Learning, regardless of how and where it occurs, has forever changed. The days of leafing through binders and listening to a lecture as the instructor clicks through a slide deck have been replaced with interactive eLearning platforms that can be consumed from a computer, with a laptop, or through a tablet or smartphone. Not only are we learning in a new way, but we’re also learning from a new place— a learning management system (LMS).
Learning and Learning Management Systems: The Early Years
Companies began to use learning management systems to train employees in the ‘90s. The first LMSs were developed on higher education online learning platforms with teacher-led courses and defined class modules.
The initial versions of the LMS were primarily used to track employee training and compliance, usually done by HR and L&D professionals. During this early stage of eLearning, employees learned from pre-recorded lectures and CD-ROMs followed by assessments upon their completion of the courses. Everything was done manually— grading exams, recording results, generating reports, creating certificates, mailing certificates, and so on. Over time, this practice adapted to the increasingly digital world.
Learning and Learning Management Systems: What They Look Like Now
With the rise of the internet, the nature of learning went through a radical transformation. These days, it is not just enough to offer quality content to your learners; the content should also be engaging, adaptive, and offer an overall positive user experience. There’s no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to learning and in fact, the opposite is necessary: deliver education or training in a way that is tailored to each learner, making learning more personalized.
This need for personalization and adaptive learning has paved the way for the learning management systems that we have now. In the association space, for example, a robust association LMS provides interactive learning environments to learners, has built-in course and assessment authoring features, and offers comprehensive reporting functionality so associations can better understand their members and make data-driven decisions.
Future of Learning and Learning Management Systems
While the internet prompted the nature of learning to be personalized and learning management systems to be adaptive, the ubiquity of mobile devices and smartphones created an extra layer of need: mobile learning. Modern society now consumes 90% of the world’s information through their smartphones and tablets, and learners are doing the same.
Learning management systems with stellar mobile capabilities will become the best of breed for years to come. For associations, offering content on-the-go and offline access will ensure learning occurs where your learners are. Mobile versions of LMSes will become more and more popular, so will other platforms needed to manage a large member base.
Find out what other software for associations are out there and which platforms you should consider.