LXP vs LMS: What Is the Difference?

10 min read

Getting people to learn things online is an idea likely to define the 21st century for future historians – both in schools and at corporations. The market size is projected to soar to USD 319 billion by 2029, according to Fortune Insights, highlighting the substantial investment and interest in online learning solutions. At the same time, not all eLearning is the same: on the one hand, you get systems that make content focused on authorized and unified guidelines; on the other, there are ones that strive for free choice of a pathway between the content pieces and evaluation checkpoints.

The first type is categorized as LMS; the second, as LXP (Learning Experience Platform). As the demand for digital learning continues to surge, the choice between LMS and LXP systems becomes paramount for organizations seeking to provide effective and engaging training experiences for their employees. However, understanding the differences between LMS vs LXP systems and their respective strengths and limitations is crucial for making an informed decision that aligns with organizational goals and objectives.

In this article, we will explore the key factors to consider when choosing between LMS and LXP systems in the dynamic landscape of eLearning. From understanding the unique features of each platform to evaluating their suitability for different learning environments, we will provide insights to help organizations navigate the complexities of selecting the right eLearning solution balanced between LXP vs LMS systems.

Common challenges of eLearning

By now, eLearning seems to be the obvious answer to all the preexisting and traditional challenges in education – especially corporate education, where the student gets no formal diploma to motivate them. For a while, the findings of eLearning, due to their novelty as the brand-new digital, “fun” type of education helped both companies and formal institutions engage students with the learning content.

The novelty has worn off, though. What remains is the sum of the learners’ challenges and aspirations, on one end, and the possibilities provided by technology, on the other. The grim predictions of some tutors have not come to reality – at least in the EU, almost 30% of people are taking an online course or using digital learning material. But eLearning sure does have its own fair share of issues it needs to solve in some way.

Here’s a very short list:

  1. Engagement & motivation. A decade ago, it was enough to provide a digital interface with something interactive above the basic HTML to keep people engaged in learning just for the fun of it. Now, though, the audiences’ motivations are defined by two axes: pragmatic (i.e. how does this translate to my personal growth?) and entertainment (how good of an investment is it for me to engage in the course, seeing as how it’s my free time?) Accordingly, eLearning needs to make the courses as down-to-earth as possible (while balancing between the actual interests and needs of the learners within the same course) and, at the same time, make sure that the formats employed are also ones that resonate with the audiences’ perceptions of what is or isn’t “FUN”.
  2. Content quality. A lot of effort is being pushed into implementing eLearning technologically, leading a number of awesome teachers in the 2010s to denounce the format altogether – simply because their findings in how to make the material digestible and interesting largely went out the window around the year of 2011. Now, though, they’re coming back with a vengeance, as people crave learning content that’s made by industry gurus, and not eLearning platform developers. In a corporate setting, for example, there can be talented salespeople who have knowledge to share that deserves to be embodied in an eLearning course. The school equivalent would be a NON-digital-savvy professor in something like biology who would like a way to incorporate their way of teaching into an eLearning format beyond the standard multiple-choice exercises and module-by-module routine.
  3. Assessment. On the one hand, in-person assessment by a teacher in a face-to-face setting can be subjective (ten points to Gryffindor, ten points from Gryffindor, etc., just like the meme goes) – on the other hand, evaluating learning outcomes based on impersonal quizzes of standardized formats can be just as unjust. eLearning has to circumvent the assessment paradox by either creating ultra-complicated test routines or by having the tutors assess the learners live and then just enter the results into the system.
  4. Adoption among tutors. While someone like the Security Officer at a company may applaud when an eLearning system is introduced, what about people who teach something like crocheting, watercolor, sales techniques, etc.? This essentially boils down to the methods of teaching that are, in turn, defined by the nature of the subject and material at hand. 
  5. Accessibility, inclusivity, and individual learning patterns. At the end of the day, learners are humans (we haven’t found ways to teach lizards or toads yet) – and humans are notorious for that little thing called individuality. There may be people who complete eLearning courses summa cum laude and then do nothing – and people who just so happened to listen to a couple of lectures and provide the actual ROI to compensate for the former group. This is all about individual differences, and eLearning as an industry is now developing in the direction that allows teaching according to each person’s individual learning style and mental characteristics.

