History of LMS

The history of learning management systems is a short history. Learning management system (LMS) has become increasingly attractive in the past few years. Technical innovations have redefined the teaching learning process. It all started in 1924 by the invention of the teaching machine. Slowly more inventions came on the market. From that moment on one invention after the other invention was born. I can’t give you all invention of learning management systems, otherwise your head will explode ;-)

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Teaching machine

Who: Sidney Pressey

When: 1924

The first LMS was developed in 1924 when Sidney Pressey invented the first ‘teaching machine’. This resembled a typewriter with a window that could administer questions. One window was used to show the question and the other one to fill in the answer.     

Problem cylinder

Who: M.E. Lazerte

When: 1929

This is followed by the invention of the ‘problem cylinder’ invented. It presented a problem to a student and checked whether the solution steps taken by the student were right.

Adaptive teaching system, SAKI

Who: Gordon Park and Robin McKinnon-Wood

When: 1956

In 1956 the first adaptive teaching system was invented. It automatically adjusted questions for learners according to their performing level. Adaptive learning is becoming more and more important.


Who: Hewlett Packard

When: 1970

In 1970 Hewlett Packard, or most know him by the abbreviation HP, introduced the first ever desktop. From that day on LMS started taking entirely new face.


Who: Robert Elliot Kahn and Vint Cerf

When: 1982

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet protocol. When you’ve direct access to the Internet, your computer is provided with a copy of the TCP/IP program. It’s the basic communication language or protocol of the Internet. TCP/IP had made online learning possible and this still has a huge influence nowadays.

First Software

Who: SoftArc

When: 1990

The first ever LMS software for MacIntosh platform was launched by SoftArc in 1990.

Open-source internal network, Moodle

Who: Martin Dougiamas

When: 2002

In 2002, an open-source internal network was introduced called Moodle. There are three users for platform. The administrator makes courses for teachers and manages the general settings. The teacher manages one or more subjects. He or she can fill this with information for students. Students can take part in the different subject in which they have access to. This internal network has more than 60.000.000 users in 65.000 schools and is used in 216 countries. Moodle is used for blended learning, distance education, flipped classroom and other e-learning projects in schools, universities, workplaces and other sectors. 

Private cloud

Who: Eucalyptus

When: 2008

The idea of a platform for deploying clouds was born in 2008. This enabled LMS to exist entirely online without needing to be installed on an internal network.

LMS systems hosted in clouds

Who: several companies

When: 2012

Most modern LMS are hosted in the cloud, freeing companies from the burden of installing and maintaining in-house systems.

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