A Love Letter to Lynda.com, and an Introduction for the Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts is trialling a subscription to the online training resource library Lynda.com, a brilliant and wide-ranging library of video tutorials aimed at developing technical and professional skills. It’s really very difficult to convey how impressive and high calibre these training videos are. For those that know me, or technical problem solver Ollie Coady, both he and I have watched hours of these videos and can’t praise them enough.

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Why would you use Lynda.com? Perhaps you see a growing value in creating rich media resources to present your teaching and research? Maybe you’re already experimenting with video, or putting a little extra effort into designing your lecture and conference slides? Maybe weekend photography is simply a hobby of yours, and you’d like to take your skills to the next level? There are literally hundreds of topics with well structured and presented videos that help you develop your professional teaching and production skills.

You might have watched some online training videos in the past dredged up from the dark recesses of YouTube, and are understandably skeptical of the format (“No, I don’t need you to spend 40 seconds of a 2 minute video showing me your logo animation, introducing yourself, your dog, and showing me how to open a file. Just get to the point!”) You’d know that the quality can be hit, but much more likely miss. The great thing about Lynda.com videos is that they’re designed from the ground up to be professional training resources, and scaffold very nicely over smaller modules to teach complex topics. There are different videos designed for different competencies, so beginners can learn the basics while advanced users can really hone their skills.

A quick glance over the subject areas will give you an idea of the breadth of courses available. In addition to some of the creative technical fields (video, web, photography etc.) and specific software packages, Lynda.com features an entire section on eLearning and Ed Tech (http://www.lynda.com/Education-training-tutorials/1792-0.html).

Go to the website, have a browse, see what’s available and maybe have click on some of the publicly available introductions to get a feel for it. If you’d like to see more, the Faculty has one subscription that we can loan out. Email me (philip.betts@mq.edu.au) and we can discuss sharing access with you.

At the risk of being an irrepressible rumour-monger, there are some quiet whispers amongst the LTC about maybe looking into considering potentially investigating purchasing a site-wide institutional license, so it’s not just Ollie and I who think these are fab. Check them out for yourself, then go forth and develop some mad skillz.

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Phil’s pick of the bunch: Foundations of Photography: Lenses – http://www.lynda.com/Photography-tutorials/foundations-of-photography-lenses/76336-2.html

Ollie’s pick of the bunch: WordPress Essential Training –http://www.lynda.com/WordPress-tutorials/WordPress-Essential-Training/154417-2.html 

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