What’s New and Next in Learning Platforms

What’s New and Next in Learning Platforms


Approximately 35% of the Elearning! community is sourcing a new learning platform that has more features and flexibility that supports extended enterprise users and external content sources according to the 2018 Learning & Talent Platforms Buyer Study published by Elearning! Magazine this month. Investing over half a million on the next learning platform, these discerning buyers want more, more, more, and are willing to pay for it.

What is new and next in Learning platforms?

Our editors scoured recent trade shows to view marquis brands and new emerging solutions within the learning platform market. Here is a preview some of the new and renewed brands, feature sets and pricing models to consider before purchasing your next learning solution.

The LMS Re-Imagined

Skillsoft’s Percipio

Some stalwart brands are re-imaging their platforms like Skillsoft’s new Percepio. There are four components of the new Percepio: User Experience, Courses, Reporting and Personalization.

User Experience: The interface is simple, has all content channels available but is prioritized based upon what urgent and what the learner personalizes. Benny Ramos product manager, provided the tour of Percepio. Launched in English only, French, Spanish and other languages are to launch early first half of 2018. The platform is an “all you can eat” content model offering 50,000 programs. Users can create a personal playlist from all channels- leadership, project management, etc. Plus, learners can choose to read, listen or view the content.

Content: More than 21 new course modules are launched each week. New content is less than 30 minutes long and viewable in 2-3-minute sections to fit anytime viewing. Consistent characters appear across the programs i.e. Toby the host of is the questioner, Maria the Type A character mirroring all types personalities. There are thousands of new assets aligned to key business needs.

Dashboard: New performance dashboards are available in Percepio for managers, mentors or self- management. Learning must have impact and the dashboards report value of the learners gain as well as the mode of learning improvement i.e. Instructor led classroom vs e-learning. Business alignment is goal is assigned for each task.  Managers can assign topics to different business goals like Employee Engagement by assignment and or topic. Plus, content consumption can be selected with drill downs to check performance by teams, individuals, etc.

Personalization: Personalization closely followed engagement in top business drivers for investing in Learning and development in 2018 according to the same study.  Percepio can personalize learning to content, interest or career. Think Netflix for personalization and Amazon for transactions.

If you are on Skillsoft/Skillport, should you change? According to Ramos, Percepio offers the full catalog of courses vs channel selections on Skillport. The pricing models are slightly different but still rely on the per user per year license model. While some may want to stay with what they know, you should consider Percepio to enhance the learning experience. If you are ready, make the transition of Percepio. Learn more at: www.Skillsoft.com

Brightspace by D2L

D2L was founded in the education space with a focus on the learner. This perspective gave D2L an early advantage in personalized learning and mobilization. D2L took the best of the LMS for education and reimagined it for Enterprise.

Brightspace Enterprise offers a rich platform with robust feature sets including personalization which taps Artificial Intelligence to predict and present the most relevant content to the learner. They also offer analytics tools to review top line data on usage, time within content, failure points and more. These edge capabilities are built on a platform with a consumer-like UX. The personalized dashboard the learner sees upon login provides a snapshot of the most relevant and timely learning activities. Collaborative streams are incorporated into the dashboard, quick or important videos as well as updates on ones learning path. With one click, the learner can access the content now. The experience is also ubiquitous for PC, laptop or iPad users.

Performance Plus (PP)module gives organizations the power to improve employee performance through adaptive learning and predictive analytics. The tools in Performance Plus help L&D and business leaders proactively identify and close knowledge gaps, to ensure each employee attains a high level of competency.

PP uses predictive analytics to understand each employee’s performance trajectory in a course and identify those that need additional support or training. The intuitive dashboards transform learner data into easily-identified patterns of performance and engagement. The integrated workflows make it easy for managers to reach out to high-potential employees or provide help to low performers. With a better understanding of which employees need extra support, leaders can ensure everyone finishes the course with a higher level of competency. Learn more at: www.d2l.com/enterprise

Blackboard Learn

Blackboard, a top brand in awareness according to the 2018 Learning & Talent Buyers Study, has made some recent changes to their platform as well. The web conferencing experience was re-engineered and branded as Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. The claim is the new environment makes “learners forget they’re not in a physical space.”  The solution features interactive whiteboard, multi-point video (new) with application and desktop sharing (new). While we didn’t get to see it at work, it is nice to see Blackboard Collaborate improve the platform to compete with others in the market given the size of their user base.

