow of the content and hold back anything that isn’t essential. In an LMS, the admin has complete power over the content.

Meanwhile, in an LXP, everyone helps curate the content. That means someone in HR may post something, but so could your field sales rep or front-desk team member. That’s because LXPs are built to be content aggregators; basically, the platform is a catchall for any content your team decides is valuable.

With LXPs, the content is less curated than an LMS. It’s more like an open frontier.

Since anyone in the system can add content, LXPs typically contain internal training, external resources, and loads of user-generated content. In that way, LXPs house much more diverse content and can foster more interaction between learners. For example, one learner may leave a comment on a training they found helpful or post a link to a URL that taught them something new. When another learner logs in, they see the comment or URL and are more willing to engage with it – that’s because it came from their peer in the same role, so it’s validated by someone else who does the same job and has the same needs.

Considering that roughly 70-90% of learning happens informally (peer-to-peer or on-the-job), it’s no real surprise that the social engagement that comes so naturally in an LXP is helping this type of platform gain traction.

 

Who Controls the Journey

As you can probably imagine, the content and the journey are closely related. In an LMS, just like the content, the learning journey is created by someone else – everything the learner experiences is carefully curated by someone else (the admin).

That means that, in an LMS, learners follow what is essentially a map of exactly what they’re expected to take and when. For example, in Q1 they have to take security training and in Q2 harassment training. Their path is laid out before them and they just need to complete each gated milestone to get to the finish line. The upside here is that learners know exactly what their next steps are and when they need to complete them. In terms of compliance, it’s easy to see if a learner has or has not completed the required training – that way if anyone isn’t compliant, it’s easy for you to see and address.

By contrast, the LXP lacks that clear delineation and focuses instead on the learning process itself – that’s because, in an LXP, discovering yourself, your skills, and your passions is what the journey is all about. LXPs allow for greater freedom for the learner to pursue their areas of interest. In this way, LXPs are much more focused on personalization (a growing trend in the industry).

For example, LXPs enable learners to navigate through all of the content that’s available and pick what they want to learn about. This self-directed learning is what personalization is all about! The benefit of this personalization is that learners will be more engaged with the content because it’s things they actually WANT to learn, not just things they have to.

Basically, LMSs are better suited for mandatory training, like compliance, because learners must complete specific, predetermined steps to be successful. In an LXP, the learner steers the ship and instead focuses on seeking out their own personal interests and professional development. That’s why LXPs are considered more experience-driven, whereas LMSs are more about compliance and checking those mandatory boxes.

In a nutshell, the LMS puts the power in the hands of the administrator while the LXP gives it to the learner.

So why’s it matter? Truth is, in today’s market, learners are used to having a wealth of information at their fingertips. In their personal lives, they seek out podcasts that align with their interests, influencers who share their hobbies, and news that gets to the heart of what they care about. While compliance training will never go away, the rise of personalized content is impossible to ignore.

 

So how do you decide what’s right for you?

Since learning platforms aren’t one-size-fits-all, it’s important for your individual organization to let your needs steer the type of learning platform you pursue. In general, most companies have to have mandatory trainings (i.e. compliance), but also want learners to have self-directed access to materials that align with their learners’ professional curiosity and development – if this sounds like you, you’ll want to consider having both platforms available to your learners.

If you’re still stuck trying to figure out what you need, contact us or attend one of our weekly webinars to see Spoke LMS in action.

Share This Article

Featured Resource

Free Step-by-Step LMS Buyers Guide

More Articles Like This One

Announcing the Spoke Assessment Builder

Great news! You can now build, configure, and assign a quiz or poll within Spoke LMS. Spoke assessment builder will help you save time creating assessments and lets you track your team’s progress, all in one place.

Let’s have a look.

 

Building an Assessment

Creating assessments in Spoke is a breeze. You don’t have to bother with an external authoring tool or worry about uploading a SCORM file—you can do it all right within the app. First, you’ll enter assessment details like title, description, and duration. You can attach the assessment to an existing course pack or course, and toggle key settings on and off, like learner reviews, coin value, and notifications.

