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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Courses

Page address: https://www.mnsu.edu/stc/lynda/courses.html

Lynda.com has a gigantic library of courses on a number of different subjects. This course will go over the process of finding courses, participating in courses, and even saving courses for later. After reviewing the information, below you will be a pro with using courses in Lynda.com. With this information you will be better equipped to learn all that you can with this premium learning tool.

Finding A Course

With the numerous amount of courses within Lynda.com, it can be a little overwhelming to find the right courses or subject you want to lean about. However, there are a couple of different ways to go about finding the perfect course for you. Courses can primarily be found by browsing the library by subject matter, browsing through the homepage suggestions, and by simply using the search bar.

Browse the Library

The Lynda.com Library is an easy way to browse the courses that the site has to offer. You can find the link to the Library at the top of any page while you are on Lynda.com.

To access this Library all you need to do is mouse-over on the button labeled Library. Doing so will open a drop-down menu of the entire Lynda.com Library sectioned out by main subject headings. Mousing over any of the main subject headings will show you a small list of minor subject areas that are sectioned into Topics, Software, Learning Paths, and possibly even Guides.

  • Topics is a subset of subjects that fall under the main subject heading. For example, under the main subject 3D + Animation, below the Topics heading you will find the minor subject of Character Animation. Clicking any of these subjects will show you a list of all the courses that teach material related to that subject.
  • Software, is a list of specific software products that you can be trained in that relate to the main subject heading. For example, under the main subject Audio + Music, under the Software heading you will find the minor subject of Pro Tools. Clicking any of these software will bring you to a list of all the courses that teach information related to using that particular software.
  • Learning Paths, is a list of potential job positions or business skills that you can become trained. For example, under the main subject Design, below the Learning Paths heading you will find the minor subject of Become a Graphic Designer. Clicking on them will give you a playlist of courses that you can use as a learning model to be trained within the learning path area.
  • Guides is a small list of learning guides that you can use to understand a subject, and show you what steps you should take to be able to effectively learn that subject in detail. For example, under the main subject Web, below the Guides heading you will find the minor subject Starting a Career in UX Design. Clicking on a guide will bring you to an entire learning guide of videos and articles explaining the subject, and how you should approach it from a learning standpoint to become proficient with that knowledge. You will not find the Guides heading under every main subject section.

Under each of these sections while looking at the Library you find a button at the bottom of each list labeled See All. Clicking this button will bring you to a list of all the courses or learning paths that fall under the main subject area.

Clicking on the button will bring you to an alphabetized list of all the subjects that Lynda.com has courses under. You can scroll down through the list of the minor subject areas, or at the top of the page you will see an alphabet of links to be able to jump down the page to individual letter sections. Next to each minor subject name there will be a number in parentheses that will tell you how many courses that are listed under that subject. Clicking a the minor subject will bring you to a list of all the courses that relate to it.

Browse the Homepage

When you login to Lynda.com you will end up on your own personal homepage. On this page you will find several different sections that will direct you to different content within Lynda.com. If you are currently working on any courses, you might find that there is a little block that is trying to keep you motivated to finish or if you are in the middle of a video or course, there may be a section for you to continue watching, and so on. One of these sections you will likely always find is the Suggested Courses section.

At the top of the Suggested Courses section is a small block of Popular Learning Paths. These, much like the Learning Paths section noted above in the Library, are links to a playlist of courses and/or videos that will help you to learn a particular subject or skill set. These links will be in picture form with the subject title over the front of the picture.

Below the Popular Learning Paths is the Courses section with selectable headings for New, Popular, Recommended, and Popular at your Organizations. When selecting each one of these headings you will find a small bar below them with a subheading that you can choose to narrow your suggested results even further. Then below the headings you will see a list you can scroll down through a number of courses that fall under whatever heading that you have selected.

Search Bar

The Search Bar is located at the top of every page within Lynda.com. To use it you can simply click inside the white text box, type in a keyword for the type of course you are looking for, and click the magnifying glass just to the right of the text box or hit enter.

