Evaluating Lynda.com Platform Usage: An Analysis of 2018–19 User Data

80,000 postsecondary students, faculty and staff made free use of Lynda.com library in 2018–19

About 80,000 Ontario postsecondary students, faculty and staff took advantage of free access to a library of video tutorials provided by Lynda.com during the 2018–19 school year, according to a report that analyzed usage data on the online learning platform owned by LinkedIn Corp. 

In 2017, the Ontario government purchased a blanket licence for students, faculty and staff at all public universities and colleges in the province to Lynda.com (now known as LinkedIn Learning). The 2018–19 year was the first full year of availability. The three-year pilot licence is set to expire in December 2020.

The report, Evaluating Lynda.com Platform Usage: An Analysis of 2018–19 Data, found that about 60% of the 80,000 users were from colleges and 40% were from universities. Less than one-quarter of users completed a full course, and a small group of users (4%) accounted for almost 24% of course completions.

Approximately 80% of the users were students, representing 6.7% of eligible Ontario students. Student users were concentrated in business, engineering and technology-related fields. About 1.5% of eligible Ontario students completed at least one course.

Users most often accessed courses associated with software skills, technical skills and computer science or information technology skills. The most popular course was Excel Essential Training.

The report, published by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), is part of a multi-year evaluation on how well the Lynda.com blanket licence pilot is serving students. In the first phase of the evaluation, HEQCO partnered with eCampusOntario to survey students on the skills they believe they will need after graduation, the skills they developed during their postsecondary experience and their interest in online skills development. 

The authors noted there was little overlap between the skills students perceived they were lacking and those they attempted to develop by accessing Lynda.com content.

Evaluating Lynda.com Platform Usage: An Analysis of 2018–19 Data was written by Jackie Pichette, Sarah Brumwell and Jess McKeown, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.