Next Generation Learning Management Systems (NGLMS)

Learning Management System

A learning management system (LMS) is a collaborative platform used to manage online learning through the use of a software application that is used to administer, document, track and deliver coursework.

Flexible, adaptable “system”/environment, which like legos or building blocks can be reconfigured or remixed as learners progress and as instructional or institutional needs change.




1) a set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole, in particular.

2) a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method.

NGLMS should move away from the second definition of a fixed set of principles and towards the first definition of a set of connected parts that form a complex whole.

Challenges In Today’s LMS Model
“The 2017 Higher Education Expert Panel observed that LMS are owned by companies that tightly control their platforms, making it difficult to expand the feature sets and integrate external resources in ways that best align with evolving institutional needs and pedagogies.” (NMC Horizon Report, 2017)
“Technology doesn’t simply enable new practices; it shapes, limits, steers our practices, and then — and this is key -- even when the technology changes, those practices often endure. Now, with computers, these practices become “hard coded.” They become part of the infrastructure.” (Watters, 2014)
Institutional Context: Higher Education

It's the year 2027 and higher education is now free at all public universities and colleges. Our institution is a mid-sized, public university that offers online, blended, and face-to-face courses. It is currently in the process of adopting a new LMS to better fit diverse instructional and learner needs.

Needs Assessment
Interoperability & Integration
“Rather than existing as single applications, they are a confederation of IT systems and application components that adhere to common standards …that would enable diversity while fostering coherence.” (NMC Horizon Report, 2017)

Information needs to be exchanged, transferred, and utilized while being quick and easy to utilize the tools in throughout the organization. Google Apps and Social Media both have quick and easy integration into other platforms. Google has one log in for a plethora of educational tools, all of which work together.

Faculty must be able to piece together their personalized learning management system without worrying whether or not their tools will share data.

The learning environment should be the key source of learning data and the data should be exchanged unimpeded and be able to be aggregated, integrated and analyzed for the purpose of learning.

Developers should create software that works on with all systems.

Integration must be easy enough for end users to quickly and easily add tools to the environment, without help from IT.


Personalized screens and content

Learner adjusted setup

Individual learning areas

A variety of projects and assignments that learners can choose from

Customization of content

An example of these features can be seen below in the 2009 Star Trek movie. In this clip, a student quickly progresses through a set of questions posed through an AI system. These questions are tailored for the specific student, based on their ability and mastery of content levels. While not entirely ideal, as the student may not have as much agency as desired, it provides an unique view on how personalization can be leveraged.
Analytics, Advising, & Learning Assessment
Two primary dimensions: Learning analytics, defined as “the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs.” (Booth, 2012)

Online Gradebook

Where this is a feature already in use with today's Learning Management Systems, it is important to improve upon today's model by including multiple data points from which the instructor can then use to inform and adjust instruction.

Assessments incorporated into the program

Instant feedback and support through AI

Email interface allowing communication with instructor

Analytics are comprehensive and can track individual, course, and system-wide progress.

An Example: IXL

An example (though not exclusively for higher education) is IXL. IXL is an education website that offers Standards-based learning that is adaptive and individualized.

Click the Link below to check out the website

IXL Analytics, which tracks classroom-wide as well as individual student performance. IXL gives instant and personalized feedback and adjusts learning modules based on analytics of current modules.

Analyzing educational data is a major component of any learning arena today.

“key aspects of ... learning assessment include the weaving together of standard formative assessments, adaptive learning technology, and learning analytics, as well as the continued development and integration of portfolios." (Brown, Dehoney, and Millichap, 2015)
“If we think about new technologies like the Web as facilitating learning networks and as learners and learning communities as nodes on those networks, we can see a very different “shape,” if you will, to education technology than what the learning management system enables. The Web versus a Wall. Distribution rather than seclusion. Reciprocity rather than recitation.” (Watters, 2014).

The collaborative format should let students move freely between public and private online spaces and capture collaborations no matter where on the internet they occur.

Ability to communicate with others through video conferencing

Crowdsourcing that allows learners (or other users to contribute content) such as Open Osmosis.

Meet the needs: Collaboration is the cornerstone of any successful learning environment. Current LMS are construct to transmit learning without much thought into how all stakeholder collaborate. Collaboration must “move between private and public digital spaces” (Brown, 2015)
Accessibility And Universal Design
"Efforts to realize the NGDLE should include working toward ensuring that all learners and instructors are able to participate, with access to content and the ability to create accessible learning artifacts. We should strive to address issues of accessibility from the start, based on a universal design approach.” (Brown, 2015)

Incorporation of a dictionary and other audio and assistance services.