You may find that when you are typing in the search bar that suggestions will come up below the bar that can help you find exactly what you are looking for. When these suggestions come up they will have different symbols next to them on the left hand side that will indicate what type of search result it will be suggesting. A magnifying glass icon will be a search term suggestion. A file window will be a course suggestion. Three small lines will be a suggestion for a learning path suggestion. Clicking on the search term suggestions will automatically search courses, videos, learning paths, and guides that relate to that search term. Clicking on course and learning path suggestions will bring you right to that course or learning path.

Typing in a keyword to search and clicking the magnifying glass to make a search, or by clicking on one of the search suggestions that comes up while typing in the Search Bar, will bring you to the search results page. Here you will see a list of all the courses, videos, learning paths, and guides that relate to the keyword(s) you used in the search. At the top of the search results area you will see numbers indicating how many individual videos and courses are within the search results below. If you do not find what you are looking for within these results right away there are a few things you can do. First of which you can look above the search results on the right-hand side there is a drop-down menu to manage the sorting of the search results. On the left-hand side of the page there are options to narrow down your search by software, author, skill level, and more. For example, if you search for web design. You may come up with hundreds of courses and thousands of videos. To narrow that down you could look to the left of the search results and see Open Source, Adobe, and CSS listed under the Software heading, Chris Converse, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, and Ray Villalobos under the Author, and under the Skill Level heading you will see Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Appropriate for all. Clicking on any of these will help to narrow down your results to find just the course/video you are looking for.

Participating in Courses

You probably thought that all you could do was simply watch the Lynda.com courses in video format, and that was it. Well there is actually quite a bit more to the courses videos than meets the eye.

Course Title Bar

At the top of each course/video you are viewing you will see in bold on the left the title of the video you are viewing, and the title of the course that the video is from. On the right-hand side you will see buttons to be able to: change the layout of how the video is presented with the Layout button, add the course/video to your playlists with the Add to Playlist button, share the video/course right to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as well as giving you a link with the Share button, and finally the 3 dot button allows you to set reminder emails to make sure you stay on track with your learning, gives you a list of all the keyboard shortcuts to use while on Lynda.com, and take a tour of the course you are on in case there are new features here you didn't know about.

The Video

The main section of each course page will be the video. At the bottom of the video player you will see a bar that helps you control the video much like any other video player. However, what sets Lynda.com's videos apart is the fact that you can manage the play speed of the video so that if the presenter is showing off how to do something and they are going a little fast for you, you can slow it down. Also every one of their videos come with closed captioning that you can easily toggle on and off with the options on this bar.

Description Box

Directly below the video you will find the description box. Here you can find several tabs worth of information. The information for which can be found below. You can easily click back and forth between them right at the top of this box. As the default on each course you will likely see the Overview tab be the one visible right away.

Overview Tab

In the Overview tab you will find general information about the entire course that the video you are viewing is under. There will be an image and the name of the author that is voicing the video on the left-hand side. In the middle of this tab you will see the date that the course was created at the top and below it is a description of the content that is provided throughout the course. On the right-hand side there is a listing for the skill level recommended for this course, how long the course will take to view in its entirety, and the number of times that the course has been viewed by other users.

Transcript Tab

The Transcript tab gives you a full script of the video that you can read. This is especially helpful if you aren't understanding the presenter very well and want to make sure you know exactly what they were saying. Plus while depending on the point at which you are in the video you will see the transcript become highlighted in yellow that follow along with the closed captioning. If you were to pause the video and have the CC on you will see that the text on the video is the same that is highlighted below. This can be helpful if the presenter is doing a demonstration on screen, and you need to pause to understand what is being shown, but you can still see what the presenter is about to say about the images in the video without having to hit play.

