Let’s dive right in.
I should note, that you do not need a Linkedin account to use Linkedin Learning “eLearning Platform (their name)”. But, I’d recommend it.
For clarity sakes, “green happy face” means – good/very good/excellent
Yellow blah face – means average – sort of the blah of “blah”, been there, seen that.
Red unhappy face – means poor, below poor, yuck. And yuck is like stepping in something you think is mud, but isn’t.
What makes mini reviews different than my other product reviews?
- No images. No screens, nothing. Just text to paper, err blog in this case.
- Good/Avg./Bad – tells the story, no really in-depth here, okay, there is, but not a REALLY breakdown by each section per se.
- Shorter in length – it is a mini review after all.
Back for Linkedin Learning this pesky system still has a high interest from a lot of folks. Personally, I don’t get it. I mean it is a brand name, “Linkedin” and the content/courses come from “Lynda.com”, but if you are expecting a major rock star product, I’m sorry this is not it.
Yeah it has been around only a year plus, and for those who wrote me, that ‘give them a break” because they are so new, I say, why? Plenty of systems out there are less than 1.5 yrs old, and are way better than them. And they didn’t get acquired by Microsoft (Linkedin that is), nor pay over 2 billion to buy Lynda.com (Linkedin that is).
Fun Fact – According to the person I spoke with on the phone, “They have the biggest studio outside of Hollywood, CA.”
Now, I’ve been to Carpinteria (it’s south of Santa Barbara, CA) Lynda.com is headquarters and there is no way, they have the largest studio outside of Hollywood, CA. First off, with the exception of Paramount, none of the other film studios are in Hollywood, but besides that, there are places like New York and London to name two that have bigger studios.
Anyway, there is that fun fact. Wrong. But fun nevertheless.
Linkedin Learning eLearning Platform (As noted by Linkedin Learning)
They call themselves an “eLearning Platform”, but what they really are is a courseware learning platform.
- You buy the Lynda.com content/courses (entire library) and the learning platform is tossed in at no additional charge.
- Lynda.com content/courses are housed on Linkedin Learning servers, not on Lynda.com (I’ll get to this in a second)
I was told that they have had clients buy only a bundle of the Lynda.com courses to be in the learning platform, but that is not the norm. I can only assume in that case, since you are not buying the entire library, the platform is no longer a freebie. But that said, the system is first and foremost a courseware learning platform.
Why not an LMS?
Does not have the 16 minimum features, I see as standards to be considered an LMS.
Break it all down
- Notes – Ability to take notes at any point you are viewing a course
- Ability to click on any phrase or word in the transcript below the video/course and it goes right to that spot. So, if it you click on the text, “UFOs”, it goes to where the person says “UFOs”.
- Dots in the timeline of the video, so you can just go to that “point” if you will to start the video, rather than have to watch from the beginning or fast forward to get there.
- Can save your favorite courses/content and place them into a collection, even ones you created as a learner.
You may say to yourself, what makes this so unique and why would they want a collection? This is a courseware learning platform that comes with the entire Lynda.com course bundle.
Thus, if the learner is zinging around and looking at dozens and dozens of courses specific to their title or job role, they would hopefully find a course or content they like, save it, and then be able to go back to it.
- Strong metadata search. It’s good. Could it be better, yes, but still a good one here.
You can search by topics, skills, courses and videos. You can also search by Job Title.
- Courses have a TOC – Table of Contents – so you can jump around, in a non-linear fashion, the way WBT was meant to be.
- Interconnected with Linkedin, thus your profile in Linkedin. Depends on your angle, this can be a good or bad, I sort of like it, although I just do not see the value of it, unless you are looking for a job and even then it is such an item, where someone goes, “Yowsa, they did take Lotus 1-2-3, we need to hire them!”
- Identifies which courses/content can be downloaded offline. You see this in numerous movie/video sites these days, including Netflix, EPIX and so on.
I would prefer to see whether the course is ideal for mobile or not, but that is non-doable here.
– Average and Poor
— Some items are average with a tinge of good, some are average and some are average, but the breakdown capabilities are poor. Pick and Choose, I say. Pick and Choose.
- Analytical data – If you want robust data, this is not the system for you. If you want in-depth data, ditto. I was hoping for some real info, the guts if you will. From a learning platform standpoint, again, middle of the road.
- Reports – Download and share with friends. You can’t see them online, you have to download them and view them. I thought one of the values of having a system online is to see your report(s) online.
- Shows duration time. I believe the value of WBT is to bounce where you want when you want, hence non-linear and thus the “duration time” is misleading. But, we are forced at an early age to learn by “duration” in school. You have thirty minutes to take this test. The class is 55 minutes in length, etc. And it is natural to say, how long is this course?