 

 

 

Then, create your questions. You can choose from multiple choice, multiple select, and true/false format depending on your needs. If you’ve already written the questions, you can copy and paste content from another document, or draft questions right in the app. Once your questions are in good shape, choose whether to assign a deadline or track compliance, and you’re good to go.

 

Accounting for Learner Experience

Assessments are easy for learners to access, appearing right alongside courses in a typical course pack. You may instruct learners to complete a course before taking an assessment, or you might create a baseline or pre-assessment for them to take before training. As soon as they complete an assessment, learners see immediate results and are able to identify improvement opportunities. They can also keep track of overall scores and compliance status over time by viewing a report.

 

Team Data

Inside Spoke Reports, you can keep track of your team’s results and drill down to see individual learner data. This empowers you to create coaching opportunities based on each learner’s knowledge and skill gaps.

Spoke’s Assessment Builder makes it easier than ever to create assessments, track progress, and see trends over time.

 

Ready to make assessments more impactful? Request a demo of Spoke or attend an upcoming Spoke webinar.

Share This Article

Featured Resource

Free Step-by-Step LMS Buyers Guide

More Articles Like This One

Spoke LMS: The 9-Time Winner

 

We’re proud to announce The Craig Weiss Group has named Unboxed’s Spoke LMS as the #1 LMS for Consumer Goods for 2019, #5 in their Top Nine LMSs for the United States. And the #11 LMS in 2019. The Craig Weiss Group continuously monitors the training marketplace for the best providers and services, and we are pleased to receive such an honor.

Spoke has previously been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition over the past few years for its modern, intuitive user interface, and social, blended learning capabilities. These awards include:

•  2018 Top 50 LMS, The Craig Weiss Group

•  2018 Training Industry names Spoke to its 2018 LMS Watch List

•  2017 Top 50 LMS, The Craig Weiss Group

•  2017 Training Industry names Spoke to its 2017 LMS Watch List

•  2016 Top 50 LMS, eLearning 24/7

•  #2, Gamification

•  #3, Social Learning

•  2015 Top 50 LMS, eLearning 24/7

•  #5, Social Learning

•  #8, Next-Gen LMS

 

Spoke has also been a part of the blended learning strategy that won Spoke client, Ultraceuticals a 2017 Platinum LearnX Award and helped Xfinity Mobile see results like, 5.5x increase in course completion and 2x more user engagement.

 

Word around the street about Spoke:

The Senior Vice President of Comcast said, “Spoke has led to increased performance for every team member. They connect with each other in the Community, and tell me they can’t wait for more training to earn more coins.”

Another client representative from BH Media Group said, “I have to tell you how grateful I am for Spoke’s user-friendliness. It makes my job a lot easier! Thanks for all your hard work in making this a positive experience!”

We want to thank our clients, who provide the user feedback we need to help us continually improve our Spoke platform. An additional thanks goes to our hardworking Unboxed team members; they continue to raise the bar.

About The Craig Weiss Group

Providing consulting and advising services, The Craig Weiss Group analyzes the effectiveness of various e-learning platforms for buyers and suppliers.

About Spoke LMS

Spoke is the modern social learning management system that connects training, communication, collaboration, and gamification to help you train, engage, and reward your teams. To learn more, watch our Meet Spoke video or request a demo.

Share This Article

Featured Resource

Free LMS CheckList, Assessment, and Guide

More Articles Like This One

Spoke LMS: The 9-Time Winner

We’re proud to announce The Craig Weiss Group has named Unboxed’s Spoke LMS as the #1 LMS for Consumer Goods for 2019, #5 in their Top Nine LMSs for the United States. And the #11 LMS in 2019. The Craig Weiss Group continuously monitors the training marketplace for the best providers and services, and we are pleased to receive such an honor.

read more

What is an LMS?

If content is King, then the Queen is your Learning Management System (LMS). Without a robust Queen, your King is essentially inaccessible and powerless. An LMS is the gatekeeper to all that good content your team has built or wants to build. So what is an LMS, and what can it do for your company?

An LMS is a technological platform to aid in the training and development of a business team. With features like anytime, anywhere training access, LMSs have become the standard in good training and development for sales teams the world over.

They allow companies to track and manage key aspects of training, such as identifying areas of weakness and funneling just-in-time information to those in the field.

