A Learning Management System (LMS) is the most popular place for an organisation to store its eLearning courses and learner records. LMSs are the software platforms through which educational and training programs are delivered. The reason LMSs have grown in popularity over the years is simple: they provide a handy, user-friendly and technologically advanced way of organising a company’s eLearning materials.

Is an LMS necessary for delivering a successful eLearning schedule? Some of the positives include:

1. Flexibility

eLearning through an LMS is arguably one of the easiest ways of delivering training to teams that are geographically spread out or work different hours. Learners can take the relevant courses at times that suit them and their workflow, digesting the information at their own pace. This is much more flexible than traditional face-to-face training, which goes at the trainer’s pace and has to happen at a specific time and place, regardless of absences or scheduling conflicts. (Blended learning takes the positives from both approaches.)

2. All in One Place

With an LMS, all learning materials and learner records are stored in one, easy-to-access place.

Modern LMSs are easy to update. Content can be added by administrators and even tailored to meet the specific needs of the company. Employees and groups of employees can be enrolled in the learning activities that best meet their requirements and their progress tracked.

3. Knowledge Retention

With an LMS, you can group courses on similar topics together and organise refresher training for workers who require it. It’s also possible for learners to go back and revise materials already covered to cement the concepts they’ve learnt in their memories.

Microlearning is a good example of training designed for knowledge retention. Short, information-rich bursts of training convey some ideas very well and stick in the memory longer, in many cases.

4. Changing as Your Needs Change

Look back on your business’ requirements from five years ago. Chances are they’ve changed rather significantly!

Many businesses are continually growing, expanding into other markets and updating their product offerings. Taking on new staff requires onboarding and initial training, which is easier to set up through an LMS than through face-to-face training.

An LMS (and the eLearning courses it stores) makes it easier to add new content. You can also tailor courses so they are aimed more directly at each learners’ needs.

Choosing the Right LMS for You

Once you’ve decided to use an LMS for your organisation’s online learning program, you have the task of deciding which one to invest in. They will all have the basic features of storing eLearning resources and learners’ records.

Although there are differences, the terms LMS and Learning Experience Platform (LXP) are sometimes used together. LXPs, generally speaking, aim to offer an upgraded user experience, and use AI to deliver personalised suggestions for additional courses for individual learners to take. The interface presents these in the familiar manner of “You Might Also Like…”, with relevant courses organised into categories. This offers learners control over their own learning journeys and increases engagement: when people are offered a choice rather than simply working their way through a list of mandatory courses, they can gravitate towards the content that works for them.

Our Astute platform offers a modern, high-tech option. With an excellent, intuitive user experience and data-driven design, it automatically collects and interprets learner data to promote future learning opportunities.

An LMS can make the delivery of eLearning easier and more organised. Taking the time to research the benefits of online training and investment in LMSs will pay off and allow you to deliver the learning and development plan you want to.

For most organisations using eLearning, a Learning Management System (LMS) is the platform of choice for delivering their courses.

Thousands of companies have discovered the benefits of eLearning. With the greater value for money, flexibility and ease of storing learner records, more and more are making the switch all the time. But with so many types of LMS on the market, how do you choose?

What is an LMS?

An LMS is a software platform for storing eLearning courses, learner records and other training materials relating to an organisation’s learning and development programme.

Administrators can set up and enrol learners in the relevant courses and track their progress. They can also add new courses and, in many cases, tailor the courses so they make sense for the company or include company branding.

LMSs have long been the preferred platform for eLearning. Recently, a new type of learning platform has emerged: the Learning Experience Platform (LXP).

LXPs perform all of the functions of the LMS and tend to have user-friendly interfaces, designed for working on the go as well as from a desktop. They also use AI to deliver learners personalised suggestions for further activities and courses, often grouped under different categories depending on which aspect of their skillset they want to improve next. This “You May Also Like…” function is familiar to many users because of streaming services and online shopping sites that use a similar system.

User Experience

The best LMSs and LXPs are built with user experience in mind.

As well as desktop learning, it’s important to make sure your employees can access their eLearning wherever is most convenient to them. More and more people want to learn on the go and modern eLearning platforms need to adapt to the reality of mobile devices.

Use of Data and AI

Learners are used to their preferences and online behaviour being taken into account to decide on the material they are later shown. Many modern LMSs and LXPs make smart use of workers’ data, including which courses they pass and which learning activities they prefer to use.

Engagement is key with all eLearning activities, so suggestions for further study are an important part of keeping people’s interest. Nobody wants their training to be relegated to “just another task to tick off” – it should fit into each employee’s workflow and provide clear benefits to them and their company.