- Admin side as a whole – I wish I could show you what I saw, but trust me, when I tell you, there isn’t anything super duper wow here.
- Create a learning path/collection (Admin side)
Here is the approach
- You can create learning paths and collections.
- The content curated, can go in both, but let’s go with the learning path angle here.
- In a learning path, you will add the courses/content from Lynda.com – that you want, add the content via links. It appears as a path now for the learner.
As the administrator you can break down the path, to have X items to complete first, then Y then Z or shove them all into one nice collection. Duration for all items is viewable along with the number of “items’ and number of “sections”.
- Content curation via Admin – This is all about links here. If it is not part of the Lynda.com library, then you need to go find it and add it via a link, whereas your learners click on the link and go right to that site, outside of Linkedin Learning.
- Identify type of content
- Give it a title
- Enter a description
- Add the url
- Add tags (I like tags)
Once the “custom content” is added to the system, the learner will see the info including the source. If the content has a screen or image, that is seen, followed by the type of content.
But here’s the kicker, if you have a video is says, “video”, but in order to get to the video you have to click a link, but you can have a content type that says link, where, get ready for it… you click a link to go to that content. Since all 3rd party content sits outside the system i.e. TED for example, rather than have “link” as a content option, I’d like to just say “PDF” of what it is and be done with it.
Oh you can also share too.
- Sharing – You can share any course/content/etc. that exists in the learning platform with anyone in the outside world, including Twitter and Facebook
- Likes – The system will show you how many “likes” each course and piece of content it has, but wait for it, this is something I did not like (no pun intended)
The likes are from everyone that is in Linkedin Learning, it is crowd-sourcing at its worst. Since you are sharing, in essence, the entire course library of Lynda.com, Linkedin Learning shows you the number of likes, number of views, etc. in the course library for your learners.
This means that in their learner homepage: top picks, recommendations viewed via the use of an algorithm, is based on multiple factors, including the collective whole – a key component. Therefore, for your company, the most viewed could be “Grammar V1 – inside the comma,” but what your learners would see, is something entirely else, because unless “Grammar V1 – inside the comma” is the most viewed course in the entire 10,000+ courses of Lynda.com, it won’t show up.
Linkedin Learning explained that the information for your company would appear on the admin side, but I wanted it for my learners as well -not doable. A big F in my book.
Oh, and on top of that, came this strange twist to the whole donut bit. Your learners will only see their courses, i.e. learner from company A, can’t see what your learners are taking, but if your learner wants to share that course with Twitter, then from what I gather, anyone can see that course. But wait!
They can’t because they need to have an account to see those courses, via a subscription with Lynda.com or at another company using Linkedin Learning. Which begs the question – why would I want to share it with the outside world, besides giving Linkedin a beautiful upsell opportunity on my dime (err budget)?
- Adding your own courses – A Big POOR here. Yes, you can add them, but no they will not sit on your Linkedin Learning site. Where do they sit? You decide. On a server most likely, yours or wherever you house your courses. You cannot upload your own courses, regardless of how they are built via 3rd party authoring tool or custom shop or on a 3rd party site. It is all Links. All the time.
- The report offerings. I want to know who thought this information, was the most important to extract for identifying training gaps. Some items are solid, others are “New Coke” in perspective. You get nine reports. Four are based on Lynda.com content/courses. And as a bonus kicker:
Anything outside of Linkedin Learning, does not extract enough data. Yep, they can’t get the nitty gritty data details you want, that you would expect to see in any learning platform/LMS.
- No skinning of your colors – Yep. Can’t have it. I have to admit, I have not heard an LMS, learning platform vendor say this since, uh, never (ok, since 1998). Sure I heard, “yes you can have it, but it costs X or Y,”.
- Course recommendation for administrators, that have nothing to do with what you are interested in. This is another collective whole thing I assume, but the one I saw in the demo was on self-awareness and leadership. The premise is good, but it should be geared to the skills personal or professional, that my administrators are interested in or the training or L&D sees as a need or value to that role.
This is a learning engagement platform.
I could see this as a bolt-on to your LMS or learning platform, specifically for the lynda.com library.
But here’s the thing.
You can do that now, without buying Linkedin Learning platform, because Lynda.com has partnerships with several LMS vendors already in place.
If you go that route – and depending on the LMS/LP you buy, you could get everything you want, plus the Lynda.com content.
The downside is it is not all-inclusive.
The upside, your courses are no longer links.
Your content sits on your LMS and Learning Platform.
And you are not part of the collective whole.
If I wanted that.
I’d join the