Learning management systems (LMSs) have helped streamline the process of ongoing education and training. Many types of organizations can implement an LMS.
Businesses are implementing LMS solutions for training purposes, and schools are adopting them for online learning. LMS software has become more common in a range of environments.
2017 LMS Trends
As more learners engage with these solutions, vendors are constantly offering new features.
Gamification and Mobility
Modern LMS solutions are built in the cloud so learners and instructors can easily collaborate. Learners can also engage with course material from anywhere on any device. For lessons requiring instructors, online courses give teachers a variety of tools such as video streaming, discussion boards and shared calendars for setting up in-person meetings.
One downside that comes with increased accessibility is that learners must be more self-driven to complete lessons. Developers are turning toward gamification techniques to engage learners who may otherwise feel unmotivated without an instructor. These new features incorporate social learning, which motivates learners through scoreboards and head-to-head competitions.
Employee certifications are necessary for some businesses. LMS solutions help reduce the costs associated with certifications and they streamline the process in several ways.
When it comes to the content of certification courses, LMS vendors either develop their own content themselves or they import specialized content from third-party lesson creators. Organizations can also develop their own SCORM certified content and import it into the LMS to ensure that employees are trained according to regulations. Many solutions incorporate trigger alerts for when certifications will expire so employees can enroll before it’s too late and businesses can avoid penalties.
People analytics is a method of collecting data to better determine performance trends, and solutions such as LMS software are adapting their tools to handle this range of data. Employee performance evaluations are no longer limited to yearly reviews when data is analyzed more frequently. The same goes for learners in educational settings, where a final grade often isn’t enough information to asses the student’s overall performance.
People analytics help businesses determine which metrics impact the bottom line. As organizations adopt LMSs to strategize better training programs, they can also close skill gaps to give the highest performers an opportunity to grow within the company.
LMS solutions for schools are also adopting tools that empower instructors with more data. Both real-time and periodic assessments offer instructors insight into keeping learners engaged.
3 LMS Vendors to Watch
As LMS solutions continue to evolve for next-generation learners, we’ve chosen three top LMS vendors to watch in 2017.
Date Founded: 1999
Location: Los Angeles, California
What’s unique: Cogentys is a compliance-focused LMS solution. Content in Cogentys is determined through a consultation discussing the types of certifications employees need, but businesses can also create their own lessons using a third-party solution. When certifications must be updated, employees receive alerts to recertify so the business stays in compliance.
Date Founded: 1998
Location: Bellevue, Washington
What’s unique: Knowledge Anywhere is a fully cloud-based LMS built for next-generation learners in all kinds of job functions. It offers organizations a way to train employees for custom career paths. Administrator tools are dynamic, and include unique features for setting up paths so learners can auto enroll into each lesson after another. Knowledge Anywhere has a course builder for administrators to construct their own courses, and the solution supports blended learning for scheduling in-person courses.
3. Canvas LMS
Date Founded: 2008
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
What’s unique: Canvas is a best fit for K-12 learning and higher education. What makes it unique is the variety of tools available for testing students to identify how and when knowledge is lost. Canvas calls this “lossless learning” because the goal is for learners to retain what they’ve learned through frequent touch points. Tools, such as polling, go beyond typical tests and quizzes to pinpoint problems with lessons so that educators can improve a course each time it’s taught.