The Learning Management System Evolution

LMS EvolutionTechnology continues to break down impossible barriers at record speeds.

In the field of learning technology, there has been great concern about creating integrated platforms that will last for some time. Companies seem to show signs of relief now that Software as a Service (SaaS) Learning Management Systems (LMSs) have arrived.

These LMSs are maintained and supported by service providers, meaning companies can trust that the platform they implement will remain relevant despite inevitable tech changes. However, this wasn’t always the case.

Explore the learning management system evolution. It has come farther than many people ever imagined and may now be in a place that allows businesses to accomplish impossible tasks, like staying on top of changing technology.


In the 1980s computers were large and clunky. Learning management systems often ran on mainframes in the back office of business settings. They were capable of completing two tasks: scheduling formal training and managing the courses. It wasn’t until the late 1980s when the concept of “eLearning” entered the scene. For the first time, digital content would allow learners to directly interact with computers for learning purposes.


Before the Internet, all eLearning was confined to localized computers. Big hardware systems needed to be installed in order to access eLearning courses. But with the growing popularity of the Internet, the idea of “on-demand” eLearning came to be. On-demand eLearning had components that mimic what is available today: individual user profiles, customizable learning portals, and easy-to-manage digital content were highly appealing to early LMS adopters. These traits would eventually move on-demand eLearning to the cloud.


Not even a decade into the 21st century, a large demand grew for talent management software. With a similar framework in place, learning management systems were able to quickly adapt to meet this business need. By adding reporting functions, performance management tools, and employee development plans, an LMS could be used by HR personnel, in addition to trainers and department heads.

Talent management was not the only influencer that pushed the LMS to evolve into the comprehensive workplace it is today. The year 2006 marks the explosion of Facebook and the dawn of the social media craze. Before long, online classrooms were made to mimic social network sites, which exemplified natural collaboration in ways never seen before. Companies saw that online training centers grew in effectiveness when they emulated social learning spheres. This birthed the social learning management system. A social LMS is a cloud-based system that offers social elements, workplace tools, talent management features and, of course, eLearning classrooms – among other elements.

Social learning management systems, like TOPYX®, are used around the world in businesses of all sizes. TOPYX is an award winning social LMS that is already taking its features to the next level by offering mobile learning. Try a free demo of TOPYX. Click here to experience the future of eLearning today.

It was only three decades ago that large computers were installed in the backrooms of businesses to accomplish only two learning tasks. Now, an LMS can fit in a user’s back pocket and carry out numerous business and training objectives. With only a brief overview of the LMS evolution, it is safe to say learning technology has come a long way.

Jeffrey A. Roth
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
[email protected]


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