We all learn differently. Some learn by doing. Some by reading. Some by hearing. I like having someone tell me how to do something and then going and trying it in the real world immediately after learning.*
I worked for more than 10 years in eLearning software development at Platte Canyon and Titan Client/Server Technologies. I wrote numerous software simulations that allowed learners to see, try, and do. I narrated hundreds and hundreds of pages of training. I wrote tools to help others write eLearning. All of that doesn’t matter now, though, because I think Lynda.Com finally got it right and they basically do nothing that I was doing. They just shoot videos:
The Good Way: Lynda.com
They skip most of the fancy simulations. They skip the ad nauseum quiz questions. The core of the training is down-to-earth video training on specific tasks in specific software. There are some sample files you can download and try on your own to follow along (sometimes helpful), or you can just watch the video and go do it on your own.
From a technical side, since the training is all just web videos, it’s very easy to get.
- Quick to learn Technical Training.
- Just like an in-person class.
- No distracting eLearning BS like quizzes and simulations
- I can use any browser.
- I can use any platform.
Lynda.com: Great content, easy to get to, taught in a way that I can quickly absorb and understand.
The Bad Way: SkillPort
I’m comparing my Lynda.Com experience to the University of Colorado’s standard offering from SkillPort which has the craziest multi-window login I’ve ever seen. Then, once you go through the 5 screens or so to get in, you then need to navigate the daunting tree of available courses.
Once you actually find your course, THEN, FINALLY, the actual course launches in yet another window. And it’s a read, click, read, click sort of thing, with some simulations that you are required to go through before you continue.
The simulations stink. Here’s one example of a simulation in SkillSoft: Say you need to save a document. To save a document, you just wnat to press Ctrl-S and the save is done, right? That’s what we do in MS Word, for instance. Not with SkillPort. That doesn’t work. Ctrl-S = Fail. The simulation blocks you from going on until you choose File, Save. So it all feels just a little cumbersome and old fashioned.
End of Story: I Love Lynda.Com if for no other reason than it works the way it should. I learn from it. It’s easy to use. All good.
*Since I’m talking about how I learn, actually, from what I can tell, I’m an auditory learner in live classes. But I’m the annoying student who learns best hearing MYSELF say the content. I raise my hand and summarize the point: “Wait, are you saying (blah blah blah)?” The teacher says, “yes, Chris, that’s what I’m saying,” and moves on thinking, “didn’t I just say that?” And when I’m really trying to learn something, I do interruption and restatement over and over. It’s a nightmare. (I’ll understand if you never want to take a class with me).