What the History of Learning Management Systems Tells Us About the Future

What the History of Learning Management Systems Tells Us About the Future

The learning management system as we know it has existed for nearly three decades at this point, but its roots go back much further than that. With this long history of software development intertwined with employee learning and training, there have been a few changes here and there. However, if we take a look back at some of the biggest changes in the history of learning management systems, we have a pretty clear idea of where we’re headed going into the future.

The early years when admins reigned

When looking back through LMS history, the most familiar pieces of software don’t appear until the 1990s. Learning systems and machines go back much further than that, but the advent of the virtual learning environment was really the start of where we are today. Connecting these VLE systems to the internet redefined learning for large organizations, businesses, and education groups. Features were barely comparable to what they are now, but the focus was on providing content and making sure that it was completed from beginning to end.

These systems dominated before available technology had enough bandwidth to do more than cater to managers and admins. The shareable content object reference model, or SCORM, was born from this imbalance of power. This former industry standard still exists today with modules made for admins to checkboxes to say, ‘this has been done.’ Learners were not involved much in this equation at this point, but, this history of LMS is far from over.

Technology advancement brings learners to the front

As computers gained more processing ability and access to the cloud became more common, the modern learning management system took off. Learning management system features and benefits became defining factors of which LMS platforms to choose from. The ability to take learning on-the-go with new mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops allowed learners to choose when and where they take their training lessons.

Built into the history of learning management systems is the ability for admins to show that training has been done. For compliance or other reasons, this was absolutely critical in the early stages, but it lead to learners being thought of second. The rise of the modern learning management systems allowed for learners to actually enjoy their lessons with multimedia options and tracking capabilities.

Learning automation is the future

So where is LMS learning headed? Automation. There are plenty steps within the learning workflow that can be automated thanks to today and tomorrow’s technology advancements. If a learner is added to an organization’s team, they can immediately receive an email with their onboarding lesson. Lessons can be cued up so that overachieving employees can move onto their next training lesson after gliding through their first one. Going forward, conducting any LMS comparison for your business will include automation features on the RFP.

Sound too good to be true? All of the automation features mentioned in this article are offered by Lessonly. We’re a learner-first, learning automation system with more features being added every day. We believe that if the learner enjoys their time in lessons, the entire organization benefits.

Ready to see what the future of learning management systems looks like? Take a tour of Lessonly.

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