What is an LXP and how is it different from an LMS?
LXPs and Learning Management Systems (LMS) both contain learning content and both enable learning. So what sets them apart?
You can compare an LMS with a TV. It broadcasts pre-programmed shows. You have to watch the news at 8 pm and a soap at 8.30 pm. This is top-down programmed for you by the TV station. An LMS works like a television. The programs (courses) are determined by the station (L&D department) and you have to follow their lead in taking the courses. It is a formal top-down learning approach.
An LXP is more like Netflix. Like the TV it contains series and films, but you as a learner are in charge. You determine what to watch and when. An LXP has the same approach. It is a big body of content (courses and other information) that a learner can search through. The learner decides what and when to learn. This is a bottom-up way of organizing learning.
LMS and LXP together form the (learning) the bottom half of this learning quadrant.
How can you fill your LXP with meaningful content?
In order for employees to be able to search and find meaningful content, you need to fill your LXP with such. After all, Netflix without series and films will not work. As an extra challenge, the requirements for LXP content is different than LMS content.
Many companies buy content (courses mostly) from vendors like LinkedIn Learning, Open Sesame, Udemy, Khan Academy and many others offer off the shelf content that will help you populate your LXP.
All LXPs enable employees to curate content. When you curate content you do not create content, you make existing content available for your peers. If you are not an expert on a specific topic and you start searching the web or your companies intranet, you will get an overwhelming amount of hits. Curation can help you out. The curator is a specialist that works as an extra search filter. Curation in LXPs mostly comes in the form of a playlist or a learning path. The specialist is able to share selected content or links that way. Proper curation is more than just link sharing, see this post for more details: Why are most curators doing it wrong.
Next to buying or curation, employees can also create content themselves. At Easygenerator we call this Employee-generated Learning and this is what we facilitate.
It is crucial to add your own content to the content from external vendors or curated content. Compared to off-the-shelf content, the content created by your colleagues will be a better match for your company. It’s bespoke to your company and your employees’ needs.
The subject matter experts can translate a generic course on a topic into a company-specific approach. The same goes for curated content, adding company-specific content will add extra value to a learning path or playlist. This content will very often be in another form than a course or a quiz, but will very often be a one-pager with a best practice, a how-to, a checklist, or a reference guide (to name a few examples).
Buying an LXP is only the starting point, you need to have valuable content in order to launch it successfully. Many companies just transfer courses (or a selection of small courses) from their LMS to the LXP. Be critical on this, make sure that this content is the right content for this context.
Make sure you also have at least some Employee-generated content as a starting point, both curated content and created content. Approach a couple of employees before the launch of the LXP so you can ensure you have that starting point. This example content will help you with the launch but it will also trigger other employees to follow this example.