Last updated: 30.11.17

Ask the expert: should we call the LMS an iLMS?

David Patterson, lead e-learning consultant at Learning Light, recently wrote 3 articles with Virtual College on the evolution of the LMS, specifically where it will be in 5 years’ time, 3 things expected to change it forever and how it might utilize Chatbots in the future..

Below, David delves deeper and talks us through his predictions for what the future of the LMS might hold:

What should we call the LMS going forward?

While there is continuous debate about what the next term for the LMS should be, for me it should be ‘the iLMS’. I also like the phrase ‘Nextgen LMS’ and ‘LXP’ is another term that I have used, as it reflects on the idea of the ‘Learning Experience Platform’ with a nod to the xAPI protocol which is pretty cool. Craig Weiss is keen on the term ‘Learning Engagement Platform.’ As he rightly says, engagement is king – he also notes that content is queen!

As far as a final analysis goes the term itself is important, but not crucial. The point that matters here is the fact that there is a bright future for LMS… all 1,000 of them. It is a vibrant swirling market and, as an industry, the term ‘LMS’ still has a lot of traction – we should not ignore that.

Let’s be honest, the LMS has done a pretty good job in evolving since it first arrived on the learning scene in the 1990s and I see no reason why it cannot continue to evolve and innovate itself to stay relevant. On this basis I would argue the ‘iLMS’ is a reasonably good term to use to keep the product current. As of yet, nobody has trademarked it.

Why the ‘iLMS’?

Firstly the ‘i’ gives the LMS a new mobile enabled notion… no prizes for guessing where that came from. It would also highlight the following three attributes that are driving the LMS forward:

“i” for integration

LMS are integrating on many levels. The xAPI protocol is an integration (admittedly via an LRS) along with CMi5. But to move on from making clever technical points (I could of course include LTI here as well) to the broader point that the LMS is being integrated into the corporate tech-stack like never before. LMS are integrating into the CRM systems of many organisations; supporting the whole extended enterprise model for many organisations and even franchise businesses. In some ways LMS are disappearing into the stack and are increasingly becoming part of the corporate day to day, as the very nature of learning requirements becomes immediate.

“i” for intuitive

The LMS (in part due to integration, but also due to a huge focus on the UI and UX design) has made learning very easy and intuitive. ‘The Cloud’ has offered immediacy of access and has increasingly improved search features, allowing learners to find what they want and need easily. The ease of use does not stop there. Increasingly, LMS are becoming easier and easier to administer and operate. Smart work flows helps and supports learners, line managers and even entire L&D departments to intuitively understand what is going on in their organisation.

“i” for intelligent

The intelligent LMS will harness AI to become an interactive learning environment – providing learning at the point of need and using analytics. In addition, Chatbots will allow for questions and answers to be codified and captured in seconds. Once Chatbots and LMS are successfully combined, it could unlock endless possibilities.

Virtual College’s Enable LMS is an easy-to-use cloud based Learning Management System, which can completely transform how your organisation provides training and development. To find out more, click here.

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