I have been a subscriber to Lynda.com for around 1 year now and in that time i have found it a very worthwhile service to have, if you are interested in learning anything from Graphic design on Photoshop to social marketing techniques. When i first started working with photoshop i decided to try and learn from Youtube but the information was so different and disjointed that i wasn’t sure where i was up to or if i had learnt anything at all…I then started looking into Lynda.com as a way to learn the program and soon found I was looking at many other tutorials on the site. What follows is a Lynda.com review from my own perspective…
What is Lynda.com
I like to think of Lynda.com as kind of like youtube with all the crap taken away. Below are some of the features and topics you can learn once inside the programme, as of the time of writing there are..
378 x Developer courses
540 x Design courses
648 x Web courses
488 x Photography courses
114 x Education courses
258 x 3D and animation courses
481 x Video courses
154 x Audio and music courses
All of these courses are broken down into different subjects. For instance, if you were to go to the Video courses you may find courses in Video editing software like Sony vegas moviestudio. This is the first course I did as I had just bought that software package. Or you may want to do a course on marketing, social media or even Html programming if you are feeling in the mood!
The great thing about Lynda.com is that the tutors on there are all professionals and you know you are getting the best advice from industry professionals. I have not once seen a course that was below standard and I have to praise them on their quality tutors. You won’t find some kid with a laptop showing you how to install WordPress for instance!
The way the courses are structured is, in my opinion a great way to learn. Each section of the course is broken down into short segments say 5 – 10 mins long which you then go through one at a time. Some of the courses can be well over an hour long and in keeping them in short segments it is easy to follow along with.
Many of the courses also have course files with them, so for instance i was doing a course on InDesign and was able to work with the exact same things as the tutor was working on in the video, as the files were provided and i just uploaded them to InDesign. The course files are only available with the premium membership but you can still do the courses without the files. I will say though that it is really useful to be able to work in exactly the way the tutors are on screen.
Once you do a segment of a course you then move onto the next and so on and your progress is recorded..it is nice to feel that once you have finished a course you ca look back and see what you have achieved.
The courses are available on a number of different systems like PC, MAC and mobile devices which is really useful. I tend to use my iPad to watch the tutorials on as I then follow the instructions using my PC or laptop.
Although the courses are not interactive you really do feel like you are getting to know your tutor as you follow a course…but then maybe that’s just me!
If you want to learn plumbing or become an electrician then Lyda.com is probably not for you but if you are looking into e-learning and have an interest in Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design, Final Cut Pro or any number of other software programmes you would like to use then this could be a great thing fo you to check out.
I have spent quite a few hours going through different courses when i was meant to be doing “Real Work” so it is easy to get carried away with your learning,Which isn’t a bad thing as after all you are learning fantastic new skills..but be careful..it is quite addictive Ha Ha!
There is a free version of the programme which gives you a few courses to watch. The only thing is that you will find probably only the first 4 or 5 segments of the tutorial are available, with the others being locked, but it does give you a feel for what it is all about. All you need to do is visit the website and click on a course to watch. No signup necessary.
The Basic membership starts at $25 per month and for this you will get unlimited access to all the courses but do not get the file downloads. The premium package is $37.50 per month which is the one I have and you do get the file downloads. Well worth it in my opinion. They also have an annual membership. What I like about the membership though is that you can pause and stop your membership whenever you like. So for instance lets say you wanted to do one course but then wanted to stop for a couple of months. You just hold your payments and then reinstate when you want to continue. This I find very useful and it also still keeps track of the courses you have done. For that reason I would say that the better option is probably the pay monthly rather than the yearly.
As an e-learning tool i have to say that the standard of courses and the structure in which they are laid out is well worth the price tag, and if you are considering an e-learning platform Lynda.com is definitely worth a look. Can you find the same thing on Youtube?..well yes i suppose you can, but it may take you hours to sift through all the crap to find the good stuff and even when you do, it really isn’t what you would call a course. And that is where Lynda.com differs. It offers a learning course rather than a tutorial video.
Below is a quick look video of around the platform using my own account, and thanks for checking out my Lynda.com review. As always if you have any questions or comments please just drop me a comment.
Have fun in your learning if you decide to give it a try..but don’t get too addicted Ha Ha!
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