The Future of the LMS

There has been a lot of talk lately about the changing role of the LMS as new instructional strategies and learning models emerge. From e-Literate to Inside Higher Ed posts, the industry is taking note of the fact that the traditional LMS just doesn’t account for the customized, student-centered direction that higher ed is heading.

According to a new report, “The Current Ecosystem of Learning Management Systems in Higher Education” published by EDUCAUSE, students and faculty want the LMS to have enhanced features and operational functions; be personalized; and use analytics to enhance learning outcomes.

We couldn’t agree more. A personalized learning experience supported by big data is key, and while we know it is no small task, we think it should be core to every student learning experience at every college and university.

EDUCAUSE and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are spearheading a new initiative to better understand where shortcomings are in the traditional LMS – a movement to “re-imagine” the LMS, noting that learning environments in colleges and universities are constrained today by systems that were not designed for broad integration, flexibility, or personalization.

EDUCAUSE reports that 46 percent of students said the features needed to improve, and 69 percent said they would be interested in a feature that supports them in reaching their personal educational goals.

With the average institution’s learning management system being eight years old, it’s time for a change. When put into perspective, eight years can seem like a lifetime from a technology perspective. Evolving student demands and needs are driving a transformative shift in higher ed for personalized, more meaningful learning experiences, and we believe the future of the LMS must follow suit.

Cherron Hoppes

Cherron is the Chief Academic Officer at Helix Education. She holds a doctorate of education (Ed.D.) from The University of Alabama with a specialization in higher education administration.