Future of LMS: 7 Expert Predictions for 2019

Learning management systems (LMS) help companies provide onboarding and training for their employees while saving time and expense. The tools are also popular in the education sector; teachers use LMS solutions to assist students in classroom learning. The LMS market has been growing rapidly in the last several years, and revenue is predicted to grow to $15.7 billion by 2021. 

In 2017, we published an LMS infographic that details four key trends driving LMS growth. Those trends include gamification, mobile learning, microlearning and video learning.

So, what are the new LMS trends going into 2019? We’ve asked seven industry experts to weigh in on the question.

Adapting to a Multi-channel Learning Style

2019 will see Millennials becoming an ever-growing slice of the workforce “pie.” And, not only will we see a younger, yet much more tech-savvy group entering the job market, but the current workforce will continue to favor more immediate learning results. With that shift the landscape is rapidly changing how admins will curate content to better engage with learners. There will be a reluctance to commit to a 90-minute course or a “page-turner” case study in favor of learning objects that are “snack-sized.”

The successful CLO or L&D admin will likely find that the user-directed content libraries are more often utilized to solve acute learning necessities that function more like “in-the-job” training than traditional instructor-led training. Of course, the evergreen challenge from a financial perspective will be providing a practical ROI on this non-traditional learning environment. 2019 will be a year that superior reporting helps to prove that ROI wins the day and ultimately shapes culture within an organization to feature lifelong learning.

Jerry Cox
Brainier Solutions

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Transforms L&D From a Commodity to a Competitive Advantage

AI now plays a part in many facets of our lives. Whether it’s virtual assistants giving you weather and news updates when you roll out of bed in the morning or having a new TV series or movie suggested to based on past viewing habits by an invisible algorithm, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is more ingrained in our lives than we might give it credit for. But, pigeonholing AI as a tool that merely suggests content is a shallow interpretation of the technology’s potential. AI makes learning personal. It makes learning relevant, with insights based on data, on user behavior and on preferences – not simply what others “liked.” AI changes enterprise learning’s status-quo with an incredible ability to deliver automated and truly personalized learning (at scale) to completely change the way people learn…for the better.

And while we might only be scratching the surface in AI-powered enterprise learning, we will soon live in a world where learning is powered by sets of specialized algorithms (each responsible for a different task, such as analyzing/reading content, extracting video “pills” and re-aggregating them into courses based on various learning preferences and styles), that will exponentially improve the personalization of learning. In fact, it’s an absolute certainty that AI will not only produce a learning platform capable of delivering personalized learning environments with content that adapts as necessary (on its own) but is actually created based on the individual needs to vastly improve the quality of L&D in ways you can’t even imagine yet. AI’s ability to aggregate and curate internally and externally produced content, while relieving L&D admins from menial tasks, brings real smarts to enterprise learning in a way that transforms it from a commodity to your organization’s competitive advantage.

Claudio Erba

Artificial Intelligence Will Have A Big Impact in Learning Management Systems

It may be a buzzword right now, but AI really is set to start having an impact in the LMS space. By automatically evaluating a learner’s understanding of a concept, and adjusting their learning pathway to suit that level of understanding, AI can ensure that concepts are skipped when they are fully grasped by the learner, or further developed when not. It’s an automated version of what a great teacher does – evaluating the mastery level of each individual and giving them relevant content based on that. This is powerful because it ensures that all learners reach a strong level of understanding, without having to all learn at the same pace.

Initially, AI will only be available to large corporate companies as it’s so expensive right now. It really is at a stage of custom development, where algorithms have to be developed specific to the business in question. In 2019, I think we’ll see some great AI-based LMS case studies from larger corporates, which will start feeding down into smaller businesses in 2020 and beyond, as the tech finds ways to scale.

Jude Novak
Founder and Chief Product Officer

Adaptive Learning: Getting Ready For Adult Learner Tidal Wave

At Edvance360, we’re always looking to push the proverbial envelope to make technology facilitate the many types of learning and ways people learn. To that end, we see 2019 and really the next several years focusing on Adaptive Learning. This will affect everything from how learners enroll in courses (e.g. can they skip the 101 class since they are already a certain level of an expert?) to how courses are built (e.g. if they answer questions correctly in a pre-test they can skip lessons that cover those topics or if they fail questions in a post-test they might repeat those lessons). The coming tsunami of adult learners is going to force everyone – Higher Ed and Corporate Training Programs alike – to treat them as individuals with diverse backgrounds and learning paths, levels of already-acquired expertise and real-life experience, as well as the need to balance their learning goals with real life demands.

Catherine Garland
Vice President

Learning Management Software will focus on user engagement and experience  

In 2019, businesses will be moving toward LXPs (Learning Experience Platforms). An LXP is similar to an LMS, but is focused on learner engagement and experience, and not solely on information delivery. Traditional Learning Management Software vendors will have to incorporate experiential learning tools into their platforms to rise to the competition.

Learning Management Software will have more engaging features, such as personalized learning, personal coaching and support, social learning, and gamification.

Edan Kertis
Founder and CEO

Practicing What We Teach

When it comes to professional development, more and more educators are seeing a disconnect between how they teach students and how they learn as adults.  And for the second year in a row, Schoology’s annual Global State of Digital Learning Survey revealed that the number one challenge facing school administrators is “providing relevant and effective professional development.”  Not a new challenge by any means, the area of effective professional learning remains a struggle as districts and leaders try to find better — and innovative — ways to support ongoing teacher growth.

The expanding instructional focus on personalized learning, hybrid approaches, and coaching models will likely gain more steam for professional learning in the coming year. Expect to see growth in blended models for professional learning that will both maximize time and provide flexibility in the way resources and materials are shared.  In addition, more and more PD leaders will look to model the concepts of “voice and choice” (evident in personalized learning) in the way they structure and provide opportunities for teachers. Finally, while the research on instructional coaching leaves little doubt about the impact an effective coach has on teacher practice, many districts have difficulty with staffing and release time.  We should expect to see more and more district leaders exploring digital facets of the coaching model to better leverage both personnel and observational opportunities.

Kellie Ady
Director of Instructional Strategy

Training will be at the core of business in 2019

We’ve seen a lot of studies come out this year indicating that career growth and development is still top of mind for employees. Sometimes, even above financial benefits. People are choosing their employer for training opportunities.

With the future of work changing relentlessly, this makes sense.  We predict that in 2019, smaller and smaller companies will start to implement formal training strategies. A learning culture will no longer be the privilege of Fortune 500 companies. It’ll be an affordable and necessary core business process for companies of all sizes who want to compete in the 21st century.

I like to think of it in this way. If someone started a business today, it wouldn’t be out of order for “learning strategy” to be part of that first business plan.

Thanos Papangelis

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