Pearson to leave the LMS market within 2-3 years

Dive Brief:

  • Pearson has announced it will phase out support for its learning management system Learning Studio in the coming years, following a similar announcement last fall about OpenClass, which will leave the educational testing and services giant without an LMS in its portfolio.
  • Inside Higher Ed reports Pearson believes it can create the greatest value for its customers by investing in course materials and other products that directly impact students and faculty, leaving the crowded LMS market behind.
  • While Pearson will be able to focus on areas of its business that bring in greater revenue, the move away from a proprietary LMS will mean it will have to make its course materials compatible with former competitors’ systems.

Dive Insight:

Pearson is in the middle of a major reorganization as the company strives to streamline its products and services and become more profitable. Last month, the company announced it would lay off 4,000 people, or 10% of its workforce, attributing the cuts, in part, to falling enrollments in the U.S. higher education sector that were prompted by increased regulation of for-profit colleges. Recoveries in the United States and the United Kingdom have been slower than projected, but Pearson is planning for the shrinkage to level off and business to pick back up. So far, its restructuring efforts do seem to reflect that its education business continues to be a priority.

It isn't the only company rethinking its strategy as the LMS space gets increasingly crowded. Legacy LMS providers like Blackboard, which was rumored last year to be up for sale and recently saw a change of leadership, have diversified their offerings as newcomers like Schoology and Instructure grab more marketshare.

Regarding the shrinkage in the for-profit college sector, while some players — like Corinthian, EDMC, and Brookstone — are shutting down campuses or closing their doors entirely, the University of Phoenix is working to “right-size” the company, implement enrollment requirements, and adjust to an earlier level of revenues and profits.

Recommended Reading

Inside Higher Ed: Pearson narrows focus