Though every LMS has different features, they universally have a space where business teams can access course content, take quizzes, and track a team member’s educational journey. So with the ubiquity of LMSs, how do you determine what you need?

 

Determining What You Need from an LMS

The biggest decision you can make in training is determining how that training will be delivered. LMSs offer you the option of anytime, anywhere course access, which is critical for on-the-go sales teams. Figuring this out is simple. What’s not simple is being confronted with all the bells and whistles of various LMSs and not knowing what you really need. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you determine what will be most useful to your team:

1. Look at your business goals. That’s right, every aspect of your training should roll up to your business goals, and that includes what features you have in your LMS. If your LMS isn’t collecting the data you need to track whether your team is meeting goals, then it’s not fulfilling your mission. In fact, it’ll feel like your LMS is consistently coming up short because it is.

2. Look at your training needs. Who will you be training? How many people will be training? What departments? Will you be primarily focusing on in-person training, and using the LMS platform for testing and sustainment? Will all learning go through the LMS? Are there webinar components to be tracked? Will you track attendance, quiz grades, and pass/fail rates? There’s a lot to consider. If you answer these questions up front, your search will be laser focused.

3. Examine the features of various LMSs. That’s right, take a good, long look at the different features of various LMSs like Spoke. You will find nuances in how quizzes can be scored, reporting features, and in pricing. Align your training needs with the features of the LMS you ultimately choose, so you can maximize your company’s training efforts.

4. Consider customer service. If you’re looking for a platform that will be managed outside your company, you need to strongly consider customer service. There is nothing more frustrating than when you need help meeting a reporting deadline, and the hosting service is unavailable or slow to respond. We recommend being diligent and reading service reviews for each LMS service you are considering.

 

Meet Spoke®, the social LMS that makes training easy.

Everything you need, nothing you don’t.

Key Features

Using your business needs to guide you is important. There are some key features that we here at Unboxed feel are non-negotiables. Look for these features to set your team up for success:

1. Easy interface. If your team can’t quickly and easily find training, they will get discouraged. It’s often a challenge to find the time in our busy lives to take training, so make sure the LMS you choose makes sense, has a clean and simple user interface, and has clear instructions just in case a team member gets stuck.

2. Opportunities for social learning. Our brains are built for social interaction, hence why Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram permeate our lives. An LMS that doesn’t have social learning may not be able to meet the emotional needs of your learners and therefore could be less effective than an LMS like Spoke that builds in social learning.

3. We know you take your work seriously, and so do we. That’s why gamification can be important. Allowing learning to function more like a game, means that you have higher rates of engagement among your team members, and they learn the material better.

4. Robust data reporting. Data should be collected at the individual, the class, and the company level to get a snapshot of whether you are meeting your goals. For this reason, you should thoughtfully consider what you want from your data reporting allowing your company goals to drive what data you ask for from the LMS.

We know choosing an LMS is a big deal, that’s why we are here to help you discuss options. Finding the sweet spot for your team is a challenge, but we believe we can help you meet that challenge. Finding the right balance for your team is what it’s all about, and the right LMS can be the keys to your company’s learning kingdom.

Contact us now to learn more about Spoke and how Unboxed Training & Technology can help you meet your business goals for 2019 and beyond.

Share This Article

Featured Resource

Free Step-by-Step LMS Buyers Guide

More Articles Like This One

Spoke LMS: The 9-Time Winner

We’re proud to announce The Craig Weiss Group has named Unboxed’s Spoke LMS as the #1 LMS for Consumer Goods for 2019, #5 in their Top Nine LMSs for the United States. And the #11 LMS in 2019. The Craig Weiss Group continuously monitors the training marketplace for the best providers and services, and we are pleased to receive such an honor.

read more

7 Tips to Delivering Multilingual Training to your Global Workforce

Is your company really a global company? If you’re not providing multilingual training (i.e. delivering training to employees in their native language), you may not be as global as you think. According to Forbes, a full 65% of those polled say that there is a language barrier between executives or managers and other workers. That’s huge. That means need-to-know information isn’t moving up or down the pipeline.

