Enriching the student learning experience with LinkedIn Learning – a personal perspective

By Dr Francesco Ferraro (Lecturer in Sport Therapy and Rehabilitation)

This blog post delves into the experiences of an educator who piloted LinkedIn Learning in various modules. Platforms like LinkedIn Learning offer a vast library of high-quality resources readily accessible to students. Industry experts produce content in LinkedIn Learning by incorporating different technologies (such as slides, video, and animation) with different learning styles.

I started using LinkedIn Learning last year when I volunteered to pilot it in some of the modules I lead. Since then, I used it on different occasions with L4 to L7 students. Here is what I learned:

LinkedIn Learning has good potential and can be easily adapted to different students’ needs. The quality of the teaching material is extremely high, and the aid of digital tools (such as slides, video and animation) associated with the presentation makes a difference in supporting students’ learning experiences. In particular, I have shared content on how to develop presentation skills and how to write an academic essay across all modules (e.g., sports conditioning, research methods, injury biomechanics etc.). I believe these two main areas are common across all programmes, and I strongly recommend showing them to students.

Additional topics that I selected for my classes were statistics and calculus, as these integrate well with Research Methods, Independent Studies and post-graduate thesis. However, it is recommended that lecturers review the content carefully as courses can repeat content. Therefore, you may want to avoid sign-posting students to similar courses and select the one that best works for your students.

Another important consideration that I discovered by navigating the system is that we can easily integrate Develop@Derby content by embedding LinkedIn Learning courses, providing the students with the best opportunities to excel in their learning.

Indeed, following up with the students about their experience of using LinkedIn Learning and Develop@Derby they mentioned that it was a useful experience which allowed them to understand more about how to complete their exams.

Moving forward, I plan to share these sources in advance and ask the students to stay up to speed on Week 1 by completing their LinkedIn courses as part of the module and submitting evidence of completion via Turnitin as formative assessments.

As I mentioned, formative assessment is another important aspect that makes LinkedIn learning extremely important for our students. Unlike other courses, which do not release any proof of completion of training, LinkedIn Learning provides immediate certification of your training and, if you choose to do so, links it directly to your LinkedIn profile. This teaches students the value of completing training, which helps to build their CVs, making them more competitive in the market.

Moving forward into the teaching scenario, it appears that Artificial Intelligence (which powers aspects of LinkedIn Learning) will play a greater role in the near future. Hence, being able to combine online with in-class activities seems to be an excellent option.  However, there are also some downsides that my student reported in using these activities, the most common being available time. Working independently behind a screen requires excellent time management skills, and it also requires being an independent learner. We all know that for undergraduates, this might become difficult, even more difficult if the student works, has carer duties or does not have access to technology. For these reasons, it is useful to speak with your cohort and collect feedback on whether what you planned will work.

In conclusion, while the platform offers a wide range of content, careful selection is essential. Looking ahead, the educational landscape seems to embrace an increased online learning model supported by artificial intelligence. The “blended” approach, effectively combining online resources with in-class activities, emerges as a frontrunner. However, challenges exist. Independent screen-based learning requires exceptional time management skills and self-directed learning habits. These demands might prove difficult for some undergraduates, especially those juggling work, family commitments, or limited access to technology. Nevertheless, it is something that we should all consider for our classes.

Exploring the use of learning technologies even further, it is necessary to acknowledge that LinkedIn learning is not the only option. Other platforms are also available, e.g., Khan Academy, Coursera, and Udemy. However, the integration of LinkedIn learning within Blackboard for immediate curriculum enhancement makes it an excellent opportunity for staff and students to improve their skills.