Does a Learning Experience Platform change anything ?

(Written by an LXP user with best regards to a Learning & Development head)

Does a Learning Experience Platform change anything ?

It is an uncomfortable question.

You expect that unlike the predecessor LMSs that gather dust and survive only because the investment was too big to throw away, we users will be wowed by a great user experience, ensuring high user engagement.

Assuming that engagement is even the right metric (a topic for another post), do you really think that having millions of content modules within a Netflix like interface and recommendation engine, will do the magic?

The answer is yes - but only if all I needed to learn for my job was some pre-made content given to me in a specific order. Actually, that is far from reality. For me, learning at work is a performance support process helping me accomplish my tasks or work towards my career goals.

And who knows best about what support I need at any point of time?

Me (probably),
My manager (hopefully) and
A few of my colleagues (wishfully).

In real life, it takes me several unstructured conversations to learn from others or to get pointed to resources that would help me. Many a times, the resource itself does not help, a team member has to use a resource to coach me.

So, was it the lack of content and recommendations that kept me away from using the LMS ? Partially yes.

But do you expect me to be smitten with the LMS’s new avatar that has an attached content cauldron which spews out semi-relevant (but admittedly non-random) recommendations ?

Not really.

The core issues of an LMS remain - LXP is still a system that does not have context of what I am doing and is not in the flow of my work (No. Periodic recommendations through slack notifications to get me onto the LXP do not help. They are spammy).

Does it mean I would not use it? Of course not, I will - most likely I will use it a bit more than an LMS. But I hear the LMS usage remains below 20%, so is incremental improvement all that you are looking for?

What would make me love a learning software?

A tool that is integrated with the software I use the most for my work, refers me in a timely manner to resources based on deep knowledge of my work context, but most importantly, makes it easy for me to coach and get coached.

Vertical tools, sales enablement softwares that get deep into the sales workflow aspect, and become a part of work life are a good example of how learning becomes a part of work. Mindtickle, Brainshark and a few others are doing a marvelous job of it. The expanding capabilities of in-app guides like WhatFix and WalkMe are another great example of learning in the flow of work. The tool needs to gel into my work and not get me out of it just because it thinks it has found something relevant for based on a blog I read two days back.

Ironically, the tool that demands least engagement is the one that I would use more.

A horizontal learning experience platform can only do so much for me.