LinkedIn Learning which was previously Lynda.com is a “massive open online course website offering video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills” (“LinkedIn Learning”, n.d., para 1). It is only recently that I have become more interested in its function as a potential supplement to instruction in our current portfolio of professional development and training programs. Our continuing education division offers educational programs and courses (credit and non-credit) across all disciplines and modalities to a range of learners from children to working professionals to retirees. A key concern is ensuring that our programs continue to meet the needs of our diverse range of learners, are adaptive to workforce and industry needs, and are fiscally viable.
Faced with dwindling resources, yet the need to increase output, generate revenue, ensure innovative and successful learning experiences…it can be quite daunting to build out and deliver programs that meet all these requirements. Competition is heavy, especially in a fast-paced industry where online learning vendors such as EdX, Ed2Go, Coursera, etc. have the resources to market and deliver their online courses globally. With a wide selection of videos and over 4,000 courses, Lynda.com offers high quality videos developed and designed by industry experts and instructors (Morin, 2017). With ready-made videos already accessible through our institution, our unit is exploring how we can integrate them into our existing portfolio. In doing this, we hope to reduce in-house production and development costs, and expand the use of high-quality video resources such as Lynda.com to benefit our learners and support our instructors. We know we cannot compete against large online learning vendors, but perhaps leveraging Lynda.com as a resource, we can at least continue to better support the learning needs of our regional community.
Having perused their topics, I was quite impressed at the diversity in content and the features for Lynda.com courses. The self-directed pace appealed to my learning style, especially as I was able to spend as much time as I needed on a topic, in this case how to edit digital photos on my phone using Snapseed. In a very short time, I had learned how to use Snapseed. Now did I truly master how to use it? Probably not, but with some practice and the ability to refer back to it, I am confident that I will use it in the future.
This perception of feeling like I learned something has also prompted my inquiry into how continuing education learners might benefit from Lynda.com videos embedded into existing courses. A pilot study that gauged learner perceptions and benefits of using Lynda.com for skill enhancement and knowledge development at Lethbridge College revealed a perceived sense of “improved performance, increased efficiency, and improved quality of work” from non-academic staff who participated in this study (Benoit, 2016, under discussion, para 2). Although there are limitations to this study, the results give rise to further questions as to Lynda.com’s value in supporting learner engagement and skill development in online learning – especially for professional development and training purposes.
Additional Questions I am Exploring:
- If we begin using Lynda.com videos in some of our training and development classes what will the perception be from our learners who are paying for these classes? Could they be unhappy because we are using a vendor-based video as opposed to our in-house produced videos?
- Since the acquisition of Lynda.com by LinkedIn Learning, there has been an increase in institutional subscription fees (Lieberman, 2017). If we begin embedding Lynda.com videos into our courses, and the University decides to cancel our institutional membership, what will be the implications?
- How effective are online videos such as Lynda.com in enhancing student engagement?
Benoit, A. (2016, June 27). Evaluation of lynda.com at Lethbridge college. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/6/evaluation-of-lynda-dot-com-at-lethbridge-college
Lieberman, M. (2017, October 25). Outsourcing career skills training. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2017/10/25/lyndacampus-offers-technical-and-other-skills-students
LinkedIn Learning. (n.d.) In Wikipedia. Retrieved April 18, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinkedIn_Learning
Morin, J. (2017). Flipping the Classroom With Lynda.com, Books and Resources Reviews p. 627–630.