Even with the most user-friendly LMS, there will be times when you need support to get the most out of it.

When you purchase our Astute platform, you get access to a dedicated support team. They can help you during set-up and maintenance and are available for any questions you might have.

Investing in Learning

A company’s learning and development programme is one of the most important things for it to invest in. Each employee benefits from a good online training programme, strengthening their existing skills and learning new ones. The benefits to the organisation are also clear: being up to speed on compliance and health and safety protects the company and its assets from everything from cyber-attacks to fires.

Choosing a good LMS is an important aspect of this. With so many on the market, it can be hard to work out which is the best fit for your business. By taking into account the user experience, support available, use of data and AI, organisations can be sure they’re making the right choice when investing in an LMS.

We all experience multiple “learning experiences” every day. These can be as informal as searching online for how to use a type of software or coming across a new industry term.

The most structured kinds of learning experiences most of us go through are professional training programmes. These are far from uniform and will differ from company to company, department to department, and even individual to individual.

Types of Learning

There are different ways of delivering company-wide learning and development programmes, each with their own benefits:

  • Traditional Classroom Learning

In the past, all formal workplace learning was delivered face-to-face by an instructor. Although this had (and still has) numerous benefits, such as being immediately interactive, it is very limited and often expensive.

By its nature, it can only be delivered once, at a certain point in time, to people who are physically present. This makes it a bad fit for remote teams and people who want to take the training in their own time or go over it again. One badly-timed employee illness could mean they miss out on vital training.

  • eLearning

Online learning courses are the ultimate flexible solution. They can be taken in any location with an internet connection, are often designed with mobile devices in mind and learners can return to them after completion if they need to go over something again.

eLearning providers create courses in topics such as health and safety and compliance, meeting the needs of new starters and those who want refresher training alike. They are ideal for remote teams, organisations based over multiple sites or shift patterns, and companies who want to cover all of their training needs in a flexible, cost-effective way.

  • Blended Learning

The blended style of learning attempts to combine the best of both worlds. There have been various terms used for it over the years, such as “hybrid learning” and “mixed-mode instruction”, and just as many different definitions.

Put simply, blended learning uses both face-to-face training and eLearning. The two types of learning complement and reinforce one another. This method is common at universities and colleges, where learning materials covered briefly in lessons or lectures can be accessed later through online portals. Many businesses also use this model.

Learning Experience Platforms

For many years, the Learning Management System (LMS) has been the preferred kind of platform for organisations to deliver their eLearning through. They provide a secure space to store learner records, all eLearning courses and training materials. Administrators can enrol learners on all relevant courses and track their progress. The LMS entered the learning and development industry market in the 1990s and has been the dominant system for delivering eLearning since.

Recently, the term Learning Experience Platform (LXP) has been used more frequently. LXPs perform many of the same functions as LMSs, but platforms with the LXP title tend to have more user-friendly interfaces. They tend to use AI and data collection to personalise suggestions for further study in selected areas.

Our Astute platform has been designed with user experience at the forefront. Equally useful for desktop learning or via mobile devices, the platform provides targeted learning journeys to identify and prioritise each learners’ needs and continued career development.

For any organisation looking to offer its employees a consistent, quality eLearning programme, a Learning Management System (LMS) is a must.

There are hundreds on the market, so choosing the right one for your business out of the many examples can be tricky.

What is an LMS?

Learning Management Systems are the software platforms through which educational and training content is delivered. Companies invest in LMSs to track their workers’ learning and development, keeping all of their courses, materials and completion data in one, easy-to-access place.

Put plainly, LMSs simplify the process of delivering eLearning.

Choosing an LMS

With all of the different examples of LMSs available, choosing one can feel like a huge task. It will depend on the needs of your organisation and learners.

There are free open source options available, many of them with sizeable communities. However, the saying “you get what you pay for” often applies here. Open source LMSs don’t come with the professional support that the best commercial options offer. This can lead to frequent bugs, technical problems and a long time devoted to set-up and maintenance.

Alongside the term “LMS” is a newer term: Learning Experience Platform (LXP). Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. However, LXPs offer an upgraded user experience.


The major difference between traditional LMSs and LXPs is personalisation. With an LXP, learners are presented with suggested courses to take next, based on their previous actions and preferences. Our Astute platform has an upgraded interface and uses AI to provide the most accurate possible suggestions. These are presented to the user in relevant categories, similar to the “You May Also Like” format favoured by many streaming services.

