History of Learning Management System

Category: Learning Management Software

lmsFor companies with a strong focus on providing staff training and professional development, adopting a learning management system can be a very good idea. This is true for for staffing agencies, enterprise firms and extension schools. If you study the history of learning management system it’s easy to see that such services provide a solid digital framework and a way to manage course content, curricula, evaluation tools, and training materials in a very easy and effective way.

A quick comparison of the history of learning management systems through the years show that the impact of using such a system can be felt mostly not in the so-called traditional educational institutions, but in the fields outside these institutions. However, the same technology can be seen finding its way into these entities.

But really, how do you best describe a learning management system? What is a learning a management system? In truth, there is no hard-and-fast definition and description of what constitutes a learning management system. There are a number of features that are common among systems, but the full capacities of a system will have to depend between the intended users and organizations.

However, based on a review of the history of learning management systems, here are the most common elements of such systems:

  • The ability to create, upload, as well as manage course or curriculum content
  • The ability to create waiting lists, class rosters, and class registration
  • The ability to provide course or curriculum content using a Web-based interface, allowing remote educational experience between the student and the instructor
  • The ability to produce and publish course schedules and calendars
  • The ability to communicate with students using email, forums, instant messaging, among other functionalities
  • The ability to provide methods for testing and assessments, such as quizzes or exams

In the business or corporate training setting, learning management systems typically have some additional features that cater to the needs of the field:

  • Automatic enrolment as well as capacity to send out reminders for courses, especially the mandatory ones
  • Manager access to approve materials and allow participation
  • HR integration to tack performance objectives, employment eligibility, and course completions

Advantages of using a learning management system

The objective of using a learning management system is basically to add another form of efficiency to a group or organization as well as the growth of its team members or employees. Such a system can help effectively create a learning environment that allows employees to pick courses they are interested in and the management can also track potential work improvements based on course history. Generally, the learning management system helps a group or organization to:

  • Become more effective in learning management. Learning activities and opportunities are in effect housed in just one location, thus reducing the costs and at the same time producing greater visibility for more opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Become better in compliance reporting. A learning management system allows the tracking of courses the employees are taking as well as the scores they will be receiving, helping the management to become more focused in training and look for the need for certifications.
  • Combine formal and social learning to increase overall value. Learning as well as learning retention becomes accelerated with the help of an integrated method of study using the Internet, allowing the company employees to study generally at their own pace.
  • More empowered administration. The company management with the help of a learning management system will be more informed of the courses or learning the employees are participating in and the topics that they need to provide greater focus on to have more effective and well-rounded employees.
  • Improve the delivery of content. Course instructors can prepare and present quality courses more easily, providing better learning opportunities for participants in the courses.
Read more:  Top LMS Training Software Selection Prepared By Our Experts

History of learning management system

Learning management systems weren’t always flashy and sophisticated.

Learning management systems weren’t always flashy and sophisticated.

The use of computers as an educational aid is not exactly a new concept, although the existence and popularity of learning management systems is definitely much younger. In the early days of individualized and electronic instruction, the terms computer-assisted learning (CAL), computer-assisted instruction (CAI), and computer-based instruction (CBI) were popular. Early forms of computer-based education entailed drill-and-practice programs, computerized curriculum, and little development when it comes to course library and tracking standpoint.

As software development became more advanced, the capacity to implement an effective content management system to integrate and manage courses led to the development of the learning management system which we know now. Learning management systems offers functionalities apart from mere instructional content, such as system integration, more personalized instruction, and management and tracking.

In today’s setting, modern learning management systems are quite sophisticated and accessible on the Internet. It did not however start that way.

The first learning management system was created and used in 1924, invented by Sidney Pressey. Pressey’s machine, regarded as the first teaching machine, resembled a typewriter that has window that could ask questions with multiple-choice answers. Five years later, inventor M.E. Lazerte created the problem cylinder.

In 1956, the invention of an adaptive teaching system came out with questions that were adjusted automatically for learners depending on their performing level.

The evolutionary history of learning management systems has been closely tied to and largely spurred by the massive developments in digital technology and the birth of the Internet.

The entire field of learning management systems had a radical development when the first ever desktop personal computer was introduced by HP in 1970.

The birth of the Internet more than a decade later and the creation of the first ever learning management system software program by SoftArc in 1990 led to the massive changes in learning management systems.

Today, a lot of learning management systems offers a lot of features, sophisticated, and accessible on the internet. Some even offer free or demo versions to give organizations an idea of their features.

Needless to say, every milestone in the history of learning management systems has been marked by a technological development that rapidly brought forth knowledge transfer as well as independent learning.

For more information on the history of online learning, check out Moodle’s online learning history. eLearning Industry lists the 20 best learning management systems today.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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