Lynda at UChicago

Right before the break we executed a license of Lynda Campus for the entire UChicago community. We replaced a small set of licenses that had been manually managed in a check-in/check-out scenario … I asked for a license and was told there was a two week wait for one, so we wanted to do something about that.

I’ve been a very strong supporter of providing high quality and accessible learning opportunities through online providers for a very long time. When I was at Penn State and Stony Brook we had campus wide licenses and worked hard to drive adoption and use of the service by all members of our community — primarily students.

While students are a big reason why we moved to a campus-wide license, I am seeing an incredible opportunity for staff to utilize Lynda to stay current, move forward, and develop professional skills. The catalog of courses offered by Lynda continues to expand in very interesting directions. In fact, I believe there are significant opportunities to increase engagement, retention, and save real dollars through the use of eLearning as a supplement to traditional professional development.

Take for example the course I just completed, “Holding Skip Level Meetings.” This course teaches a framework for better managing a skip level meeting … what is a skip level meeting? It is a meeting held with staff at least two levels below you without their direct manager in the room. I do this type of thing informally in my Coffee with Cole sessions and find incredible value in holding them. What I learned from the Lynda course is that I am not maximizing the opportunity and might even be creating unneeded anxiety in my direct reports — clearly not my intention. Going forward I will use lessons I learned in the Lynda course to make the meetings stronger and more comfortable.

I took this course over a series of days on a variety of devices — I watched on my desktop computer, on my iPad, and my iPhone. The total time invested in the course was a little under an hour, but I was able to learn in small chunks of time where I could find them. And I will add that I really did learn some very valuable pieces of information that will change my behavior. I will be challenging us all to take advantage of Lynda in structured ways as we move forward. I even earned a certificate and a badge (that’s a post for another day).

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