The Importance of Digital Learning Platforms
The Importance of Digital Learning Platforms
In this article, we will look at the important role of learning platforms in digital learning and the differences between them.
A Digital Learning Platform (DLP) is a generic term for online learning platforms. Digital learning has become part of our everyday lives, either as part of our work through corporate training and development, for our own personal projects or hobbies, or as part of ongoing education.
From primary school pupils to senior leaders in blue-chip corporates, we all interact and benefit from digital learning platforms. However, do we know the many different types and functionalities that we can find in the market? Let’s explore them.
Start your career in Digital Learning Design with our professional Diploma
What is a Learning Management System?
The most common type of learning platform is a Learning Management System (LMS).
Learning Management Systems first came into vogue about 20 years ago, as a way of managing the learning process. The LMS focuses on administrative functions such as enrolling learners in online and classroom learning, storing user data, and providing a hosting platform for learning content. An LMS tends to be more common in corporate settings as it is an effective way to support employees with learning and development and is a useful tool for HR as it centralises learning and be used to monitor training development.
An LMS platform makes it possible to reserve meeting rooms, handle onboarding for a specific course, generate legal documents, or monitor the entire training process with just a few clicks. (Rise Up, 2022)
Times have changed, learning has evolved and so has the role of a learning platform. Technological advances have allowed for more flexibility and users have different requirements.
While learners did use LMS-based “cataloged learning” in previous years, they did so largely to comply with corporate or professional mandated training requirements, and not necessarily because these courses were supposed to help them. For their other “every day” learning experiences, they turned to the internet and watched videos and podcasts or consumed other content – primarily via mobile-enabled devices. (Valamis, 2022)
Learning Management Systems -from LMS to LXPs and LCPs
Enter the new types of learning platforms (and more acronyms!) the VLE, LXP, or LCP.
VLE stands for Virtual Learning Environment and they aim to replicate a school or college learning environment. It is a term primarily used in education. An LXP stands for Learning Experience Platform.
Learning experience platforms, or LXPs, are a category of educational software centred around user experience. It is designed with the learner in mind at every stage, and aims to offer the right teaching methods, content and personalised training pathways in order to ensure each user is able to gain new skills as quickly as possible. (Rise Up, 2022)
An LXP can sometimes provide a more engaged educational experience than an LMS because technological advances have allowed for personalised learning and online community spaces for social learning that may also include mentoring or tutoring.
LXPs ability to connect to and integrate with other (existing) systems and tools implemented at companies and institutions, distinguishes these platforms from learning ecosystems of the past. (Valamis, 2022)
In the past, the LMS was sometimes seen as having the edge over an LXP in terms of the ability to deliver bespoke training. Typically an LMS could host all sorts of external eLearning and internal L&D professionals could also create bespoke content specific to their company, for example creating employee induction training by using external authoring tools. The LMS could also be branded to match the corporate communications.
The LXP has advantages for offering learning personalised to the user. The LXP gives users access to a massive library of generic and popular content and the algorithm and AI work to deliver this content in a personalised way. Relevant content is adjusted for the learner,
This has changed and the “new breed” of a learning platform combines this user-centered approach with the ability to customise and create bespoke content, which can also be called an LCP Learning Creation Platform.
The philosopher John Dewey said that an educational experience – what he called a community of inquiry – requires a cognitive presence (the learner), a social presence (the learning community) and a teaching presence (the professor). (Kellermann, 2002)
Learning platforms have evolved from being a way to log in and keep track of pre-packaged learning content, to systems that not only accompany us along our journey of lifelong learning, but grow and change with us as our skills develop. They allow us to access learning and our learning community at any time or place, and in doing so have moved from being systems to becoming educational experiences.
Tribal Habits (2022) Ultimate online learning platform comparison: LMS vs LXP vs LCP vs DLP. https://tribalhabits.com/online-learning-platform-comparison/
Rise Up (2022) Everything you need to know about LXPs. Available at: https://blog.riseup.ai/en/everything-about-learning-experience-platform-lxp
Valamis (2022) Learning Experience Platform-Everything you need to know about LXP/LEP https://www.valamis.com/hub/learning-experience-platform
Kellermann, D. (2021) Academics aren’t content creators, and it’s regressive to make them so. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/opinion/academics-arent-content-creators-and-its-regressive-make-them-so