LMS vs LXP: Which model is ideal for upskilling?

LMS vs LXP upskilling

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LMS vs LXP comparisons show two sides of digital learning, each with perks and downsides for professional upskilling. It is an unsaid requirement for employers to be diligent in training their employees to deliver more efficient results. LMS systems are more commonly seen as part of upskilling and training programmers, with LXP models only beginning to take the lead as worthy contenders.

While some organisations pick one side with their learning structure, others take a hybrid approach to reap more significant overall benefits with increased employee engagement. Therefore, it is essential to understand what group of employees you are training and whether you focus on the structure and fixed syllabuses or are open to being flexible with your approach. 

In this article, we will discuss how both learning systems help employees to learn better, their purposes, advantages, and disadvantages. We will also discuss the ideal LMS and the LXP approach scenarios.

LMS vs LXP learning: What are the differences between them?

learning LMS vs LXP for upskilling

LMS training systems (learning management systems) are structured around specific fixed syllabuses assigned and managed by administrators, while LXP training systems (learning experience platforms) are much more flexible. LMS models are centred around organisations and instructors deciding the most important content for an upskilling program. In contrast, LXP models are centred around students and their understanding of the courses they need to upskill with. To learn more about the importance of digital upskilling, check out our guide on the topic!

Most L&D programs are preceded by a detailed skill-gap analysis essential for creating the LMS system with an organised syllabus to facilitate compliance training. In addition, some L&D programs prioritise the LXP approach, link up with external course providers, and organise digital learning sessions that will satisfy the needs of their workforce. It is also possible to use a platform like Udemy that combines LMS and LXP programs to provide a hybrid learning experience.


a professional using LXP upskilling approach

Each of the systems is focused on different aspects of digital learning. Choosing the ideal method comes down to what you want to concentrate on and the strengths a particular job requires. This is because some professions are more inclined to a factual system, while others harbour more creatively inclined individuals.

LMS is a software model that concentrates on gathering and analysing sufficient data. After a proper assessment, it assists in managing and distributing training courses that seem most appropriate in light of the final results. This kind of strategy is more suited to professions that require immediate structure, whether as part of a learning program or general induction training.

On the other hand, the LXP learning model is more suited where the intention is focused on the users more than the actual material and encourages self-direction and flexibility. This approach to corporate training allows the users to pace themselves accordingly and emphasises personalisation.

Regarding the fundamentals of both systems, the power balance is the core distinction. In the LMS model, this balance is divided accordingly, making it easy to comprehend. Each user’s content viewing experience, and the training they must go through, are under the authority of learning and development instructors.

However, with an LXP system, the users decide what they wish to consume. Depending on the platform, this style is often dependent on browsing. Generally, LXPs are configured with “trays” of structured material that the assigned user may browse through. This system is similar to what is utilised by the majority of streaming services. 

In LXPs, users are responsible for learning at their desired pace, but instructors might be available to offer assistance. Unlike the stricter structure utilised by the LMSs, LXPs strive to choose the information pertinent to the user or company objectives since so much content is available.


A learning management system (LMS) is ideal for information, compliance or certification. This model gives easy access to data, and users are aware of any changes made. It also helps to provide all the gathered data in one place so that you can check on the learning material occasionally.

Since the entire structure needs to be organised and finalised, all the choices will be made by administrators instead of the people involved. Data is essential in every aspect, meaning an LMS records and monitors it very closely.

Learning experience platforms (also known as LXPs) work to produce accurate recommendations for the most suitable courses by gathering and later thoroughly examining the results of learner interaction data. This user-centred model benefits employees in several ways, including personalised training according to their mindsets. It also tends to have a higher employee motivation rate than LMS, and since the students can focus on what they lack, it makes work easier for the training administrators.

Whereas the LMS system focuses more on data compliance and a pre-designed structure, the LXP is more concerned with individual development. As a result, various services are available to help people develop their talents, which can go a long way for them in the corporate industry, even enough to allow students to change occupations later. 


Given the nature of the LMS learning model, an almost limitless number of students can access courses hosted on a LMS at any given moment. Workers who receive entirely formal training may perceive the subject matter to be too dull. If they find the content far too tricky, this model will be an obstacle in absorbing the material properly. If their classes are not tailored to their unique requirements and interests, the majority of students won’t tend to learn a lot, all due to a lack of motivation and flexibility.

This is because, instead of seeing education as a continual process, the LMS sees it as a one-time event which in turn means that workers are more likely to experience information overload since there is constant pressure to transfer as much knowledge as possible in a possible single session. 

The main disadvantage of LMS is the need for more flexibility in information distribution, which could result in a corporate drought. The issue that can arise with LXP is information overload. An LXP’s algorithm or AI depends on the user information received and content tags to give relevant results. That said, if any data is slightly inaccurate, users would likely be shown irrelevant results, which might have a significant negative impact.

Since integrating educational resources, as per the needs of each individual, is a challenging task, users require authentication and knowledge of educational resources to ensure that everything will be evident in the final results. Open access makes it simple to saturate the LXP with content libraries, which might leave users feeling overloaded and can be a stressful experience overall.

Ideal student grouptraining students by LMS upskilling method


As LMS systems are responsible for fitting an individual with training content, this model is ideally suited to those seeking formal certificates or professionals working in learning and development. On the other hand, a LXP is an overkill for compliance content required in these fields, which is crucial in most firms to effectively build awareness among the workforce regarding any new alterations.

The LXP system, on the other hand, is more suited for a more modern work ethic, where the individuals and management are focused on organic growth and self-direction. This system is designed for personal development, and a wide range of information is readily available to help employees improve in their occupations.

What is LMS upskilling best for?

LMS upskilling is ideal for employees who need induction training as part of their onboarding process to learn all the necessary skills to excel in their roles. There is the benefit of a mentor and administrator who oversees the student’s progress. It is possible to set up an engaging system with messaging forums, good UX design and predetermined tests or quizzes based on a SCORM approach.

Most courses are long, and it is mandatory to go through each element and clear it up. This could be important for workers who need safety training when their work revolves around physically challenging operations.

As mentioned earlier, the course is overseen by an instructor or a senior manager who analyses data related to engagement courses, attendance rates and test scores. An LMS model is only implemented after a thorough skill gap analysis for workers moving forward in their roles.

What is LXP upskilling best for?

a professional using LXP model for upskilling

LXP upskilling is ideal for senior professionals who know what skills they need to work on, and it can also be used in work environments that are flexible in how they approach upskilling. Therefore, the two ingredients in all LXP models are flexibility and personalisation.

LXPs are centred around extensive data analysis that helps curate xAPI-based courses to reflect the needs of a professional or an entire workforce. This accounts for the key skills they are established in and the ones they need training. LXPs are also great for analysing which course system is working. This is done by looking at user engagement data and results post-education. 

Switching up the student-generated courses according to the changing needs is possible, keeping the learning flavour and challenge intact. If you want to learn how new tech like VR impacts our lives, check out our detailed guide on the topic!

Even though they are not optimised to be a standalone solution, the right LXP tool can be the ultimate learning solution bringing education goals close to organisational goals for excellent upskilling results!


LXP systems certainly improve upon the traditional style often associated with LMS learning. However, these systems need to be developed more to be considered a complete replacement for the latter, so it is best to employ a Learning and Development program incorporating elements from both systems.

If you want to grow as a professional or pivot into a tech-specific career, book a career consultation with one of our experts and understand how to approach the new skills best!

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