Visuals and videos paired with written information to assist in engagement and student understanding.

Instructor uploads content- system keeps original content but system generates alternate formats by scanning instructor's history and search external content. (Enamorando, 2017)

Software Solutions

Using the Internet as the driving force behind many innovations in teaching and learning, students should be able to access content from any device available to them. While seemingly a hardware solution, the flexibility of the Internet and the content which it can deliver is primarily built upon structures more closely resembling software integration and common programming hierarchies.

Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have used the Internet to deliver a wide variety of tasks. However, the efficiency and effectiveness of these types of courses have not lived up to their perceived potential (Konnikova, 2014)

Gooru is a current (2017) LMS which offers a window into how quality control, open-source content, and teacher driven resources can lead to personalized learning, and can even facilitate cooperative learning . Below is an example of how this quality control process works.

Hardware Solutions

Microsoft's Hololens

Mixed-reality (MR)

/mikst rēˈalədē/


the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time


Brain-Computer Interface Devices

Wearable EEG technologies

Allows individuals with muscular disorders or other physical disabilities to interact fully in digital environments

Estimated cost:

The rise in open innovation and free and open-source software has greatly reduced the cost of adopting the NGLMS

While institutions may have licensing fees associated with the use of NGLMSs, estimated at around $300,000 per year for a mid sized state university, the added benefit it brings to teaching and learning far surpasses this cost, and is not passed on to the students

“Efforts to realize the NGDLE should include working toward ensuring that all learners and instructors are able to participate, with access to content and the ability to create accessible learning artifacts. We should strive to address issues of accessibility from the start, based on a universal design approach.” (Brown, Dehoney, and Millichap, 2015)

Reflection: how these solutions meet the needs of all participants.

Students: adaptive, personalized, and optimized learning. Immediate feedback and direct information provided to timely support.

Instructors: can be tailored to meet needs, rather than one-size fits all. Supports not only course management, but also supports learning. Flexibility in content curation and development, as well as open-source resources and support.

Administrators: Flexible, responsive structure that can be easily reconfigured to adapt to changing needs. Comprehensive analytics provide a wealth of data on individual, course, campus levels and beyond.


Booth, M. (2012). Learning Analytics: the new black. Educause Review Online. Retrieved from http://www. educause. edu/ero/article/learning-analytics-new-black.

Brown, M., Dehoney, J., & Millichap, N. (2015). The next generation digital learning environment. A Report on Research. ELI Paper. Louisville, CO: Educause April.

EMOTIV - Brainwear® Wireless EEG Technology. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2017, from

Enamorando, S. (2017). Q & A: Increasing Accessibility at Blackboard with Ally. (2017, February 22). Retrieved April 12, 2017, from

Konnikova, M. (2014). Why MOOCs are Failing the People They’re Supposed to Help. (2014, November 7). Retrieved April 12, 2017, from

Microsoft. (n.d.). Microsoft HoloLens. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from

Watters, A. (2014, September, 5) Beyond the LMS [web log post]. Retrieved from:

Thank you for viewing our Spark Page: Next Generation Learning Management Systems


Created with images by thehorriblejoke - "future eye robot eye" • alexa627 - "DSC_0051_2.jpg" • Wokandapix - "classroom school education" • TeroVesalainen - "mindmap brainstorm idea" • blickpixel - "network cables cable patch" • FirmBee - "ipad google seo" • Pexels - "analysis analytics business" • Pexels - "cellphone charts data" • FirmBee - "office freelancer computer" • ciupa - "tablet screen apps" • fancycrave1 - "art creativity drawing" • cuncon - "ipad girl tablet" • Unsplash - "office two people business" • skeeze - "clasped hands comfort hands" • Hey Paul - "Blue Blinds" • PublicDomainPictures - "connect connection cooperation" • FirmBee - "office freelancer computer" • FirmBee - "ipad mockup apple" • USA-Reiseblogger - "smartphone notebook social media" • Microsoft Sweden - "win10-HoloLens_front" • Microsoft Sweden - "win10_HoloLens" • PublicDomainPictures - "achievement bar business" • qimono - "water drop droplet" • Hermann - "books education school" • Mediamodifier - "success road to success direction"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.