Face to face (classroom based) staff and student training and CPD can be both expensive and time consuming. Courses are delivered at fixed times, in fixed locations and offer limited flexibility for those who cannot attend the College physically. The breadth of courses is also limited by resources we have available, and the skills of staff we have delivering them. Courses can quickly become out-dated, as new software versions become available, and internal resources are not updated.
Due to some of these challenges, King’s College London purchased LinkedIn Learning (previously known as Lynda.com) licences for all staff and students in 2017 to support their learning and development.
LinkedIn Learning is an online training library with thousands of high–quality, current and engaging video tutorials, with new courses added weekly to help users learn business, software, technology and creative skills.
By providing a flexible online solution, King’s aim was to better support staff and students to achieve their academic, professional and personal goals. It was important that adequate time and resources was invested to ensure that the system was utilised effectively. Therefore, the LinkedIn Learning Implementation and benefits realisation project was created, which aimed to:
- Increase access to training to support staff and students’ academic, professional and personal development.
- Promote LinkedIn Learning to raise awareness about its availability to staff and students.
- Identify opportunities to embed LinkedIn Learning into existing Programmes and modules, activities, networks, training, developments, and projects.
- Provide quantitative and qualitative data of LinkedIn Learning use across King’s.
The project team worked with different stakeholders to evidence how LinkedIn Learning was used in their areas. The main stakeholders represented 6 areas of the College which were:
- Education- Academic staff who can embed LinkedIn Learning into the curriculum to improve student academic and professional learning and development.
- Library Services- Who run several staff and student face to face training sessions, many of which are geared towards study skills.
- IT Services- Who provide IT skills training and support for all staff and students.
- Organisational Development- who are responsible for all staff professional training and development.
- Careers and Employability- who are responsible for student career readiness and employability skills development.
- Digital Education Student Committee– who work in partnership with CTEL to improve the digital learning experience for current and future students.
Working with stakeholders was a vital element of this project. Stakeholders are subject matter experts and were able to contextualise the (generic) LinkedIn Learning content to suit their audiences. The stakeholders were able to ensure suitability of the content, add wrap around activities and ensure that users were adequately supported.
Working with academics to embed content into the curriculum proved to be a very effective way of introducing students to LinkedIn Learning and the resources available to support their learning. It also provided the opportunity for employability skills to be included as part of the academic curriculum.
Working in partnership with the Digital Education Student Committee (DESC) enabled the student perspective to be considered. The student ideas for raising awareness about LinkedIn Learning and suggestions for how it can be embedded to provide an additional service and/or improve a service for current and future students, was very informative and provided some direction of where to focus efforts for communicating the service.
Case studies were produced from stakeholders which highlighted the objective, the process, target audience, the content used, the communication strategy and an evaluation of usage and how they found the overall process.
Since LinkedIn Learning was implemented at King’s, there has been rapid growth in usage, as can be seen in table 1 below.
Table 1: Year on year comparison of LinkedIn Learning users, courses and hours watched
Some of the growth can be attributed to an effective communication strategy and stakeholder engagement and implementation. The rapid growth of usage may not have occurred organically without the LinkedIn Learning implementation and benefits realisation project and dedicated project management resource.
In conclusion, the LinkedIn Learning implementation and benefits realisation project achieved its aims of increasing access to training, for King’s staff and students, raising awareness about its availability and embedding it into King’s current landscape. By actively promoting LinkedIn Learning and working with a variety of stakeholders, King’s was able to realise the benefits of LinkedIn Learning and provide qualitative and quantitative data to support this realisation. Aside from saving costs, providing flexibility and access to high quality training content to support users’ academic, professional and personal development, the benefits support the 2017-2022 King’s Education Strategy and provide evidence for several of the Teaching Excellence Framework criteria.
Implementing LinkedIn Learning effectively needs staff time, effort and a change in culture, that requires a move away from the dependency of classroom-based training and development to self-directed, independent, online and blended learning-based training and development. Ongoing stakeholder engagement and collaboration is vital for raising awareness and ensuring the licences continue to be used effectively.
The suggestion is not for LinkedIn Learning to replace all traditional classroom/ face to face training, but to provide a flexible solution where appropriate. LinkedIn Learning is a useful resource that appears to be liked by staff and students.
- King’s College London LinkedIn Learning Case Study
- LinkedIn Learning at King’s staff and student guides
Written by Nabila Raji
Nabila Raji is the Centre Manager at the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning (CTEL) at King’s College London. Her role includes communication strategy and implementation for digital education, project management, operational and resource management, and student engagement lead for digital education. Nabila is the project manager for the LinkedIn Learning Implementation and benefits realisation work across King’s and manages the Digital Education Student Committee (DESC).