The Future of Education: How Learning Management Systems Are Shaping Online Learning

Experts discuss the transformative power of Learning Management Systems (LMS) in education

Learning Management Systems (LMS) have revolutionized online and blended learning, offering a wide range of tools and features that enhance engagement, streamline course management, and support personalized learning. Recognized globally for their benefits, educational institutions are increasingly implementing LMSs to improve teaching and learning outcomes. At the 2023 THE Digital Universities Europe event, held in partnership with Canvas by Instructure, a panel of experts discussed how LMSs will shape the future of education and learning.

The Evolution of LMS at the Open University of Catalonia

Ricard Mateu, chief information officer and deputy general manager for digital transformation at the Open University of Catalonia, highlighted the integral role of LMSs at his institution since its inception in 1993. However, the original LMS became a legacy system, making it difficult to maintain and costly to evolve. In 2017, after involving students in user experience testing, the Open University of Catalonia selected Canvas as its new LMS provider. The implementation project took three years, with phased rollouts involving thousands of students. Today, Canvas supports 80,000 students at the university.

Student Participation in LMS Implementation

Leifur Finnbogason, head of examinations at Bifröst University, emphasized the importance of student participation in implementing LMSs. As a student representative during Bifröst University’s three-year implementation phase, Finnbogason provided insights into students’ needs and the university’s digital expansion. This student involvement ensured that the LMS met the requirements of the end-users.

Usability and End-User Satisfaction

Daniel Hill, managing director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Instructure, stressed the significance of usability and end-user satisfaction in the LMS implementation process. Lukas Röthe, digital learning manager at Aalen University, shared how his institution adopted a bottom-up approach, with students from different faculties testing the LMS. Even after the initial rollout, Aalen University continues to involve students in testing and support roles, equipping them with valuable skills for the job market.

Continuous Evaluation and Learner-Centric Approach

Dries Vanacker, head of educational policy at Artevelde University of Applied Sciences, discussed the importance of continuous evaluation and a learner-centric approach. Artevelde University conducts annual evaluations to assess teaching quality and the effectiveness of different platforms, relying on feedback from both students and lecturers. By involving end-users in decision-making processes, educational institutions can ensure that changes align with the needs of the learners.


Learning Management Systems have become an essential tool in the modern education landscape, offering innovative solutions to enhance online and blended learning experiences. The experiences shared by the panelists at the 2023 THE Digital Universities Europe event demonstrate the transformative power of LMSs when implemented with student participation, usability considerations, and a learner-centric approach. As educational institutions continue to embrace LMSs, it is crucial to prioritize the needs of the end-users and continually evaluate and adapt these systems to create an optimal learning environment for students and educators alike.






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