By Stephen Young
Lynda.com is an incredible online training resource which is available to members of staff at the University of Lincoln. Users can browse courses in a variety of subject areas, taught by experts in their field and made up of bitesize videos in an easy to use user interface.
I first came across Lynda.com during my employment at the university. As a technician in the College of Arts it was part of my job to teach students some of the technical aspects of film production as well as diagnose and fix issues with equipment and software. Keeping up with the ever-changing technology within the industry is difficult, especially when I had to keep ahead enough to be able to teach to others. When I found that as a member of staff I had access to Lynda.com, it soon became an invaluable resource to my own education and as a teacher in this field.
I’ve found the interface for the site very intuitive. Users can choose a course by an expert of the subject area and are presented with a series of short videos to watch. A user can watch a whole course over time or just pick single short videos within the course to watch.
The variety of different subject areas is vast and when I first started using the resource I found myself exploring the library and becoming interested in areas outside of my original skillsets such as animation and design. There are courses for specific software that I found helpful in my work as a technician but there are also courses that teach broader concepts such as those that focus on productivity and time management.
I personally enjoyed going through a whole course by watching just a few videos at a time, taking a break, and then returning at a later date, picking the course back up where I left off. The short videos are easy to digest, providing an enjoyable learning experience. The site allows a user to work this way by indicating what videos you’ve already watched. It didn’t feel like work because of the bitesize nature of the courses. A course could be five hours long but because each video would only last a few minutes, I found myself getting through courses with ease.
It’s very useful that users can subscribe to playlists of courses as well as curate their own. Users can also see the progress of courses they’ve watched as a percentage. I also liked the fact that at the end of every course there would be a certificate of completion that could be posted to the user’s LinkedIn profile, a nice incentive and motivational tool to carry on learning. As well as working on a desktop, I have also used the Lynda.com app and linked my account to have access to my playlists and courses so I can use the resource on my phone.
I recommend any member of staff to have a look at the extensive library of courses in a variety of subject areas that the site provides. I’ve found it extremely helpful in my work as a technician at the university and in my own work as a filmmaker.
All staff now have access to Lynda.com. If you would like to find out more information about how to log on you can visit this helpful guide. http://lalt.lincoln.ac.uk/lynda-com or alternatively you can login whilst inside the University network using http://lncn.eu/lyndalogin