In a global economy where ex-pats move across international borders for work, language can be an enormous barrier, or an effective tool. Global competition means that as companies, we need to understand the global market for workers and provide effective training for each of them. One way to do this is to speak their language. Literally.

multilingual training LMS

Benefits of Multilingual Training

Ensuring your workers are trained in their native language has some great benefits—both for them and for your company as a whole:

Fewer Misinterpretations

There are jokes that just don’t translate. That inability to effectively translate doesn’t apply only to jokes though, it also applies to training. Providing native tongue training allows workers to understand the nuances as well as the important points, increasing trainee success and confidence once they are out in the field.

Increased Efficiency and Effectiveness

Workers who know what’s expected of them and when it’s expected, can better gauge their workflow. Part of efficiency is understanding processes and performance expectations. Why not provide that information in a way that all employees can confidently engage with? And part of effectiveness is ensuring workers fully understand their job description. Providing multilingual training is one way companies can support efficiency and effectiveness among their employees.

Increased Engagement

Using native language training allows learners’ brains to focus on content rather than interpretation. When students have to think about content in a non-native way and translate it to their mother tongue, there is more room for translation error. There is also a problem with cognitive load. So much of our finite brain space is taken up by translation, that training takes a literal back seat. Great training reduces cognitive load as much as possible.

Increased Safety

OSHA says 25% of workplace injuries have language barriers as a contributing factor. Not fully understanding training is the first line of misunderstanding and can cost companies dearly. If workers do not fully understand how to keep themselves and others safe, how can they be expected to fully implement a safety training program built around the premise of keeping everyone safe? It can’t happen.

 

Getting Started with Multilingual Training

So, how can your company get started with multilinguistic training?

Ideally, workers would be trained in their native tongue, on every issue. Certainly this could be quite an investment for multilingual companies who do not have a paid interpreter or whose workforce is diverse enough to speak more than two or three different languages.

However, there are a few things we can do to enhance our training, reduce cognitive load, and provide better outcomes for each of our workers. What can we do?

  1. Know your audience. Who are you training? What languages do they speak? Being sensitive to your learners means respecting, not only their culture, but also their language. Keep this in mind as you build training and you’ll start moving toward a positive experience for learners and increasing learner engagement and retention.
  2. Harness technology to create a Multilanguage platform. Our learning management system, Spoke, now speaks 9 languages. We have found that when your content and technology speak the right languages, you have a win-win situation. It’s good for the learner and good for the business.
  3. Start simple. You might have to explain simple phrases, but those explanations will help learners dive deeper and get more meaning out of your training. So make sure to explain and define key phrases or jargon for your industry. Even better if you continuously check in with learners throughout the training to see if they need simplified explanations as you take a deeper dive into content.
  4. Provide training in native languages for all of your employees. We know this is a tall order and a big challenge. Sometimes the keys to the multilinguistic kingdom reside in subtitles. Adding subtitles can offer students the clarity and nuance they need to fully understand content and to build their confidence.
  5. Provide supporting materials in various languages. Best practice means you meet learners where they are. Providing supporting materials in a variety of languages can foster learning and retention. This may take the form of translating job aides, or linking to multilingual resources on the web. These supports can help bolster key nuances that may otherwise be missed.
  6. Reflect the nationalities of your audience. We all want to see people who look like us. That helps us to identify with the message and makes us feel the required skills are attainable. In an effort to help foster these feelings among learners, it’s important to use images of actors who look and sound like your trainees. For video this means hiring actors who reflect your workforce.
  7. Use demonstrations and real-life action to show learners what you want them to learn. Action is the first mode of communication when people do not have a common language. Demonstrations can fill in the gaps if you cannot provide multi-language training.

Recognizing the need for training in multiple languages can be daunting. Often companies know the need exists, but have no idea how to address it. Considering that 84% of people polled agree that that workers are more productive with managers who can speak with them effectively in their native tongue, mother tongue training becomes ever more important. It allows your team to get the nuances of sales procedures, work processes, rights and responsibilities, or HR policies—whatever you want them to know.

We Can Help

At Unboxed Technology, we partner with companies who wish to provide globalized content and technology experiences for their workers, to increase efficiency and maximize their talent. If multilingual training is developed and posted in our learning management system, Spoke, your team could experience fully immersed, native tongue training. Your company can tap into the cultural knowledge, intelligence, creative thinking, and insight of your full team using Spoke, and that is the sweetest interpretation of all.

