Understanding the Inception & Rise of LMS

The present-day LMS has a fascinating background. It is obvious that it is not the same since the beginning of its existence but do you know how it was initially? Let’s explore how the LMS has developed, starting in the 1920s, and progressing into the present.

Significant Milestones in LMS History

Sidney L. Pressey first created the teaching machine that offered practical exercises and multiple-choice questions (MCQs). Like a typewriter, the machine was designed to require learners to practice their answers that were recorded. The student could only advance if their answers to the prior question were right, a feature that many modern LMSs use today.

Milton Ezra LeZerte created the Problem Cylinder, a device that was instructed without the intervention of an instructor. One of the best advantages of the problem cylinder was that it tested students in their understanding using MCQs and checked their answers, whether correct or not, thus helping instructors save time.

The University of Houston, USA, broadcast the first college course to allow students to study in the comfort of their homes. The lectures and lessons were shown on video every night so that all — even full-time employees could benefit from the courses to ensure learning was not affected by work obligations.

SAKI is, in a sense was the first device to make learning somewhat personal. It stands for Self-Adaptive Keyboard Instructor. It was invented by Gordon Pask and McKinnon Wood and offered personalized practice questions depending on the learner’s performance. As their performance improvement grew, SAKI would ‘learn’ and make more difficult the next questions.

The next significant event in LMS development was PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operation) by Dr. Donald Bitzer. PLATO was a computer-based learning program that allowed self-paced learning, which allowed students to keep track of their learning. It also provided the learning community the initial taste of social and collaborative learning. Students could communicate with fellow learners via instant messaging, instant chat, email, and chat rooms with its plethora of social networks.

The HP-9100A was the first calculator from Hewlett-Packard that was packed with unimaginable computational capabilities. It was able to process and solve engineering issues more than 10 times quicker than other machines. The HP-9100 set the stage for how connections are built today on the Internet and initiated the widespread use of LMS.

Akin to a predecessor in the direction of LMS, MIT’s Project Athena attempted to extend the usage of computers beyond the realm of general science and engineering. Project Athena made it possible for students and instructors to access their files via any desktop or workstation computer located on the MIT campus.

The first open-source LMS, Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment), was released. With Moodle, students could begin learning right after they downloaded the software on their computers. Personalized learning was made possible by allowing learners to select the content they wanted to save or export. The plug-and-play feature of Moodle meant that learning content could be provided more quickly and with less expense for the learner.

A messaging protocol, the SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model), was released, which specifies metadata and content packaging parameters, a standard feature of the modern LMS.

Experience API, also known as xAPI, is an eLearning specification designed to be a successor to the SCORM. It permitted “learning material and learning systems” to talk to one another and record all kinds of learning experiences.

The Modern History Of The LMS

There are plenty of reasons why the latest LMSs replaced traditional LMSs.

  • The modern millennial student has forced changes, not only on the LMS but also in corporate training.
  • Businesses that are ever-growing and expanding and their employees – which spread across the globe – required an overhaul in the way LMSs assisted them in managing their training.

The modern LMS is created to meet today’s learners’ needs and meet the learning needs of an international workforce.

Modern LMS can do a lot of things that traditional LMSs cannot:

  • Provide various learning materials in various formats, giving the learner complete control over the content and location they want to study.
  • Let you play games by way of badges, points, and leaderboards that can drive motivation.
  • Chat rooms hosted by Host and messaging forums allow learners to share knowledge and learn from others, allowing the social aspect of learning.
  • Let learners learn in informal settings, providing access to the content you need by pressing one button.
  • Monitor and record how learners are performing and the results of the training for an improved learning experience.
  • Utilize the tracking information to tailor educational paths based upon the learners’ roles in the workplace and the level of their existing skills.


This is how LMS has evolved since its inception. Similarly, our eCampus LMS has become a lot advanced, too, to fulfill the learning requirements of universities. If you are looking for a dedicated education LMS for your university, our eCampus Learning Management System will be the perfect solution. Book a demo right away!

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