Lynda.com, an online training library that contains video tutorials on software skills, such as audio, design, and data analysis, is now available at the University. Co-founded by Lynda Weinman, the website is responsible for publishing notable software programs such as Adobe and Macromedia. University members can log on at any time and will have the opportunity to learn about all the website’s resources.
Discussions about bringing Lynda.com to the University began around May 2012. Director of User and Technical Services Karen Warren and Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer David Baird were both involved in the initiative to bring the online resource to campus.
According to Warren, in response to student inquiries about opportunities for skill development, the Information Technology Services (ITS) subcommittee of the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) discussed the issue with some of the staff members of ITS.
“I think this will be an effective way of teaching students,” said Monique Siaw ’16. “For example, many students use Khan Academy [an educational website] for extra help and they do find it useful. Because my generation is tech savvy, this may [be more efficient for some students].”
Some of the popular courses that the website offers include training for WordPress, Excel, and InDesign. Lynda.com also has a guide to help subscribers with photography software, such as Photoshop and iPhoto, as well as instructions for using certain cameras.
The distinct value of the service for the campus community is still difficult to ascertain because the benefits are likely to be for everyone, according to Warren. It can be used by students to learn specific skills for a particular project or to acquire skills that are worth putting on a résumé. The site also allows students to go through software instruction on their own instead of taking up class time to do so. This would allow professors to spend more time on material rather than on software instruction.
“I think [this is] one way that CAN be effective,” Warren wrote in an email to The Argus. “I am careful to qualify with the fact that not everyone learns best this way. However, in terms of availability and efficiency, this far exceeds other ways. With video being ubiquitous now, students can watch and hear the instruction and practice with exercises provided.”
The current number of subscribers to Lynda.com indicates the site’s popularity throughout campus.
“Since the email went out, we already have 298 users (faculty, staff, and students) who have signed up,” Warren wrote. “That exceeds our expectations at this early date. I received a reply from a student who said this was ‘the second best email he has ever gotten at Wes.’”
According to Warren, new features are in the works and will most likely make the site more efficient than it has already proven to be.
Students can view or subscribe to the service at Lynda.com.