In just a few years’ time, the next generation of the LMS will replace the current version as we know it. The next LMS could have the ability to proactively seek out content itself from across the internet and gather it for e-learning purposes. Using its automated curation algorithms, it will be able to evaluate and select relevant content which meets the specific needs of any given organisation. The LMS could then deliver and report on all genres of learning including augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality etc. For all of this to be possible, the next LMS would just need to be tightly integrated within the organisation’s tech stack – with access to its marketing data or CRM, transaction patterns, data, ERP and its HRIS.
Below we explore the three main changes, some of which are already happening now, that are expected to have the biggest impact on future versions of the LMS:
In future, we expect that the LMS could utilize OER (open education resources) such as videos and academic publications, white papers, websites and more. The new LMS would then interrogate, select and evaluate existing courses quickly and easily – then make them available to individuals based on a particular employee’s job roles, existing level of compliance and other needs. The LMS would be able to measure these needs against learner profiles, organisational performance and strategy – then it would distribute the vast amounts of data it has been storing and gathering in the organisation’s data repositories and assign these to learners or groups.
The LMS is expected to use both Machine Learning and AI in learner centric ways, by understanding their needs and preferences and aligning them to a specific organisation’s unique requirements. In preparing for AI led learning, it is essential to integrate the LMS with the organisation’s tech stack. This is essential and has already started in certain circles. Eventually, the LMS is expected to transform itself from a standalone learning environment to become a crucial part of an organisation’s digital architecture. Open APIs are already allowing an LMS to integrate with CRM, HRIS and TAS systems. ‘The Cloud’ is also helping to make this possible. Today, having an LMS, or knowledge bank, is fundamental to the architecture of a modern business.
Once SCORM has been replaced by xAPI, learning interactions and consumption will be recorded in much greater depth and detail. As learner progress is recorded, algorithms will quickly provide suggestions and directions as to which courses should be attempted next. The LMS will then provide suggestions as to how to close learning gaps – based on data it pulls from test scores, attendance as well as submission of work and completed assignments. Incorporating other aspects within the LMS, for example GPS location tracking, could allow for this predictive learning to be generated with much more accuracy. Individual learner performance, preference and feedback will add value to this search and curate a stronger algorithm. Consumption patterns of learning, coupled with the smart assessment and subsequent performance changes, will be used to refine the learning curation and the assignment algorithms.
The LMS, or any future version of an LMS, is likely to be a lot more people focussed – allowing learners to access relevant suggested learning opportunities whilst allowing organisations to analyse and quantify the effect of learning.