The Near Future of Learning Automation: The Smart LMS

If you were born after 1970, you might not even remember a day in your working life when the learning management system (LMS) did not exist. Early iterations of the LMS first started appearing in the 1970s to support a truly disruptive innovation that we now call “e-learning.” Since then, these two learning tools have grown up together, each evolving as the other pushed the envelope a bit further, creating an iterative path to innovation. 

As LMS technology made things easier to do, instructional designers found ways to use its features to enhance the learning experience. When instructional designers demanded more of the LMS, providers found a way to deliver better video support, new ways of tracking learning experiences, and a wider array of features to engage learners. Yet this cozy relationship has been producing diminishing returns for years. According to a 2016 Brandon Hall study, most training professionals only rate their current LMS slightly higher than 50 on a scale of 100. As I recall, a score of 51 out of 100 would have warranted a failing grade on my report card. 

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