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LXP vs LMS - Does your organisation need both?

Organisations have long used Learning Management Systems (LMSs) to deliver employee training. More recently, a new type of platform called a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) has emerged. LXPs aim to enhance the learning experience and make it more engaging.

But how? And which is best for you? Let’s dig into the differences and relative advantages between the two systems.



An LMS is a software application that helps organisations manage and deliver internal employee training. It provides a central repository for storing and structuring courses. This makes it especially valuable for essential training, such as health and safety, product, onboarding and compliance.

An LXP is a learning platform that aims to provide an engaging learning experience for each employee. LXPs are ‘learner-led’ - providing employees with a personalised learning feed of external content, that encourages them to build a learning habit.


LMS vs LXP: Specific Differences

There are several key differences between an LMS and an LXP: 

1. Personalisation

An LXP personalises the content and learning experience for each employee based on their individual interests and needs. Next-gen LXPs go one step further and use AI-powered personalisation that learns what appeals to users and their peers over time. LMSs, on the other hand, primarily feature a limited set of HR/employer-led courses which do not require personalisation.

2. User Experience

Because of the vast range of content available, LXPs tend to offer a more engaging, user-friendly and multi-modal interface than LMSs to drive higher user engagement. Many have adapted to mobile-friendly app formats to help employees learn on the go. LMSs tend to predominantly use desktop-based formats with somewhat limited focus on the end-user experience.

3. Social Learning.

An LXP offers social learning features that allow employees to connect with each other and share content. LMSs tend to focus on individual learning modes with the end goal being successful course completion.

4. Analytics

LMSs provide basic analytics, primarily focused on high-level usage and completion metrics for courses. LXPs tend to offer more granular insights on employee skill gaps, learning needs and preferences - data that helps managers and HR leaders guide employee development.


Is an LXP a replacement for an LMS?

The answer is no. An LXP is not a replacement for an LMS. LMSs have an important purpose, which is the delivery of detailed, essential company training and courses. LXPs are valuable as a tool for creating a culture of learning and driving ongoing employee engagement.

A business may not need an LMS in two cases. If they do not need to run long-form internal courses and want to rely primarily on external content for employee development. Secondly, many LXPs offer the capability to upload content – if an organisation is interested in uploading  internal educational content on a periodic basis, without the need to run courses, an LXP should suffice.


When should organisations use an LMS?

Any business that needs to deliver complex, multimodal internal courses would benefit from an LMS. This covers a range of businesses and is especially true in industries with a lot of regulation, such as manufacturing, healthcare, FinTech, and law.


When should organisations use an LXP?

LXPs are a great tool for creating a culture of learning, and for facilitating continuous employee development, resulting in high employee engagement and retention over time. They also bring real value to the business, as an engaging LXP can lead to a workforce with a powerful, diversified knowledge base that helps drive innovation.


When is a good idea for organisations to use both?

In many instances, the best option is to have both an LXP and an LMS which work hand in hand. The two systems serve two quite different purposes – LXPs are a tool to deliver an engaged workforce and a culture of learning, whereas LMSs are platforms for delivering specific, detailed, essential courses at specific times during the year.

Many businesses like to run essential internal training for onboarding, compliance, and other business-critical areas. For these, LMSs are the right tool for the job. However, having a workforce that is continuously learning and sharing in their development has tangible benefits, both for the employees and for the business. It’s therefore a good idea to pick the right option based on what your ultimate business goals are.

5Mins is a next-gen LXP that provides the most seamless learning experience available. Sharing, gamification, short-form lessons – it all just works.

Interested to see how? Let's have a chat

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