The Future of Learning Management Systems

July 16, 2008

In the last 10 years Learning management systems (LMS) have been evolved from the simple lesson sequencing systems to the more technically sophisticated system which have added many features, such as: assessment engines, messaging capabilities, course catalogues, registration facilities, competency management, communications tools, polling and questionnaires, e-commerce, individual learning plans, personalization according to user profiles, libraries, multiple languages and reporting engines.

Moreover, there are a number of significant innovations in learning managements systems on the horizon, including adaptation and personalization, automatic generation of motivational messages, facilitation of learner control of learning, collaboration between participants, use of 2D and 3D virtual environments, service-oriented architecture which provides integration with other enterprise systems.

It appears that our real-life manner of learning is at odds with the design and implementations of most LMS. Most of the existing LMSs are designed to support learning in multiple domains. It makes LMS useful in higher education, but learning within such LMS is not effective in all domains. For example, engineers’ education usually implies using of domain specific tools, like AutoCAD, programming environment, Use Case tools, etc. Using of these tools is necessary and very effective. However, existing LMS doesn’t provide an easy way to integrate those tools. It can be used separately, but information derived from one tool could be very useful in other tool. Possibility to integrate domain specific tools in the existing LMS could be a future direction of the development of LMS. This can make it very useful and more effective in multiple domains.

Moreover, students have their habits for using different tools for collaboration, communication, blogging, etc. Most of the existing LMS are strongly structured tools, with limited extensibility, that put demands on students to change their habits and use other tools, which sometimes they dislike. They waste their time for learning how to use these tools and to accommodate on using it. It would be great if LMS could be extended with whatever tool student likes to use.

It is time for LMS to stop being the conveyor of the one-size-fit-all system of education which may have been appropriate in the industrial era and allow learners to engage in the type of learning that they need in order to become competitive in the work place of the future.



  1. Good blog.

  2. Congratulations for getting your blog going; I found my way here and read your first two entries. I’m keeping a watchful eye on the future of learning management systems so I found your entry worthwhile. I’ll keep watching.

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