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What Is a Learning Experience Platform? (+The Difference Between LEP and Corporate LMS)

September 11, 2019

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” — Benjamin Franklin

Over the last decade, the training and eLearning industry has greatly expanded beyond the traditional learning management system (LMS) to include learning solutions that adapt to any style of work process. Josh Bersin, president and founder of Bersin & Associates (now known as Bersin by Deloitte) coined the term “learning experience platform” (also known as LEP and LXP) to encapsulate this expansion. And the industry just keeps expanding—the global training eLearning market, including corporate LMS and LEPs, is expected to hit $200 billion by 2024.

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According to G2’s employee engagement report, only 34% of non-HR employees surveyed feel more engaged than they did the previous year. Meanwhile, according to a recent Gallup report, 51% of American workers are actively looking for a different job or keeping an eye on job openings.

Companies that develop initiatives to engage their workforce will experience an increase in retention, productivity, and morale. And there are many possible methods to improve employee engagement; it might come in the form of software, career management, or training and education initiatives, to name a few. Investing in a thorough onboarding process and training regimen will not only engage employees from Day 1 but will improve retention by continually moving employees forward on their career paths.

Engaged employees are those with a sense of purpose and belonging. What better way to engage employees than by giving them control over their learning and allowing them to choose how and when they learn and grow?

Are employees as engaged as HR teams believe? Download Free Report →

What is a learning experience platform?

HR departments and training specialists implement tend to offer a choice between providing users with personalized online learning experiences and required training courses.

Features of LEPs:

  • Aggregated content: Provides users with content options collected from all sources including internal, external, corporate LMS, and more
  • Microlearning: Lets users access content in bite-sized pieces from any device at any time
  • Mobile learning: Allows users to access content via apps for learning on the go
  • Authoring functionality: Enables users to curate content, as well as allow experts to promote and share their expertise
    learning experience platforms typically feature aggregated content, microlearning, mobile learning, and authoring functionality.


LEPs help employees discover new learning opportunities to expand and enhance their current knowledge, to grow within their company or to further them along their career path. These learning technologies are often referred to as a “Netflix for learning.” Rather than administrative-driven courses sent to specific departments or employees, with these programs, employees can choose from a selection of easily accessible content that’s discoverable and shareable by all employees at a company.

Learning experience platforms vs. learning management systems


Choice — The learner gets to choose how and when to engage with materials of their choice. As referenced above,  employees have the option to influence their own learning experiences instead of taking administrative-driven courses.

Content — Learning platforms directly impact the amount of available content. LMS are typically closed systems, meaning only administrators can choose and add content. This can result in a narrow selection of learning content, as administrators must curate the selection of materials. LEPs, on the other hand, are open systems, which allow users—from learning and development (L&D) directors to employees—to select and build content that suits their personal learning interests.

Directed vs. personalized learning — LMS are typically used by L&D directors and HR departments to ensure employees adhere to internal standards as well as pertinent laws and regulations. This training is typically given to employees during the onboarding process and as new processes and regulations arise. The learning content is often presented in the style of a course and may include text, video, or audio followed by a quiz to be completed by a specific time and day.

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LMS are certainly not limited to compliance-only content, but the content selection must be determined by those with administrative approval. Meanwhile, LEPs are designed to provide employees with options based on the skills necessary to develop in their current roles, and it provides the option of learning new content outside their current position. These systems let users choose content including external, internal or subject matter expertise (SME). This is why LEPs are called Netflix-style systems.

There are various learning experience platform providers available and each has advantages and disadvantages. Some integrate directly with corporate LMS to extend the reach of these training solutions, some provide microlearning features, and on and on.

Businesses are focusing on training and learning initiatives and empowering employees to direct what, when and where they learn. Many learning experience platforms integrate with LMS to enhance these systems. Depending on the size of the company and its training needs, LEPs can be used to engage employees with enticing learning content beyond compliance- and position-related skills training.

Check out these employee training ideas create an engaging employee training experience.

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