A website that features a vast video library of top-quality courses taught by industry experts is now available to Carleton students, staff and faculty for free.

Thanks to a new initiative through eCampusOntario, public colleges and universities across the province will have free access to Lynda.com, a website that offers online courses, classes, training and tutorials. Usually subscription based, this service will allow any registered student to develop software, business, technology and creative skills to help them achieve personal and professional goals.

To sign up for your free account, visit Carleton’s Learning and Development page and click the link to Carleton’s Lynda portal (this page also has useful how-tos and other tips). Once you log in, you can choose to sync any previous account to your Carleton Lynda account so you will keep your history, lists and settings, or just start a new account.

After signing up, Lynda.com prompts you to choose one or more skills you wish to work on or acquire. It then asks what you do, or what you’d like to do. From there, it generates a bunch of videos that may be relevant to your personal interests and areas of growth.

Courses offered include: 3D and Animation, Audio and Music, Business, Computer-aided Design (CAD), Design, Developer, Education and eLearning, IT, Marketing, Photography, Video, and Web. Within each category of learning, it also offers tutorials of software that may be relevant to the field you choose.

With all these options, choosing a topic may seem like a daunting task, especially because you might feel like you want to learn it all. Lynda promotes popular learning paths and subjects on your dashboard that might make the selection process a little easier.

Because the service is very much goal oriented, you can always head back to your “My Goals” tab and it will prompt you once again to enter what skills you want to learn and what job you wish to be equipped for.

Say you want to become both a graphic designer and a photographer. You can get back into your “My Goals” tab multiple times and change your goal so that the website can help by suggesting videos pertaining to those individual interests. To make it a little more organized, you also have the option of creating playlists so that you can keep track of the different paths you explore.

While watching a video, the platform allows you to take notes and automatically jots down the timecode for you to jump back whenever you please. It also offers transcripts of entire videos so you can read along or use it as a reference, making the entire process quite simple. Plus, you can bookmark particular videos and check out recommended viewing.

After you complete a course in its entirety, you’ll receive a certificate of completion which will be stored under the “Certificates” tab.

For those always on the move, Lynda.com offers both Android and iOS apps.

Take advantage of this multidisciplinary tool while you can – you’re bound to learn a lot and enjoy yourself in the process.

By Radiyah Chowdhury

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