This provides a more open-ended experience for the learner. They can pick up skills that interest them, prepare themselves for a change in their roles or find other ways to expand their learning experience beyond just the “required courses”. LXPs also tend to be designed with mobile use in mind, making them easier to use “on the go”. This amplifies one of eLearning’s main advantages: its flexibility.

Where is an LMS used?

Wherever there is a need for online training, you’re likely to find high usage of an LMS.

Colleges and universities have long relied on online systems to store their learner data and keep track of essay submissions, learning outside of traditional lectures and seminars, and administration. They can be used to connect learners with their tutors in a convenient way for both. One of the major benefits for educational establishments is that LMSs can store learning resources that can be accessed at any time by students enrolled on the appropriate course.

Businesses are increasingly turning to eLearning, with more making the switch every year. They’re finding it’s often more cost-effective to handle topics such as Compliance and Health and Safety this way, where learners can cover the material at their own pace and return to it afterwards when they need a refresher.

Some continue with some aspects of the traditional classroom-based training alongside their eLearning courses – this approach is called ‘blended learning’ and offers the best of both worlds.

Choosing the right LMS from those available can be a difficult project. It involves careful consideration of the needs of learners. The right choice can greatly help your efforts to deliver a successful eLearning programme.

If you have received online training during your career, chances are you have used a Learning Management System (LMS) of some kind.

Learning Management Systems are the most popular way for companies to deliver their online staff training. They can ensure that everyone completes their mandatory learning and receives the correct refresher training in subsequent years. They keep all of an organisation’s training resources in one easy-to-access place and allow learners to make their way through learning curriculums at their own pace.

What is an LMS?

In recent years, eLearning and blending learning (a mixture of face-to-face and online training) have become popular ways for companies to train their staff. With the greater flexibility and value for money that quality eLearning can provide, business leaders are increasingly seeing the benefits of investing in it.

Put simply, a Learning Management System is the software platform through which educational and training programs are delivered. Companies purchase LMSs to keep track of their learning and development, with all courses, materials and completion records kept in one secure place.

Typically, the LMS will have a system for tracking and documenting the learning journeys of each person. Administrators play a key role in the successful use of an LMS. Their tasks include enrolling learners on the correct courses, uploading new or updated courses and tracking progress.

The LMS entered the learning and development industry market in the 1990s and has been the dominant system for delivering eLearning since. Recently, there have been alternatives on the market, such as Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs), which use AI to deliver personalised suggestions for the next piece of eLearning content for a worker to use. The interfaces of these systems tend to mirror those of popular streaming services and online shopping sites, following the “You May Also Enjoy” style of delivering content. Many of the tasks that were traditionally part of the administrators’ role are now automated, freeing up their time for other tasks relating to the successful delivery of their learning and development aims. LXPs also tend to be easy to use “on the go”, with mobile device optimisation forming a key part of their design. However, modern LMSs also take into account this increasingly popular, flexible way of consuming eLearning materials.

Often, the terms LXP and LMS are used interchangeably, although there are many differences. Our Astute platform has recently undergone a major redesign and upgrade. It has retained all the functionality it had before but now has a more user-friendly interface and greater capability for producing personalised suggestions for further learning.

How is an LMS used?

LMSs provide a central space in which to store all of a company’s eLearning materials. This makes it easier to enrol learners on the right courses to make sure they’re improving their skills in the areas that matter. It also makes tracking each learner’s journey much simpler, keeping a record of each course they have taken, when they took it and their passing score.

The features of each LMS or LXP will vary. However, they will all provide a way of tracking the courses each learner has taken and passed, and a way for administrators to enrol certain groups of people on to different learning pathways.

When selecting material for the course library, administrators have a wide variety of content to choose from. eLearning is a fast-moving industry where techniques and course design styles are constantly evolving. Courses range from full-scale training modules spanning hours to five minute ‘microlearning’ options, designed to give the learner a brief overview of the topic or a quick refresher. Sometimes it’s possible to order bespoke content or tailor off-the-shelf courses so they reflect the company and its branding.

The reason LMSs have grown in popularity over the years is simple: they provide a handy, user-friendly and technologically advanced way of organising a company’s eLearning materials.

When it comes to learning and development (L&D) programs, a key consideration for many organisations is how effective the training program would be. Currently, there are a number of specifications that can be used to measure eLearning effectiveness such as SCORM, AICC and Experience API (xAPI). xAPI is the newest of the specifications and widely considered to be defining standard for wholesale adoption.

What is xAPI?