That’s why as soon as the “traditional” Learning Management System (LMS) approach was implemented, the competition pushed eLearning providers to create systems and platforms that would, by design, address these challenges. Learning Experience (LX) became the buzzword, and LXP (Learning Experience Platforms) became the new generation of systems.

Difference between LXP vs LMS

Put simply, the difference between LMS (Learning Management System) and LXP (Learning Experience Platform) is the focus on either control and standardization or on free choice and professional learning, respectively. While a regular LMS is an embodiment of “push learning”, meaning the material in question is something everyone needs to master (think corporate values, security, HR stuff in general), an LXP is something that’s focused on every person’s abilities and talents, and their own thread and pace of learning.

In other words, an LMS is a system that reinforces obligatory learning, with clear unified guidelines for everyone and superior tracking of progress. An LXP, meanwhile, is a platform that allows learners to pick their own schedules and paths the way they see fit for themselves, and as such is more suitable for narrowly professional competencies within a team. 

In other words, if you want all your employees to act a certain way when encountering a phishing email, that’s LMS for you. If you’re managing a team of designers, and it’s okay if some of them are good with fonts while others are good at drawing vector images, LXP it is.

What is LMS good for?

According to the commonly used definition, a Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application designed to facilitate the administration, delivery, and tracking of educational content and training programs. It serves as a centralized platform where organizations can manage all aspects of their learning and development initiatives. An LMS allows authorized employees to access specific educational content tailored to their roles or learning objectives. Administrators can upload new or newly discovered learning material, create courses, and organize resources efficiently within the system.

One of the primary benefits of an LMS is its ability to streamline the delivery of lessons or training resources to learners. Whether it's through interactive modules, video lectures, or downloadable materials, an LMS provides a convenient and accessible means for employees to engage with educational content. Moreover, LMS platforms typically offer features such as quizzes, assignments, and discussion forums, enhancing the interactivity and effectiveness of online learning experiences.

Tracking and reporting on employee learning progress is another essential function of an LMS. Organizations can gather valuable data on learner engagement, course completion rates, and assessment scores to assess the effectiveness of their training programs. However, despite the critical role of measuring learning impact, many companies face challenges in this area.

According to the 2019 Brandon Hall Group Learning Measurement Study, 69% of companies struggle with measuring learning's impact on critical outcomes.
  • 60% cite difficulties in measuring employee engagement effectively
  • 47% attribute measurement limitations to time constraints or staffing issues.
  • Furthermore, technology limitations and difficulties in defining proper metrics pose significant obstacles to measuring learning results, affecting 39% and 41% of companies, respectively.
  • Linking learning outcomes to business objectives can be challenging for 33% of organizations.
Image credits: Dribbble

Despite these challenges, an LMS can help address these measurement issues by providing robust reporting and analytics capabilities. By leveraging data insights from the LMS, organizations can make informed decisions, track ROI, and continuously improve their learning and development initiatives. Additionally, LMS platforms can send notifications to employees regarding upcoming training opportunities, deadlines, and learning-related announcements, enhancing communication and engagement in the learning process. Overall, an LMS plays a crucial role in supporting organizational learning and development efforts by providing a centralized, efficient, and measurable approach to training and education.

What is LXP good for?

A Learning Experience Platform (LXP) is a modern learning management system designed to offer a more personalized and engaging learning experience for users. Unlike traditional LMS platforms that focus primarily on delivering structured training content, LXPs prioritize the learner's experience by providing a curated and dynamic learning environment. One of the key features of an LXP is its ability to combine learning content from various sources, including internal digital assets, external third-party material, and even user-generated content. This diverse range of content ensures that learners have access to a wide array of resources to support their learning goals.

Image credits: Dribbble

Another distinguishing feature of LXPs is their authoring tools, which enable users to create new educational content in various formats. Whether it's interactive modules, video tutorials, or microlearning resources, LXPs empower organizations to develop tailored learning experiences that cater to the unique needs and preferences of their workforce. Additionally, LXPs typically offer powerful search functionality that allows users to easily filter through the vast amount of content available on the platform, helping them find relevant information quickly and efficiently.

