LXPs are often bought as a quick fix for an ailing LMS. Learning leaders assume that the improved user experience and capacity for autonomy will correspond with increased engagement.
And sometimes it will. But, more often than not, the huge potential a new LXP brings is stymied by a flaw rooted in the LMS. And, no matter how impressive the LXP, it’s powered by content - the raw material often stored and managed within the LMS.
So, if the content is letting the LMS down, it’ll do the same for the LXP. Up until now, the LXP has been focussed on improving the front-end experience. But, organisation's have quickly found that this is only part of the problem, and the one that's easiest to fix.
The deeper one is this: if content isn’t aligned to skills that matter to people and the organisation, it won’t be engaging and won’t have an impact.
This is why we developed our own LXP; one built with the intelligence to pull the value out of the disorder of most content management systems and shake off the rest. Here’s why clients need it and how it helps:
The content control problem
Most people get an LXP because the massive amount of content on their LMS and content libraries is hidden away and unused. An LXP gives you the ability to expose that content. But it doesn’t give you control over it.
The real reason people aren’t using that content is overload. It’s too difficult for learners to find something they’ll actually use. If you’re more likely to waste time on an article than get value out of it, the logical move is not to bother.
While an LXP can bring a semblance of order to this with an organised front page, most just paste it over the real problem: the content isn’t a good fit for learners. It’s either irrelevant, repetitive, too basic, too advanced, or just connected by a facile link (this has ‘marketing’ in the title so it must work for marketers at this level in this specific industry and organisation).
The heart of the problem is organisation. In most businesses, content classification is chaos. Tags are not relevant to current business goals, they’re too broad, there are multiple systems going on at once (which makes it impossible for algorithms to effectively translate tags into recommendations), they’ve been corrupted by transfers, or sometimes, they’re just not there.
If this is the case, even if your LXP has an interface crafted by Rembrandt and integrates with your toaster - it’ll just become a distraction.
Often LXPs actually bring in their own content, adding to the mess. Even if they don’t, the vast majority either do nothing to fix the existing tags, or ignore them entirely and operate from learner usage data alone. In the first circumstance, content recommendations are coming from a corrupt base; in the second, business priorities are ignored in favour of a popularity contest.
How do you take control?
One solution is to get right to the heart of it: bypass the tags and aim for the content - read it and see whether it’s what you need rather than taking the tags at face value. This way, you can work out what content actually fits your current business priorities.
But that takes quite a long time. If humans did it, costs would overwhelm benefits. However, software can read the content at who-knows-how-many-times the speed. So, you could decide on a topic, apply this technology to your entire library, and you would be presented with a ranked list of the most relevant stuff you have.
Scaled up, you could pick out all the content that your business currently needs, based on your skills framework, and be sure that it’s actually relevant - because you control the selection parameters.
This applies to your LMS as well as your LXP. Taking control means you can determine what resources are best stored in an LMS - the stuff that really is mandatory.
Then there’s the data. You could see which libraries are actually providing the stuff you need, and which aren’t worth the money. And because this is so fast, as priorities change, so can the content your LXP provides. That’s what a truly smart LXP looks like.
We, as you might have guessed by now, have spent a long time building this capability. It’s called content intelligence (CI).
It works as a mix of human and machine effort. Our consultants help clients to build a clear and data backed skills framework. Those skills are then categorized into a common language that the algorithms can apply as data. Then, content intelligence ‘reads’ the business’ entire corpus of content. It picks out and ranks the best fitting content so the client can choose exactly what goes in front of learners.
CI is the smartest part of our LXP. Some of our clients have used it to audit their content libraries (saving ⅓ of content spend in the process), others have used it to take control of the content they’re pushing through other LXPs.
To be a true LXP in 2021 and beyond, a platform needs to help organisations solve upstream problems. The ones that apply to your LMS and your LXP.
The overload problem that CI solves is just the first step. Then, Filtered LXP has to do what every other LXP does: make learning engaging, easy, and accessible.
But the quality of each of these later steps is rooted in first. Filtered traces content from the depths of an LMS all the way to the individual learner. As a result, Filtered, more than any other platform, can ensure that learners only encounter content that measurably makes them better at their jobs.