Experience API (xAPI) is a learning specification that can measure learning activities in the workplace by making it possible to track, store and share learner data across a variety of platforms and experiences. xAPI is the key technology driving innovation within Learning Experience Platforms (LXP) and Learning Management Systems (LMS).

xAPI was developed in collaboration with the US Department of Defense-funded Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL), Rustici Software and a large community of SCORM users who suggested improvements. The project was referred to as the Tin Can API, although it has been since renamed Experience API.

xAPI enables learning content and systems to interact with each other by recording and tracking learner experiences. This is achieved through activity statements that are triggered by learner activity.

A group of activity statements are used to create a comprehensive record on the learners’ experience as they navigate through their training. Activity statements are collected and stored in the Learning Record Store (LRS).

The Learning Record Store (LRS)

The Learning Record Store (LRS) works similar to a SCORM database stored within an LMS. The LRS is essentially a system for storing data about a series of learner experiences from a range of sources, often referred to as Activity Providers.

In an LRS ecosystem:

  • Activity providers: Learning environment, online training courses, classroom training, gamified learning, simulations, mobile apps, business systems, virtual reality (VR).
  • Insights: Dashboards, reports, learner analytics, Open Badges

The data collected can be used to generate insights that can help organisations measure the effectiveness and uptake of L&D programs.

The xAPI relies on the LRS to function correctly. The data stored within an LRS can be shared with other systems and provides valuable analytics so that organisations can adapt to learning experiences.

Benefits of xAPI

xAPI is designed to support the evolving requirements of learning and development in the workplace through an LXP. xAPI is beneficial for both the learner and the organisation.

Some of the key benefits that xAPI can bring to organisations are:

Improving learning experiences

xAPI makes it possible to transform learner experiences through an LXP. Organisations are no longer restricted to an LMS to manage mandatory training and basic learning resources. Instead, they can use an LXP to develop innovative, engaging and collaborative learning solutions that foster a culture of learning. Learners can learn on the go on any device, get recommended, related content based on learner behaviour and powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), and chart their own path for learning and development. A user-friendly learning experience can help improve the uptake of L&D resources, generating a much better return on investment (ROI) per learner compared to an LMS.

Measuring the impact of L&D

As learners within the workforce engage with an LXP and registering activities through various learning resources, it is important to be able to measure its impact. xAPI can use the data generated from learner activity to produce insightful analytics to help measure the impact of L&D in the workplace. Organisations can gain a better picture of L&D across your organisation, the uptake of the learning resources, which areas are popular, which are lacking and overall how it affects the business through improved levels of skills and productivity.

Integrating multiple systems

xAPI was developed as a flexible specification that enables various learning resources and systems to communicate with each other seamlessly. This can save organisations costs and resources on integrating systems and make it considerably faster and cheaper to work with interoperable systems. Such as data migration from old learning systems to new.

xAPI has the potential to support complex learning scenarios that can engage learners more effectively. For organisations, xAPI can offer insights into learner data that can be used to improve learning experience over time.

In the world of business eLearning, the Learning Management System (LMS) has long been the preferred option for delivering relevant content to employees. Administrators enrol learners on to the courses they need and learners work their way through them, often in a linear fashion.

Recently, a new option for learning and development teams has emerged: the Learning Experience Platform (LXP). Learner-led and aiming to provide employees with more relevant and personalised solutions, the LXP delivers an upgraded learning experience.

User Experience

LXPs differ from LMSs in many important respects. Perhaps the most obvious difference is the increased focus on user experience. Rather than being driven by an administration team, the LXP allows the learner to direct their own training.

Personalisation is a key benefit of LXPs. The learning needs of an engineer and a customer service manager, for example, are likely to be quite different. The LXP can look at their learning needs and, based on the courses they’ve taken before, suggest the next topics for them to explore. This might be split into categories such as “recommended for you”, “popular courses in your company” and “recently released courses”. Learners can broaden their skillset in ways that might not seem immediately obvious and might not be thought of when developing an administrator-led, linear training path. The use of AI to recommend new learning solutions is a key benefit for the upgraded LXPs.

People are used to their entertainment being delivered this way. Popular services providing films, music and even shopping experiences – like Spotify and Amazon – use similar algorithms to provide suggestions for what to watch, read, listen to or buy next. It’s the next logical step to provide learning in the same way. Encouraging user engagement is an ongoing challenge for learning and development teams, so introducing strong elements of these intuitive interfaces can only help.

The LXP is not only content and learner-driven – it is also interactive. It provides more space for workers to share their own content and expertise than the traditional LMS, and allows easy leverage of third party content.