Blackboard also launched Blackboard Ally, a new 508 compliant accessibility service. If your organization must be 508 compliant, this new service from Blackboard will make identifying your violations early easier. The solution integrates with your LMS and workflows. It will automatically check all course content for accessibility issues, provide alternative formats and provide feedback and guidance. The outcome is to provide a comprehensive report and action plan that will aide your organization to be proactive, benefit employees and provide a score on the accessibility spectrum. Learn more at: www.blackboard.com


New Entrants to the Learning Platforms Market


A newer entry into the LMS market, Bridge does not market themselves as an LMS. They are really a LMS Lite, resembling more of a LMS App. A very simple mobile centric learning platform, Bridge does not have the visual or image heavy environment most platforms host. With mobile first being Bridge’s mantra, they focus on organizations with mobile workforce, distributed teams or/and retail organizations where a laptop or PC is not readily available for learning.  Built on Ruby on Rails, the user does not see a dashboard upon sign-on, only a list of top priority tasks based upon due date or urgency. The learner can access content from internal and external sources within Bridge. The focus is on accessing, completing the component and moving on – all on the mobile phone.

Bridge also has a rich text editing and authoring tool. Not the robust features of Storyline or Captivate, but it does support video streaming with data tracking on viewer activity.  With the recent acquisition of Practice, Bridge users will have access to live video recording of ‘their pitch’ within the LMS, which is saved and viewable by managers and peers for instant feedback and collaboration. This is a plus for field sales teams and managers.

Reporting on Bridge is focused on the learner’s progress; which tasks are overdue, in progress, completed within a date range. Cadence is also measured; how the individual or team is progressing toward a specific goal. For example, at the individual level one can see progress toward a career development goal.

Performance measurements focus on career development goals, achievements and 1 to 1 assessments. These include skills assessments, evaluations, team mentors and learning courses to improve. Learn more at: www.getbridge.com


Developed by Stanford University Educators and ex-EdX staffers, NovoEd was built to improve on the learner experience. Touted as a Learning Experience Platform built on mobile-first practice, NovoEd has a Mobile UI with embedded social collaborative component to improve learner engagements. According to a study conducted by Chuck Eesley, Assistant Professor Stanford University, a student is 16x more likely to complete a course when engaged within a team vs. 2% if taken alone. The collaboration component is critical advantage with NovoEd. It enables social live interactions within course context, project galleries, and on individual learning profiles that support peer to peer feedback. 

NovoEd also hosts real-time reporting and management tools tracking learn engagement and content quality. Unlike other systems, the social engagements are tracked from posts, to active discussion participation to team specific interactions via their native google analytics integration.  NovoEd also integrates with enterprise systems supporting single sign-on, data integration, and system security.  NovoEd is SaaS based and priced using a per user per month model. Learn more at novoed.com


New to the learning market, Cerego is a personalized learning platform designed based upon brain science principles. They say, “imagine a system that can visualize what employees retain from training and provide insight into their knowledge on any subject any time.” Cerego’s learning engine incorporates distributed learning with retrieval practice. Distributed learning is “spacing out learning across time [to] improve long-term retention.” Retrieval practice, known as “testing effect” is to “actively attempt to recall previously studied materials [thru testing].” Cerego allows learners to focus on content they don’t know rather than review content they do.

In studies conducted at NYU College of Dentistry, use of Cerego replaced 96 hours of class teaching time while students scored 2.6 standard deviations above the national average on the State Board exam. Fifty-six percent of students reported using Cerego to review material was worthwhile. All, 100% of students using Cerego passed the board exam.

How was this accomplished? Cerego’s learning solution incorporates content authoring tools based upon their learning science practices. Content is imported into a PPT like portal to improve effectiveness and increase engagement thru digital experiences. Customized courses are drop and drag. Instructional templates and quizzes are available to help create and edit courses.

Performance data and analytics are collected in a visual dashboard to track what learners know and retain. Content metrics provide red flags where adjustments may need to be made. The Knowledge Bank provides insights into individual learner progress as well as comparisons to peers. All analytics are in real-time accessible via mobile device. Learn more at: www.cerego.com


To keep current on learning platform solutions and trends, visit 2elearning.com. Elearning! Magazine’s Annual Learning & Talent Platforms Buyer Study published January 2018 provides great insights product features you may need in your next system. Access the report at: http://www.2elearning.com/research/item/56978-learning-and-talent-platforms-buyers-study-2018


By Catherine Upton



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