Social Learning Tools: Debunking the Myths

There’s a lot to consider when creating an effective eLearning course. Which platform do you want to use to build it? Does it need to be mobile responsive? What type of interactivity do you need? Do you need eLearning voice over? The list goes on and on.

When it comes to deciding if you should use eLearning voice over, consider what are the goals you want to achieve and if audio will enhance the learning experience. Voice over is an important element that can help your training feel inclusive and boost engagement and retention.

When you’re ready to think over whether or not you need voice over in your eLearning, consider the following.

 

Think About Accessibility

Arguably the most important piece of the puzzle is whether or not your training needs to be accessible.  If accessibility is a consideration, eLearning voice over is a must. Consider this, roughly 19 percent of the U.S. population has a disability according to the U.S. Census Bureau – that’s nearly 1 in 5 people.

That means, when you consider your workforce, you’ll want to take special care when developing your training to make sure it’s as effective and inclusive of different learning styles and needs as possible. Having narration or eLearning voice over for learners who have vision loss or dyslexia can help ensure everyone has access to the training in a way that’s best for them. For this audience, the audio is exceptionally important because it could be the primary way they’ll consume the information.

Not just that, it’s also required by law in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Even though this law only applies to U.S. Federal Agencies, it is becoming a standard consideration across the L&D industry. So while creating accessible content entails a lot more than just adding audio, it is an important part of the process and one you can’t ignore.

 

Consider Modern Learning Trends

Today’s average learner consumes more information than ever before, using all sorts of technologies and platforms. (think curated news feeds,  AirPods, Google Assitants, etc.). But what does that mean for training?

Your training needs to cater to how modern learner prefers to consume information.

Consider how many of your friends and colleagues listen to podcasts. How does that compare to the number who read newspapers or watch the news regularly? Chances are, podcasts are way more popular. Why is that?

The landscape is changing. The modern learner is tired of old school methods of consuming information. Instead, they prefer to multi-task and consume information on-the-go. By incorporating eLearning voiceover or narration, you’re catering to those who prefer to consume information by listening.

If you can weave short podcasts or other engaging voice over into your eLearning to help it feel sleek, contemporary, and engaging. Your learners will be able to listen to the training during the morning commute or when they’re driving from site to site. It’ll be more efficient for their schedules, more effective, and much more memorable—and being memorable is how you boost retention.

 

Using eLearning Voice Over to Simplify the Complex

The last thing to consider is the complexity of the information you’re teaching. If you’re covering complicated topics or providing detailed directions, using audio can help to simplify and humanize your content.

Think about it. Would you rather read a long drawn-out paragraph about a complicated topic or would you prefer to hear it explained while looking at a visual? Reading long chunks of content is exhausting and the modern learner just isn’t going to do it.

Instead, consider creating a visual to convey part of the information and using voice over as an added layer of detail. It will seem a lot less daunting toy our learners than a big paragraph and we guarantee, if the voice over is written well, it will boost retention.

The more ways you use to convey information, the more likely it is to stick.

Don’t believe us? Read this article about a study where learners were divided into groups: those who watched a silent animation, then heard the narration, those who heard the narration, then watched the animation and those who watched both at the same time. As you can imagine,  the group who did both simultaneously did best.

Is accessibility important in your training? Do you need your training to be easy to access on-the-go? Do you need to convey complex information? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, eLearning voice over is a must.

Need help strategizing or building the training itself? We can help. With over a decade of experience, we can help identify the perfect blend of modalities for your training needs. We even have relationships with professional voiceover artists who can bring your content to life. Give us a call!

Share This Article

Featured Resource

Free Step-by-Step LMS Buyers Guide

More Articles Like This One

Spoke LMS: The 9-Time Winner

We’re proud to announce The Craig Weiss Group has named Unboxed’s Spoke LMS as the #1 LMS for Consumer Goods for 2019, #5 in their Top Nine LMSs for the United States. And the #11 LMS in 2019. The Craig Weiss Group continuously monitors the training marketplace for the best providers and services, and we are pleased to receive such an honor.

read more