$218.7K Lynda.com sees use from 9 percent of NIU

Since NIU signed a $218,700, three-year contract with Lynda.com last November, only 9.4 percent of students and employees have accessed their accounts.

Lynda.com, a LinkedIn company, is an online video service designed to help individuals learn the skills needed to succeed in their careers. Each video is taught by an industry expert, according to the website.

The Division of Information Technology entered into a 3-year, $218,700 contract in fall 2015 with Lynda.com, according to the results of a Freedom of Information Act request to the Division of IT by the Northern Star.

“Currently [the contract] is being paid out of the Division of IT, but I don’t know if that will change at some point,” said Cindy Kozumplik, Enterprise Resource Planning Testing and Training coordinator for the Division of IT, who finalized the contract.

From the time the license was obtained in November through February, there were 1,449 student log-ins and 871 employee log-ins, according to the FOIA results.

With enrollment at 18,519 students and 3,303 faculty/staff, only 9.4 percent of the 21,822 individuals with access to Lynda.com have logged on.

“I believe [a mid-semester launch of Lynda.com] factors into that low number,” Kozumplik said.

Kozumplik said there are no plans to try to cancel the contract.

Lynda.com features 12 different subjects including business, design and IT. Each subject is then broken down into at least 10 topics. There are also walkthroughs that teach users how to use different forms of software like Photoshop. Each video is taught by a Lynda-certified industry expert, according to the website.

Kozumplik said when the Division of IT began exploring a university-wide license there were already three groups on campus with individual licenses. The total of these licenses was costlier than a university-wide license.

When the agreement was first announced in November, students and faculty were notified of the opportunity to activate their Lynda.com account in an email and another message was sent out the first week of the spring semester, Kozumplik said.

The Division of IT has also been reaching out to faculty through workshops to introduce Lynda.com in the classroom and an attempt was also being made to incorporate Lynda.com into Blackboard, Kozumplik said.

“I think [Lynda.com] has been a success so far because it’s getting the awareness out there to the campus that there is an online learning tool that people can do either at home, or that you can use at your desk to improve your overall wellness of yourself,” Kozumplik said.