LXPs aim to provide a seamless experience, incorporating their learning needs into their day to day work. eLearning therefore doesn’t become “an extra task” to squeeze into somebody’s working day; it is now an integral part of their routine, providing the courses they need and want, at the times they require it.

The growth of mobile technology has changed the way people work – and consequently how people consume eLearning. Taking short courses “on the go”, for example, is much more common now than even a few years ago. With their focus on ease of movement between courses, the ready availability of content and the smoother user experience, LXPs are better equipped to deliver these modern ways of learning.

High-Tech Solutions

There are other new technologies that complement the use of LXPs. Perhaps the most significant one is xAPI (or Experience API).

The xAPI is a system for tracking people’s learning experiences, both inside and out of the learning platform. When an employee completes a course or watches an instructional video, for example, statements are created that are stored in a Learning Record Store (LRS). Their subsequent improvement in performance can then be tracked.

These statements can be generated by any learning activity and take a standard form – for instance, “Nancy took her Manual Handling course and passed with 95%” or “Thomas completed the Compliance suite of courses”.

This information feeds back into the system, providing much more relevant and personalised suggestions for new learning activities. Suggested learning materials can be focused on areas that need to be improved, or shown to the workers who would get the most benefit from completing them.

The LXP’s reliance on AI is one of its core benefits. Information is dealt with in a consistent manner to provide the best recommendations to the learners.

These technological advances have allowed learning providers to move even further away from the “one size fits all” style of learning from the past, and present the best paths for each individual.

With technological advances and vast changes in the way people consume content, the eLearning industry was ready for a new form of platform to take over from the traditional Learning Management System (LMS).

Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs) have arrived to optimise employee training experiences for today’s users.

What is an LXP?

LXPs differ from LMSs in many important ways. On the surface, their interfaces are a lot more intuitive and user-friendly. Courses and instructional videos are often presented in categories such as “recommended for you”, “popular in your company” and “newly released”, offering the learner several options rather than a linear path to follow.

The concept of an LXP has been long championed by leading industry analyst Josh Bersin. Janet Clarey at Bersin by Deloitte defines LXPs as “single-point-of-access, consumer-grade systems composed of integrated technologies enabling learning”. Putting user experience first, LXPs deliver quality eLearning in a more appealing way to the right learner at the right time. The system determines this by analysing past behaviour, what learners do inside and outside the learning platform, and any identified strengths, weaknesses and skill gaps. AI allows this to be an automatic process that doesn’t require any direct input from an administrator.

Why Choose an LXP?

LXPs represent a departure from the administrator-led model that has dominated eLearning for many years. Learning and development teams may be reluctant to change their current systems, so it’s important to be aware of the benefits of the new technology to make an informed choice.

Relevant – Similar to the interfaces of some popular apps and websites, LXPs put content that might benefit the learner front and centre. Based on past behaviour, they can instantly provide the next module of a course, or a higher level course to one just completed. This saves the learner from having to dig around in the course library to find the right material – something especially valuable when using a mobile device.

LXPs use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to track a learner’s behaviour and deliver content suggestions to them, creating a personalised experience. The AI’s immediate suggestions may be generated by spotting trends in the learner’s previous activities and identifying skills gaps that they themselves might not yet be aware of. This can lead to a much more streamlined, cleverly focused learner experience.

Learner-led and Convenient – The way we learn is changing. People watch videos and take courses “on the go” much more often. They might not want to follow a standard path, and instead take courses that bolster their skillset in ways that aren’t obvious, or that prepare them for a move into a different role.

In lots of cases, courses and videos can be started on one device and finished on another. Some people learn better in short bites than in one long learning session, and this model helps people who learn in the flow of work.

By putting the learners’ needs and experiences first, LXPs put employees in charge of their own learning journeys.

Engaging – One challenge that all learning and development professionals will recognise is “keeping people interested”. Even good eLearning content can be difficult to balance with a busy workload, especially if it takes people out of their daily work tasks for a long period of time.

LXPs react to past behaviour. Their suggestions for the next module, course or video are powered by the knowledge of the user’s strengths and preferences. This makes for a smoother, seamless experience. Learners discover courses they wouldn’t have otherwise found, and might lead to them broadening their skillsets in unexpected ways. This benefits both the individual and their company.

The aim of LXPs is to integrate learning into employees’ work lives without being intrusive or turning eLearning into “just another task to complete”.

Like the workplace as a whole, eLearning is a rapidly changing industry. Those responsible for delivering eLearning to their staff need to keep pace with the way people learn and engage, and ensure both their platform and content meet these challenges.