Back to resources Date: 19/05/2021

LMS and LXP: The Winning Combination

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re wondering whether to buy an LMS and an LXP. Or perhaps you’re wondering if you need both. But does that mean you will have to deal with two vendors? Let’s have a look at what LMSs and LXPs do, their feature sets, benefits and the advantages of an all-in-one platform.


They both have similar acronyms yet different purposes. Let’s have a look at the benefits of each tool.

What is an LMS?

It’s what most people think of when they think of a training platform. A Learning Management System or LMS is the software where you store, deliver, and track your training content.

What is an LXP?

A Learning Experience Platform, or LXP for short, is a platform where content is both curated and aggregated for a personalised learner experience.

The differences between an LMS and LXP

Learning Management Systems are in essence administrator-led platforms. They are designed to “push learning”, where learning material – organised and uploaded by an LMS admin or course developer – is assigned to a certain employee demographic based on formal business needs like compliance maintenance, onboarding or job-related skills and competencies.

An LXP, however, is seen as a learner-led platform where employees can contribute, share or curate content. They can also interact with each other and create resources for their departments or colleagues.

As Josh Bersin perfectly describes it, a key difference between the LMS and the LXP is that Learning Experience Platforms were designed to be employee-centric and foster a social and collaborative learning culture. While an LMS is a necessary tool to administer and manage compliance and certifications, the goal of an LXP is to encourage learners to engage with training and share knowledge with their peers. If we were to summarise: LMS are for admins and LXP for users.

LMS vs LXP: What to buy?
It’s not a simple answer, and really it depends on the needs of your organisation. However, selecting just one of these products could leave your organisation in a weak position.

By combining the power of a LXP with a seamlessly connected LMS, you have the flexibility to use the delivery methods best suited to your learning material and the needs of your learners.

LMS + LXP : the perfect duo
With all employees able to add, suggest and curate content, LXPs upgrade and strengthen formalised LMS training programs that are grounded in business requirements (especially those centered around technical, internal or extended enterprise training).

Leveraging peer-to-peer recommendations, user-generated content & curation, department/role-specific workspaces and external resources unlocks learning in the flow of work and fosters more interaction between employees.

This enhances the overall effectiveness of the training your organization provides and boosts employee engagement.

Combining an LMS and LXP, therefore, not only allows employees to become competent in specific subjects rooted in formalised or competency-driven training, but also empowers deep subject matter expertise and high levels of proficiency in critical skills.

These competitive skills and communication advantages enable your organisation to adapt to unforeseen changes, outperform competitors and provide a best of both worlds training approach (formal and informal learning) for your employees, customers or extended workforce.

You can host instructor-led and compliance-based training alongside peer-created social content or use a combination of methods, to create and support a modern and adaptable learning experience across your organisation.

The benefits of a ‘one-stop shop’ solution

If you still can’t decide which one to buy, here’s our advice: go for a one-stop shop solution instead of having to deal with several vendors. That’s exactly what Totara Partners offer to their customers: the LMS and LXP capabilities they need through an integrated solution and unique support system.

With Totara Learn (LMS) and Totara Engage (LXP), you can leverage the power and innovation available from years of enterprise-focused development within Totara Learn alongside new engagement, sharing and collaboration tools within Totara Engage.

Totara Engage offers everything you’d expect from an LXP. This includes peer-created and curated content, microlearning, advanced machine learning-driven recommendations, personalised dashboards and detailed reporting.

An integrated LXP/LMS solution such as Totara Engage and Totara Learn will provide your learners with seamless and consistent navigation that not only reduces the barriers to learning and discovery, but also allows you to invest in your content and support rather than a custom, costly and time-consuming integration with your existing LXP or LMS.

Do you want to see the above platforms in action? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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