We need 21st Century Learning Systems

21c-Learning-System-300As L&D moves from being a training department to a learning organization, LMS’s will need to support the new types of learning required. To support this we need new types of learning systems.

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

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