The numbers tell the tale: Since January 2011, when Information Services and Technology (IS&T) first offered online training free of charge to the MIT community via lynda.com, students, faculty and staff have watched more than 238,000 video tutorials through MIT's lynda.mit.edu (which requires a certificate).
lynda.com offers more than 2,000 courses on topics ranging from animation and computer-aided design to video and web design. Software training runs the gamut, from Autodesk to WordPress.
At the Institute, lynda.com’s “Essential Training” series has garnered significant hits. The most popular courses include:
- HTML Essential Training
- FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
- Unix for Mac OS X Users
- Photoshop for Web Design
- Excel 2010 Essential Training
- Drupal Essential Training
While community members watch most of these courses on their own — at their desks or on their mobile devices — group sessions are an intriguing option. The Office of the Vice President for Finance (VPF), for example, recently launched a lynda-based lunchtime learning series.
Learning with lynda over lunch
The concept for the lynda.com lunch series emerged from the work of a cross-VPF team focused on ways to help staff grow in their careers and develop and strengthen skills of importance to their work in VPF.
At these bimonthly sessions, VPF staff are invited to grab lunch and watch a lynda.com module (about 40 minutes). Then a VPF staff member does a short demo related to the module using VPF-related content.
So far, the VPF has offered two of these lunches, both on features in Microsoft Excel. One session highlighted tips for analyzing data; the other featured advanced formulas. The next one, in January, will focus on Microsoft PowerPoint. Attendance at each session has been between 25 to 35 staff members.
Scott Rolph, who facilitates these lunches, says, "We’ve found great value in offering these sessions as opportunities for shared learning in VPF. lynda.com offers a vast collection of courses, but it can be challenging to find time to go through them on your own. In viewing and discussing the courses together, staff members learn from each other and make cross-VPF connections that provide benefits on an ongoing basis."
New feature: post Certificates of Completion to LinkedIn
You may already know that with lyndaCampus, you can view your lynda.com history, create bookmarks for courses and modules of interest, and create a Certificate of Completion for any course you've viewed in its entirety.
lynda.com has recently added yet another feature: a quick and easy way to share your achievements with your LinkedIn network. When you complete a course, you’ll receive an email that lets you post your certificate to your LinkedIn profile — with the click of a button.
To keep up with lynda.com’s latest courses and features, scroll to the bottom of the site's home page and submit your email address. With the new year, it's the perfect time to learn those software skills on your to-do list.