In my view, a 21st century learning system needs the following characteristics, as shown in the picture above.
- Social learning must be at its heart. The learning system should have the functionality required to effectively support informal learning; to integrate social activities into learning paths; and to integrate comments and peer questions and answers into knowledge bases.
- The learner must be at the center. The user experience is key. I agree with an observation Elliott Masie and Cushing Anderson made a few years back when they advocated for changing the term we use from Learning Management System to Learning System. Personally, I think if we started thinking of it as a learning delivery system it might refocus many of our efforts.
- It should support formal learning, including training, reinforcement, and process-based learning paths.
- It should support informal learning, with communities, informal learning activity calendars, and social media.
- It should support performance on the job with knowledge bases.
- It should support a full range of learning activities, including courses, coaching, communities, knowledge sharing, performance support, and action learning.
Excerpted from Speed to Proficiency: Creating a Sustainable Competitive Advantage. In press. (c) Bill Bruck, Ph.D., 2015