EDUCAUSE published a white paper last month exploring the gap between current online learning systems and the things that students and faculty actually want in virtual education spaces. They suggest that the LMS is going to evolve into something they are calling the next generation digital learning environment (NGDLE), a flexible, personalized ecosystem of tools that combines the administrative control functions of an LMS with best practices in online learning:
If the paradigm for the NGDLE is a digital confederation of components, the model for the NGDLE architecture may be the mash-up. A mash-up is a web page or application that uses content from more than one source to create a single new service displayed in a single graphical interface. Hence it uses a heterogeneity of components to produce a homogeneity of function. The confederation-based NGDLE will be mashed up at both the individual and the institutional levels, as opposed to consortia forming to create open enterprise applications.