LMS Innovation

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I came across LMS Innovation: One Simple Question from Ramesh Ramani, Founder and CEO of Expertus. It was a thought provoking blog and wanted to share my response.

I agree learner centered design is the key. It is more about legacy thinking than legacy design. LMS providers (Learning Management Systems) can innovate by adopting an “open” learning philosophy and providing actionable learning analysis. Here are my thoughts…


  • Operate in the paradigm that a learner should never again have to log into the LMS. Content should be accessed through the systems and tools they use daily. For example, when in Salesforce.com, learning related material appears for the sales process. Though it may be housed in an LMS/LCMS, the learner never knows it.

  • Make content available to search outside the LMS platform. For example, when searching from a browser, related LMS/LCMS content appears (Similar to Evernote).

  • Embrace informal learning outside the LMS. For example, capture and contribute to experiences where people are already interacting (e.g. Yammer and Jive) instead of expecting the use of social learning tools inside the LMS.

  • Aggregate results from formal and informal experiences into the LMS wherever they happen. For example, include results from courses taken from outside vendors like Lynda.com.

  • Move beyond reporting test scores and completions by providing actionable analysis within the LMS. For example, help people answer questions like what path through learning did top performers take vs. lower performers, or who is in danger of failing if no intervention is offered?

The legacy design issue can be minimized by adopting the Experience API (xAPI) learning technology standard and including a Learning Record Store (LRS) with the LMS. This enables open learning and the opportunity to provide L&D with actionable analysis for all forms of learning (beyond the LMS). The bigger challenge for LMS companies is changing their legacy approach to innovation.

What can LMS companies do to innovate? Take a moment to answer Ramesh’s question.