I just recently heard that a new venture sprung up with a new offer for a LMS (NACR). I had the impression that there were already many LMS systems in the market, so I did a small Google search and, as many of you probably know, I got lots of hits. There are many options available out there, each one having a different application but in essence they all have the same tools and functions. Which brings me to this question: is there room in the market for yet another LMS?
A LMS is a very important piece of any online education program. Without it, it would be difficult to manage an educational system consisting of hundreds of online courses, if not thousands. Then tracking student progress becomes more difficult, there are also issues on dealing with assessments, and so on. Nobody doubts the need of a LMS in an educational program.
I certainly don’t want to be in the shoes of that poor manager who has been tasked with selecting the right LMS for the company to host their training or educational program. I would think it is very difficult to find the right choice with so many options available, so I wouldn’t like that kind of job. But somebody has to do it.
You can argue that those already out there are different in certain ways. They differentiate themselves somehow. This could be based on the technology they use, the market segment they are catering, or the education level they are targeting, and a long etc. At the end of the day, they all do the same thing: administer the how, when, what, and where to deliver course content, resources, assessments, activities, interactions, learning, validation, evaluation, etc. to the user. They also have to be able to deliver data on student activity, otherwise you have a LMS that operates like a CMS (content management system).
So, where is the market saturation? Apparently we have not reached that point yet. Many of the solutions out there cater to some segment of the market. There are still big players out there that claim to be able to solve anybody’s problem (which I doubt). LMS are evolving towards something resembling cloud systems, with other tools like adaptive learning, date gathering, and heavy use of multimedia. I think we are in that elimination process when some old solutions will go extinct (unless they evolve with the times) or out of favor, and new solutions are coming into the market to take their place. So yes, apparently there is still room for new innovations.