By Doug Ward
The online training site Lynda.com announced this week that it was canceling its lyndaClassroom program.
The classroom program allowed instructors to choose up to five online tutorials for students in a designated class to use during a semester. Students then signed up through Lynda.com and paid $10 a month, or about $35 for a semester.
It was an excellent, cost-effective way to help students gain technology skills. The cost was less than most textbooks, making it a useful tool for instructors in many fields.
Lynda offers nearly 4,000 training modules in everything from web development and design tools to photo, video, and audio creation. It began mostly as a site for technology training, and that training is still its mainstay. It has expanded its offerings over the last few years to include areas like business strategy, marketing, teacher training, and even grammar.
Lynda didn’t say why it was ending the program, although the company was acquired by LinkedIn earlier this year. Changes are inevitable after any acquisition.
In a brief email announcement, the company said the classroom program would end on July 17 “in order to focus our efforts on building even better experiences for educators and students.”
That sort of vapid corporate-speak usually means that prices will increase.
I had planned on using Lynda’s classroom program for a class this fall. I emailed Lynda’s customer support on Wednesday in hopes of finding out more about the changes. A representative emailed me back on Thursday saying that the company had been inundated with similar requests and would get back as soon as possible.
I certainly don’t begrudge Lynda’s desire to revamp its approach. I just wish the company had done a better job of communicating the changes and, ideally, had provided more time for educators to find other options.
A third of students in a recent poll said that anxiety about finances led them to neglect schoolwork, Money reports. About the same percentage said they had cut back on their class load because of financial worries. … A growing number of students see textbook purchases as optional even when professors say the books are required, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Doug Ward is the associate director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and an associate professor of journalism. You can follow him on Twitter @kuediting.