Embedding LinkedIn Learning into Blackboard Ultra module curricula – a personal perspective 

By David Orton (MBA Director and Senior Lecturer in International Strategy and Management)

In the Summer of 2023, as the module leader for a strategy and leadership module on the MBA Global programme, I volunteered to be part of the Blackboard Ultra Early Adopters roll out for AY23-24. It was through this that, in early October, I was alerted to the opportunity to embed LinkedIn Learning content directly into a Blackboard module. 

I must confess that I was previously unaware of LinkedIn Learning, but I attended the workshop and was immediately impressed by the vast array of video resources, class content, and how it could add further value, insight and alternative perspectives to the delivery of my module.  

I set up my own LinkedIn Learning account and started to explore the available content using key word searches that related to specific lecture topics scheduled for each week. It was easy to find content, some of it practitioner focused, but also content from Ivy League college Professors of global renown. I decided to promote this resource to the students on my module and how I intended to use it, via the below Blackboard Announcement, that was then followed by a fly through demonstration and discussion in the following lecture. 

A Blackboard Course Annoucement titled New Resource LinkedIn Learning.

I personally found that not all weeks’ content lent themselves to accompanying LinkedIn Learning resources, but I did use content to support lecture materials for 7 of the 12 weeks in the Autumn term. I chose to create subfolders of LinkedIn Learning content within the week’s study materials, as presented below, so that all resources relating to a specific lecture topic could be bundled together.

Blackboard Course folders including a LinkedIn Learning - additional 
resources sub-folder.
A Blackboard Course folder containing links to LinkedIn Learning content.

The intention was to signpost content that I personally found useful and added value and leave to the students to decide; if, when, and how, they might engage with it. I sought feedback at the end of the module from the class and I was delighted to receive, amongst others, the following student comment:

“I finished a course called Leading Global Expansion. I think it is an excellent resource for additional information. It could be the best pre-study material or activity. I am also looking forward to completing all the LinkedIn courses one by one. I wish I had done this earlier.”

I will be building upon my experiences of LinkedIn Learning with a second module on the MBA programme in this upcoming Spring term.  I will be looking to embed LinkedIn Learning resources further into the module design, by making engagement with LinkedIn Learning content pre-session and post-session asynchronous student activities that will then engage students to work collaboratively and share their views and what they have learned, through discussion boards and Padlets. To me, this is the future direction when using LinkedIn Learning, integrating it into other Blackboard tools and resources to provide an immersive individual, personalised, and shared, learning experience.

LinkedIn Learning is available to all staff and students at the University of Derby.  Find out more about using LinkedIn Learning (UoD staff only).