The earliest eLearning course traces its origins to B.F. Skinner, a Harvard Professor, who invented the “teaching machine” in 1954, which enabled schools to administer programmed instruction to their students. In 1960, PLATO — Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations was offered as a computer based training program for students at the University of Illinois. It was only in the late nineties that the terms ‘e-Learning/eLearning’ began to be used in right earnest and we saw interest from both private organizations and educational institutions to use eLearning as a solution to fulfil their training and L&D requirements.
The journey from 1999 to 2010 saw a literal transformation of the industry. From days when courses were created and put out on CDs and DVDs and then handed over to clients; to the unimaginable growth of mobile devices and the beginning of the ‘cloud revolution’ – we have weathered through a lot of storms.
An independent fully functional LMS that can support course-ware designed with any tool is what all institutions prefer as it becomes hassle-free for them. Let us look at the future of the LMS and what changes we can expect in the coming years as course-delivery and consumption shifts more from computers to mobile devices.
It started with responsive design, the changes in ranking algorithms, accelerated mobile pages, Google’s preference for mobile-friendly websites and the decreasing costs of owning a basic fully-functional smartphone. If you use any form of public transport, or if you visit a public place, you will spot people both young and old glued to their phones, with their necks in a perennially crow-like pose bending down to look at their mobile screens. There is no other go – content that is specially created for mobile consumption is where the future lies and we will see dedicated operating system-specific mobile LMSes. The winner will be the one who creates a mobile LMS that will work seamlessly across operating systems!
Well we have been hearing about ‘gamification’ for over a decade now but it is only once in a while that a truly immersive gamification experience is offered in an eLearning course. The way things stand, the LMS will be customized to incorporate gaming elements directly and this is an interesting premise for LMS-designers to work on!
Tailored and Unique Learning Experience
What works brilliantly for Harry may be a damp squib for Hannah!
We are looking at opportunities for learners to customize their learning experience right within the LMS. It could be as simple as a change in the colours on the template of the learning module or a bit more complex in terms of incorporating elements of adaptive learning. Eventually the power to control the pace, structure and assessments in the course will rest with the learner or the course administrator.
The Social LMS
We see Totara Social that has been successfully adopted by numerous organizations around the world. What social learning lets users do is to challenge fellow users in a network to take up courses/assessments. It is like you challenging your friend on Facebook to beat your Candy Crush score. The way things are going on, we won’t be surprised if Facebook comes out with its own LMS that can be deployed at work and will ask users to sign-up with their Facebook credentials!!
Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality
Robotics is something that is still a bit far away in terms of the LMS; but AI and VR definitely have huge potential. Right from Siri, Cortana and Alexa we are seeing AI powering technology that we use to a great extent and an LMS for mass-use with in-built AI-support is a definite reality in the near future.
The Chosen One
As an organization, you should choose an LMS that’s future proof and meets your training requirements. Don’t just look at pricing alone, see the features on offer, customization add-ons and the ever-important support services on offer. Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance on zeroing upon the perfect LMS for your organization.