People who ask the question “what is the future of learning management system?” may seem confused at first, seeing how the LMS industry has been thriving in the recent couple of years. There is definitely a market for services that offer solid training, reliable talent management and efficient organizational development.
But a comparison of the future of learning management system indicators show that that learning management system field might need to review its position, features, and how it is innovating in a quickly-evolving world. In order for the future of learning management system to be bright, changes in the industry should be expected. New players are expected to come in the industry, along with new consumers with changing habits as well the rise of more web-based and complicated technologies.
What are the challenges that might affect the future of learning management system in general?
The main issue concerning traditional learning management tools is the seeming conflict between its centralized, bulky, and complicated platforms and the shift towards mobile platforms, social media, and the easy and user-friendly features in platforms that are more flexible. A learning management system tool of today will be affected by the rise of alternatives that are simpler to use, more efficient, and in some cases, even free.
Businesses are quickly transferring to websites that are more mobile friendly, offer demo versions, and integrating function-driven and simplistic user designs. These websites are adaptable, more flexible, customizable to meet the needs of a business whether they are small organizations or large enterprise companies, and allow you to reduce fixed costs that are usually associated with traditional learning management systems. In short, employers need a platform that is tailored to their needs and budget, things that are not the strongest suit of the biggest learning management systems of today.
Based on our review of future learning management system indicators, one important issue against the current learning management systems is the replicable, cheap, and accessible nature inherent to information available on the Internet. Typically, learning management systems are formal as well as registered learning programs. They are usually inaccessible to others who prefer not to pay for the whole suit of options the system provides. This inaccessibility serves as a barrier from the potential customers of the system, leading to the opening of the door for other competing products.
Tomorrow’s learning management systems will be more known for their quick, malleable, and cost-efficient design that will make information quickly accessible on the Internet, whenever wherever. Users will be given maximum experience, and the system will be available to various devices, including mobile phones, in multiple settings. The coursework material will become more targeted, and in fact can even be custom-created by the company using the platform of the provider. In turn, learning and development will become more efficient and customized for the business.
The current trends to veer away from academic and more formal learning will continue, and will continue to focus more primarily on the real-world problems of the business, as well as the skills needed to sustain and even improve the operations of the business.
Generally, “Web 2.0” is the catch-tall term for the new and exciting phenomenon in the Internet experience. It is an adaptation of websites as well as online programs to improve the usability of the content on the Internet. Instead of merely posting static web pages reminiscent of the early years of Internet, “Web 2.0” is envisioned by designers to allow people to relate better with the content through interaction, to collaborate and communicate with others who are accessible on the Internet, and to share material that is user-created.
However, learning management systems are regarded in the online development circles as poorly prepared to meet the demands of today’s “Web 2.0” environment. Learning management systems have paved the way for people and organizations to learn new things in an Internet setting. However, “Web. 2.0” could usher the way for the same constituents to use and adapt the best applications as well as communication networks for their specific needs.
In today’s “Web 2.0” setting, template applications can be designed by developers, who can also educate the users on how to use the applications and also teach other users. Instead of requiring the programmers to build unique and interrelated applications for individual sites, programs can be more shared through various sites. It is not far-fetched: for instance, Google’s OpenSocial platform now has programs that are shared through multiple sites. This drastically reduces the need for designers to endlessly write tedious codes. In addition, it is much more entertaining and interactive for the learner or employee.
This trend is happening not only for learning management systems but even for traditional education as well. Today’s learning management systems that ask users or learners to buy “seats” or slots for classes can be considered swimming against the tide.
People and organizations nowadays prefer to download the training material they want to have or needed for their business whenever and wherever they need it, and not as a component of a suite of the system’s options. When needed, companies will prefer having unique training for their teams or staff at a low cost. Right now, today’s learning management systems are unable to meet these changing needs. In addition, today’s systems are seriously lagging when it comes to interactive social learning.
So, should we say goodbye to the learning management systems? It is really too early to tell. Learning management systems are fantastic educational resource platforms, and they have the right mix to succeed in the future. What the industry needs is to become more flexible and dynamic to meet the needs of a changing, interactive, and modern market.
To know more about this issue, check out ResearchGate’s “Learning Management Systems: Current Trends and Future Directions”. EdTechReview also gives us more points to ponder on regarding the key trends for learning management systems in the coming years.
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