As part of the Technology Innovations for Learning and Teaching program, and in collaboration with the DISCOVERe Tablet initiative on campus, students now have access to the online learning library Lynda.com.
The library offers thousands of instructional videos on a variety of subjects ranging from business to technology.
“The program provides instant support when you need it for a large host of different software and skill sets, not just training and video courses, but also targeted skills,” said Chris Vieira, Fresno State’s administrative project coordinator.
Online tutorials from the website include 3-D animation, multimedia and webpage design, project management, Photoshop and architecture. They typically run in one- to three-minute segments.
“Lynda gets experts who are really good in the field at explaining material in terms that students can understand,” Vieira said. “It provides an easy way for people to meet technologies and learn new skill sets, get it on the go and can even be watched offline.”
Other colleges that have implemented the website include Yale University, New York University, University of Southern California and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Lynda.com’s instructional value is important to both students and faculty, Vieira said, with staff and faculty having the ability to assign online materials that they might not have time to cover in a typical 50-minute course.
“This is a great way for faculty to add to their instruction and ensure that students are receiving targeted support for specific skills they might need,” Vieira said. “It’s real world skills.”
With the new website, professors can view what students are watching to measure what questions or difficulties students might be having with specific curriculum. This feature acts not only as an additional resource to students outside the classroom, but also as a conduit for communication between faculty and students, Vieria said.
“I think it would be a great resource for students to know about and utilize,” said Fresno State English professor Dr. John Beynon. “If this were something I had access to some years ago, I think I would have been a lot more savvy when it comes to teach.”
Beynon uses Lynda.com for his English 31 course to brush up on Evernote, a program used in his DISCOVERe class. He also encourages other students to use the resource.
“What’s really nice about it is that it doesn’t have to be used only for educational purposes, but can be used to learn about apps that students may just want to learn more about,” Beynon said. “There are a whole range of ways that you can benefit from using Lynda.com.”
Kelsey Haack, a junior biology major and chemistry tutor for the Learning Center, said that she found the website useful in helping students.
“If students are having trouble with something like Excel, I can pull up the tutorial directly from Lynda.com and show them,” Haack said. “It helps students to better visualize the material they are learning by actually getting to see the videos, download the material and learn step by step how to run the program.”
Over 1,700 Fresno State users are currently registered through the website, which is a free resource when accessed online through their MyFresnoState or lynda.fresnostate.edu accounts. If students subscribed to the program on their own, it would cost them $50 a month.
“Reception has been very positive from students who have downloaded it,” Vieira said. “Students who don’t know have yet to experience it, and once they do, they’ll find that there’s quite a bit of value in it.”