Community benefits from Lynda resources

Implemented earlier this semester, Lynda.com provides various technology tutorials at the fingertips of students, professors and faculty members.

Lynda.com arrived on Main Campus and has been welcomed by those who have taken advantage of it.

The self-defined “online software training” service offers on-demand, 24/7 access to more than 1,300 training videos. The subject matter covered in these videos spans everything, from popular Adobe products, like Photoshop and Dreamweaver, to employment preparedness videos, such as one video titled, “How to conduct an effective meeting.”

Since Feb. 20, 2012, faculty, staff and enrolled students have had full free access to the normally subscription-based service.

A Temple AccessNet username and password is required to access lynda.temple.edu.

Gale Gallo, assistant director of technology training and outreach, of Computer Services said she is pleased to see the Temple community making use of Lynda’s resources.

“From February until the end of March, we’ve had 3,800 unique participants and that doesn’t even factor in the [number] of times that each logged in,” Gallo said.

Gallo, who is among that user base, cited how Lynda’s tutorials have already helped her, and that she believes that the tool can help her colleagues.

“I was in a position where I had to use some Excel formulas and I was really stumped,” Gallo said. “It was 11 [p.m.] and I was able to go to Lynda and that helped me figure it out.

Each year, our supervisors will give us competencies to fulfill and some of them are technical competencies. Lynda can actually be used to fulfill these.”

The scope of the videos offered surprised Gallo.

“Every day, I discover something new,” she said. “I was just poking around the site and found tutorials for things like ‘How to make yourself invaluable’ and ‘How to create an effective PowerPoint presentation.’ This made me think, ‘Wow, how valuable would this be for our students getting ready to graduate and enter the job market.’”

One of those users is Charles Vesley, junior management information systems major.

“It allowed me to expand my knowledge on the tools that I already knew in Photoshop,” he said. “I think it is a great resource for people who want to learn a relevant topic very quickly. I don’t use Lynda on a constant basis, but it is great for quick learns.”

Gallo said, the students from the School of Communications and Theater and the Fox School of Business are some of the two largest user groups. As a Fox student, Vesley said that he could relate to this.

“I would definitely recommend it to business students who are interested in learning something very quickly and are under a time constraint,” Vesley said. “I can picture teachers recommending it.”

Jeremy Shafer, director of solutions development for Computer Services, said that incorporating Lynda’s offerings in the classroom was one of the major considerations when bringing the tool to the university.

“One thing that was being thought of regarding Lynda, one of the bigger ideas, is that faculty can use this as a supplemental resource for classes,” Shafer said. “For example, if an accounting teacher wanted an entire class to have the same level of basic Excel skills at the beginning of a semester, then they could use this.”

Sophomore advertising major Amaris Talbert said she had not previously heard of the new tool, but wishes that it was incorporated into her classes.

“It’d be great if teachers talked about it in class,” Talbert said. “That’d be a really good way to let students know it was available. I’ve actually had this Photoshop assignment that I’ve been procrastinating for weeks because I have no idea how to use Photoshop. Maybe I’ll be able to get it done now.”

Gallo said that multimedia software has been the most commonly accessed of all the tutorials.

“Multimedia tutorials like InDesign and Final Cut Pro are getting some of our biggest numbers of hits,” Gallo said. “The nice thing is, some of these tutorials are really short, so you can get an answer really quick.”

Chin Ly, junior biochemestry major and current Foursquare mayor of the TECH Center, said that he has heard of Lynda.com from posters around Main Campus, but has never used it himself.

“I did see it advertised, but I personally prefer to use text-based tutorials,” Ly said.

He then opened the browser on his computer and navigated to Lynda.temple.edu.

“Although, now that I’m looking at it more, it seems pretty cool,” he said. “I may actually use it.”

Upon further review, Ly said that he thinks it is only a matter of time before the tool becomes more widely known by the Main Campus community.

“The more people that know about Lynda will cause word to spread faster and faster,” Ly added.

Gallo expressed that her department will make an effort to help spread the word.

“It is still new for us. We are going to continue promoting Lynda’s services and are going to reach out further to the various schools about it,” she said.

For now, she is satisfied with the reception that Lynda’s services have received from the Temple community.

“A number of both the faculty and students made the request for Lynda, and we listened,” Gallo said. “People like to learn online these days and people like to learn 24/7.”

Anyone who looks around the TECH Center at 2 a.m. can validate that. Just ask the mayor.

John Dailey can be reached at john.dailey@temple.edu.

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