The History of Learning Management Systems

Learning Management Systems (LMS) weren’t always the flashy cloud-based software they are today. Going as far back as the 1920s, we have been making strides in bringing education and training out of the classroom and to students through technology. Below, we explore the major milestones in the history of LMS.

What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?
Leaning management systems provide e-learning materials and tests for students or workforces. An LMS can perform a variety of e-learning tasks, including:

  1. Providing study materials to students.
  2. Enabling chat between students and instructors.
  3. Administering exams and recording scores.

A learning content management system, or LCMS. Is used to create the materials and tests that are then given to the LMS for students and instructors to utilize

The LMS Timeline

  • 1924
    Sidney Pressey invents the first teaching machine. The device resembles a typewriter with a window that cloud administer multiple-choice questions.
  • 1929
    M.E. LaZerte invents the “problem cylinder”, a mechanical device that presented a problem to a student and checked whether the solution steps taken by the student were correct.
  • 1956
    Gordon Pask and Robin Mckinnon-Wood invents SAKI, an adaptive teaching system that automatically adjusted the difficulty of the questions, based on the learner’s performance
  • 1960
    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign develops PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations). This system let different user types interact, including instructors and authors who could create course material and students who could create complete this material online.
  • 1969
    This U.S. Department of Defense commissions the creation of ARPANET, a precursor to today’s World Wide Web.
  • 1970
    Hewlett-Packard introduces the first-ever desktop personal computer, setting the PC market into motion and making widespread e-learning possible.
  • 1982
    TCP/IP was introduced, giving birth of the World Wide Web. This made online learning possible.
  • 1983
    MIT announces *project Athens,* a five-year initiative to explore innovative uses of computers for teaching. In just two years, 60 such projects were undertaken
  • 1990
    SoftArc launches LMS FirstClass for the Macintosh platform
  • 1992
    GeoMetrix Data systems releases the LMS Training Partner.
  • 1997
    Courseinfo develops the interactive Learning Network. This was first e-learning system of its kind to leverage a rational MySQL database.
  • 1990
    ePath first releases the LMS system ASAP.
  • 2002
    Open-source, internal network :MS Modules is released.
  • 2004
    SCORM 2004 is released. This remains the current version that many LMS systems are based on today.
  • 2006
    OLAT 5.0 placing with Ajax support an emphasis on a collaborative environment.
  • 2008
    Eucalyptus was released as the first open-source, AWS API-compatible platform for deploying private clouds. This sparked an explosion in cloud computing that eventually enabled learning management systems to exist entirely online without needing to be installed on an internal network.
  • 2012
    Today, most modern LMS systems are hosted in the cloud, freeing companies from the burden of installing and maintaining in-house systems

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