Magazine article Talent Development

What's Next for the LMS? A Recent Study Gauges the Industry's Thoughts on Learning Management Systems

Magazine article Talent Development

What's Next for the LMS? A Recent Study Gauges the Industry's Thoughts on Learning Management Systems

Article excerpt

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Enthusiasm about the learning management system (LMS) has mostly died since its heyday decades ago. So what do learning professionals think about the LMS in 2011, and what does the future hold? Human performance software and services provider Expertus set out to answer those questions in its recent survey, "The Current and Future State of Learning Management Systems."

"People think that the LMS does a good job today for what it was originally intended to do when it was created 20 years ago--that is, to track training," says Gordon Johnson, vice president of marketing at Expertus. "Unfortunately, people aren't using it for that anymore. They expect it to be the solution to their learning problems."

Fifty-five percent of survey respondents graded their level of satisfaction with their LMS an A or B, and 45 percent gave their LMS a C, D, or F rating--with an overall LMS satisfaction of a B- average. Respondents identified usability as the top challenge when using their LMS, followed by reporting and integration. Surveyed learning professionals also ranked usability as the number one challenge for their learners, with 26 percent of respondents agreeing that their learners have difficulty with general LMS functionality.

According to Johnson, the LMS was not designed to be customer-facing, but now that learning is becoming more user-centered and self-service-oriented, more learners are accessing the LMS themselves and are having difficulty doing so.

Respondents identified personalized learning plans as the most popular advanced feature of the LMS, with 62 percent currently using them, and 44 percent citing them as the most essential feature for the future LMS. "Learning professionals want their employees to follow a learning plan that adjusts based on how company structure, employee needs, and job roles change," Johnson explains. …

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