Cal Poly Pomona has embarked on a second year with a university-wide subscription to lynda.com, an online library of high-quality instructional videos taught by industry experts.
Lynda.com offers a chance to learn and refresh your skills with new and evolving software applications. These applications encompass a variety of topics like 3D and animation, audio and music, business, CAD, design, development, education, information technology, marketing, photography, video and web.
Lynda.com’s premium subscription allows CPP students, staff and faculty unlimited access to a library of nearly 3,000 courses and 129,000 tutorials, with more to come – nearly 5 hours of learning are released daily and over 15 courses are released every week.
In the last 30 days, lynda.com reported that CPP has had 2,577 active users, 806 new users, 1,395 hours of content viewed and 243 courses completed. The most commonly used programs from CPP accounts include Rhino 5 Essential Training, Up and Running with Excel 2010, Illustrator CC One-on-One: Fundamentals, InDesign CC Essential Training and Up and Running with Word 2010.
Lynda.com reported that CPP is one of the CSU universities that have a subscription and use it the most.
“We’re [the] number one user in the CSU, from what they’re reporting to us,” said Associate Chief Information Officer Carol Gonzales.
Fourth-year and double major in graphic design and apparel merchandising Kathryn Izquierdo-Gallegos jokes that before she was introduced to lynda.com, she would have a “panic attack.”
“When you’re not used to using a program, it can be very overwhelming to understand and record all the information,” said Izquierdo-Gallegos.
In addition, Lynda.com has helped students learn new software and grasp simple core functions so they are able to get along in class.
“[In class] there’s at least a moderate expectation that you have somewhat of an idea of what the program entails,” said Izquierdo-Gallegos. “So I find Lynda useful because there’s really a breakdown for the basic things that you need.”
Another student says she was also able to benefit from lynda.com’s services.
“Lynda.com was, for me, a huge help,” said second-year transfer urban planning student Oliva Offutt.
Lynda.com is designed for all learning levels and is available 24/7. You can download the app and courses on your mobile device for offline viewing, save and prioritize courses, create playlists and bookmarks, and view transcripts to search for information within a course.
In addition, you can switch back and forth between devices without losing your place in a video. To top it all off, all courses are presented in small chunks so it’s easy to find quick answers to specific questions.
“It’s just-in-time learning,” said Gonzales. “You didn’t have that before in any medium.”
Before the university subscription and all the benefits that came with it, students and faculty had to resort to old-fashioned methods: buying books about software programs.
Now, Communication Professor Jane Ballinger says it is nice that she no longer needs to require it. Lynda.com has not only reduced textbook fees, but it has also allowed for class times to be more efficient.
“[Before Lynda.com] we actually would spend more class time explaining how to do things rather than students getting to learn themselves,” said Ballinger, “[and the latter] I think is a better way to learn.”
Ballinger advises her students to take advantage of this subscription, even if it is to explore other areas of learning.
“It just has a fantastic library of training videos that are worth the money they charge in the real world, but for us to get them free is a fantastic opportunity,” said Ballinger.
Before it was available to the entire university, IT staff and eLearning had been using lynda.com for staff training.
In 2012, College of Environmental Design faculty were interested in using the resource to teach students basics in applications in the architecture department.
At that point, ENV became involved in advocating for a site license with the IT division.
“They were so excited,” said Gonzales. “They really felt that they found something very valuable to help faculty and students.”
To log onto the site, students, staff and faculty use their Bronco name and password either through lynda.com or through the “Online Services” tab on the university’s website.
“We’ve seen that there’s a demand and a benefit for Lynda,” said Gonzales, “We are committing to a three-year license at this time.”
As part of the license agreement, lynda.com is committed to help CPP with marketing and educating people in using the website.
Company representatives were on campus at the Hot Dog Caper Oct. 2, and founder Lynda Weinman will be the keynote speaker at CPP’s PolyTeach, an event open to the campus community regarding the future of the university’s technology on April 3.