The Past, Present and Future of the LMS

Posted by Heather Lantz on Oct 2, 2015 3:30:00 PM

Future of LMS in training

The conventional LMS platform administers and delivers information regarding all facets of formal learning and offers proof of completion.  Most LMS software on the market today excels in organizing courses but falls short when it comes to managing many types of content. To circumvent this shortcoming, many companies implement other special-purpose learning platforms together with their core LMS.

What does today’s training look like?

Today’s workforce training is social, mobile, and informal. In a learner-centric environment, it is crucial for information to be tailored to the learner by separating the most current and pertinent material from the irrelevant.  Although L&D professionals understand this concept, their existing LMS doesn’t usually provide for flexible content retrieval.  Workforce planning requires information about employee ability, expertise, and experience to allow HR managers to efficiently dedicate resources based on an individual’s learning needs. It typically takes more than the information in the LMS, and access to all of this information in one place, to expose the complete picture. 


What are you missing with LMS?


Content Library and Document Remixing- Most LMS platforms don’t allow for easy grouping and ungrouping of content.  Easy customization creates new combinations of curated material specifically tailored to the requirements of the learner and lets employees easily reference and use their manual or learning aid in the moment of need.


Secure Mobile Delivery- A mobile delivery system for an LMS is typically unencrypted. Without DRM, any user or person with ID access can download and disperse material freely.


Mobile App- In many cases the LMS only provides access to the browser-based material.  Mobile access is extremely important in an environment where learning is growing more and more informal and mobile.


Notes and Highlighting- While they provide documents in their original file formats, most LMS platforms don’t allow for a further personalization of the learning experience with features for taking notes, highlighting, or searching.


Have we evolved past LMS?


Currently, traditional LMS’s must be used with other platforms to keep up with today’s training needs. The future of LMS is still emerging, but we know that LMS platforms are evolving to include more features for easily managing content.  Any LMS purchased today should be equipped for a dynamic, learner-centric environment.   A system to evaluate and assess the process of learning should be as nuanced as the learning itself.


What’s right for your business? 


To answer this, we must ask: how expansive are your company’s tracking needs?  Do you use regulatory compliance requirements or have company-instated compliance needs? How will learning managers administer content? Is administration of learning technologies centralized or is it distributed throughout all departments?  What other technologies do you use?  How well are you adapting to emerging technologies?


There are hundreds of LMS vendors on the market today and it can be difficult to differentiate between all the options, but a sense of the needs of your company is invaluable during the selection process.  Learning management shouldn’t be limited to software conventions that are nearly 20 years old. 


Topics: Corporate Learning

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