View Offline Tab

The View Offline tab gives you the opportunity to download the video to be able to view on your own time on your computer without having to be connected to the internet. This is perfect if you are trying to learn on the go and are going to be in the car, on a plane, or anywhere you might be traveling and won't have internet access. However, just remember you will have to go to this tab and download before you go.

Clicking on the button to download it won't actually download the course as a video to your computer like you would expect. This will open up a new page that will ask you to download their desktop application to be able to open and save courses to your computer with. All you need to do is login with your normal credentials and you will have access to the full Lynda.com experience without even having to open a browser.

Exercise Files Tab

Within the Exercise Files tab you have the ability to download some practice files that you can use to follow along with the video. These are for your use to be able to help learn the content better while actually doing the activities that you are seeing within the videos. The files that you download are organized into chapter folders that are sectioned the same as they are in the Contents Tab that will be covered below. They have files that will have the bare minimum to start a lesson and up to completely done so you can check to make sure that you did everything correctly if you were following along. Using these files can exponentially increase your learning value from using Lynda.com courses.

Tag List

Within the Tag List you can find all of the tags that you can find this course/video listed under. This section can be found directly below the Description Box. If you were to ever be using the Search Bar or looking though the Library you can find this course under these terms. These terms are sectioned by the different categories the terms will fall under. Additionally you can click on any of the terms listed here to bring you right into a search for all the courses that are tagged with the same term.

Suggested Courses

In the Suggested Courses you will find a list of several courses that are recommended to you based on the course you are currently viewing. You can find this section just below the Tag List section. Displayed on this list is a small image relating to the course, the title of the course, the author of the course, how long the course will take to completely view, what level the course is recommended to be, and at the bottom right of each course is a plus symbol that will allow you to add the suggested course to your playlists. Clicking on any of these courses will bring you right to their respective course page.

Contents Tab

The Contents tab is found paired with the Notebook tab on the left-hand side of the page. Within this tab you will see a full list of all the videos that are within the course that you are viewing. The particular video you are currently viewing will be highlighted in blue. Any course that you have already viewed will have a little blue eye icon next to it just to the right of the name of the video. Below the name of the video you will see how long each video is. You can also find a bookmarking icon to the left of every video name allowing you to click on it to your bookmarked videos which will be gone over in the Bookmarks section on the Profile page.

The videos are split up into chapters of content and you will see the titles of the chapters being bigger text, bolded, having a dropdown arrow next to them, and having a black sectioning line follow them. This is to help organize the content of the course into different specific sections.

At the top of this tab you will find a search bar that will allow you to search this list for any video with titles that contain the keywords you type in the search bar as well as look at all the transcripts for all the videos that contain those keywords as well. You can click on the results to go directly to that video or the place in the video where the keyword lands in the transcript.

Scrolling all the way to the bottom of this tab you will find a section labeled What did you learn?. Clicking this will replace the video section with some text and a link to a quiz that you can take to test your knowledge based on the course you are watching. This is intended to be only for your benefit, results are not recorded or published, and is just a good way to check and make sure you learned the key lessons in the course.

Notebook Tab

The Notebook tab is paired with the Contents tab on the left-hand side of the page. Within this tab you will be able to take notes while watching the course. Simply type in the box at the top of the tab and finish the note by hitting the Enter/Return key on your keyboard. This will then create a note that will be found here in this tab. Notes will then appear below the search bar and will follow a chronological order with the videos.

When you create a note it will be tied with the timestamp on the video that you are currently viewing. Next to each created note then is a link to jump right to that timestamp in the video for which it is linked to.

When you have one or more notes created you will see a new icon appear at the top of this tab just to the right of the note creation field. Clicking this icon will allow you to export all of your notes that you have created directly into a Microsoft Word, PDF, basic Text file, Google Docs, or even Evernote.

Course Feedback

The Course Feedback button can be found directly under the Contents and Notebook tabs. Clicking this button will bring you to a form to be able to provide feedback directly to Lynda.com about the course you are viewing. This is a great way to provide some constructive feedback to improve Lynda.com not only for you, but for everyone else as well.