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Discussion forum in 360Learning

By definition, LXPs leverage advanced data and analytics capabilities to identify learning needs and make smart recommendations that fill existing skills gaps. By analyzing user behavior, preferences, and performance data, LXPs can deliver personalized learning pathways and recommendations, ensuring that each individual receives targeted support to enhance their skills and knowledge. At the same time, LXPs promote collaborative and social learning by providing tools that facilitate communication and knowledge sharing among users. Features such as discussion forums, social feeds, and interactive communities enable employees to engage with each other, share insights and experiences, and collaborate on learning projects. 

LXP vs LMS: Which one to choose?

Choosing between LMS vs LXP for your learning needs depends on several factors. Opt for an LMS when you require a centralized platform for delivering and managing structured training content, such as compliance courses or certifications, with features like course enrollment, tracking, and reporting. LMS platforms excel in providing a systematic approach to employee training, ensuring compliance, and monitoring progress through detailed analytics. 

On the other hand, an LXP is your choice when you prioritize a more dynamic and personalized learning experience, characterized by content curation, social learning, and user-generated content. LXPs are ideal for fostering self-directed learning and promoting collaboration among employees, offering a diverse range of learning resources from various sources tailored to individual preferences. Consider your organization's specific training goals, employee learning styles, and the level of customization and engagement required to determine whether an LMS or LXP best suits your eLearning strategy.

Is there a way to implement a system that incorporates the advantages of both approaches, though?

LMS and LXP functionalities compared

What is the actual difference between an LMS and an LXP in terms of functionality? At its core, an LMS is traditionally driven by administrative needs, focusing on the management and delivery of training content to employees. In contrast, an LXP is driven by the learner and the knowledge sharer, emphasizing a more personalized and interactive learning experience.

Communication is another key distinction between LMS and LXP. While LMS platforms typically offer limited communication features, often limited to post-completion feedback, LXPs excel in fostering social learning environments. With LXPs, users have the ability to engage in discussions, add courses, and actively suggest content extensions, creating a collaborative learning ecosystem.

In terms of content format, LMS platforms lean towards long-form content such as PDFs and lengthy videos, which are structured according to predefined evaluation criteria. On the other hand, LXPs prioritize short-form content like videos, infographics, and diagrams, catering to the preferences of modern learners who prefer bite-sized, easily digestible information. Moreover, the course structure in an LXP is inherently more flexible, allowing learners to navigate their learning journey at their own pace and explore topics based on their individual interests and needs, all while being tracked and managed individually.

When it comes to evaluation, LMS platforms typically provide basic metrics such as course scores, focusing primarily on completion rates and assessment results. In contrast, LXPs offer more comprehensive metrics that reflect both course completion and learner engagement. This includes insights into which knowledge areas learners choose to study, providing a deeper understanding of their learning preferences and behaviors. 



Driven by


Learner/user/knowledge sharer


Limited; mostly upon-completion feedback

Social learning capabilities, with users adding courses or actively suggesting extensions


Long-form content encouraged; PDF, long video naturally dominant

Short-form content prevalent: videos, infographics, diagrams, etc.


Standardized exercises (multiple choice, drag-n-drop, etc.), but sometimes additional types are brought in as per course makers’ initiative

Standardized exercises can be used, but for some modules, other forms might be used

Course structure

Defined by evaluation criteria (e.g. standard company policy module 1, 2, 3, etc.)

Flexible and oriented toward personal learning rhythms and natural interdependencies, all tracked individually


Basic metrics (course scores, etc.)

Metrics reflect both course completion and learner engagement


While EdTech development initially promised to revolutionize education by offering engaging and accessible learning experiences, the novelty has very noticeably worn off, leaving behind a landscape fraught with challenges for anyone trying to implement a competitive system. From issues of engagement and motivation to concerns about content quality and assessment methods, eLearning providers are faced with the task of addressing these obstacles to deliver impactful learning experiences.

How to navigate this landscape? The key is to consider the strengths and limitations of both LMS vs LXP platforms. While an LMS offers centralized control and standardized training content, an LXP prioritizes learner autonomy and personalized learning pathways.

By leveraging the strengths of both approaches, organizations can create a balanced eLearning system that combines the efficiency of structured training with the flexibility of personalized learning experiences. Ultimately, the key lies in understanding the unique needs and preferences of learners and selecting the right platform that aligns with organizational goals and objectives.

Contact us for a consultation about how to balance between an LMS and an LXP for your corporate learning system.

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