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The Next Generation of Learning Management Systems October 31, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A recent post by Clive Shepherd references an interesting activity done by the eLearning Network at their recent Next Generation Learning Management event. According to Clive’s post, the event was attended by a cross-section of members: private and public sector users, LMS and content vendors, consultants, and others. In the activity, participants identified requirements for learning management systems for the 21st century. (Great idea!) You can download a PDF containing the results of the activity. It’s worth checking out.

I’ve written about the future of LMSs before (see "Have LMSs Jumped The Shark?"). I still believe major changes need to be made, but I find it fascinating to keep an eye on the market and watch the different approaches companies are taking. Some LMS vendors are choosing to integrate Learning 2.0/Web 2.0 functionality (ex. wikis, blogs, micro-blogging, etc.) into their systems. Others are choosing to integrate with HR systems (ex. talent management, development planning, etc.). Some people see LMSs as systems with a front-end for users, while others see LMSs as back-end systems that users should never see. I don’t know which approaches will prevail, but activities like the one above are a great way to get everyone working together to advance our industry. (And I hope LMS vendors are listening out there…)


1. Robert Gadd - November 2, 2009

Hi BJ,

Interesting post and linked PDF as well. As a small LMS/LCMS platform designer, I understand and appreciate each of the many valid and strong points made in the report. And it makes me smile that we’ve already addressed and implemented so many of the offered suggestions.

I also found it interesting that no mention was made of mlearning on their collective thought horizon for LMS. Indeed, I can understand why most of the tier 1/tier 2 LMS vendors have failed to provide broad support for mobile (they haven’t lost out on enough revenue yet to offset the high costs of reseaching/developing something entirely new) and why internal teams/learning practitioners have yet to adopt/prove their own mobile strategies yet (there are only a few examples in every industry to point at and say “I want to do what they did!”). Like it or not, the wave of interest from the rapidly expanding user/learner population armed with the latest iPhones, BlackBerrys, Android/WinMo/Symbian-based smartphones and netbooks will soon begin to exert pressure on the platform people to acknowledge and support their mobility requests for anytime/anywhere/any device learning. Perhaps then we’ll start to see mobile becoming more an integral part of every organization’s blended learning strategy.

2. B.J. Schone - November 2, 2009

Thanks, Robert. Great input. I think many people are locked into the “LMS as an internal system/web site” mentality, and they may not even consider options such as mobile when they think of an LMS. I think you’re right: The role of mLearning will definitely continue to grow and these systems should support it. Maybe we should write an addendum to the PDF! 🙂

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