I love Lynda.com.
What started as one woman’s training-on-CD resource for graphic designers has expanded to include other areas of computer-based practice, and even business topics. While the instruction is mostly demonstration, the way the instruction is presented and packaged is top-of-class.
|You can select the speed you want a video to play at. |
Yes, it becomes a bit Bugs Bunny-ish if played too fast.
But comprehension doesn't degrade.
Each 'class' is broken down into very short segments, with topics well labeled. One small thing at a time makes it easy to pick up where you off. See this example called Managing Project Quality and preview a free clip.
How I used it:
I enjoy that the subscription model is so basic and has remained unchanged for years. It costs $25 per month for everything on the site. I purchased a year’s subscription at my previous place of employment and several co-workers were able to use it in ways they found helpful. It is training that acts as a constantly-available reference.
The assessment factor for measuring a student’s outcome is missing, but there’s little doubt in my mind that learning occurred.
The features I would emulate in my projects (if money and time were no object):
- Time-choice for video viewers (an HTML 5 capability, I think)
- Easy to read script that follows along with the narration, so if you missed something, a quick glance will tell you what.
- Visuals that explain and demonstrate, not a talking head telling.
- Remember to break new information into small chunks when I try to explain new initiatives to people.
While it was thin (again) on real-life examples, the assigned reading noted a couple of trends and issues that are immediately relevant to my work.
One trend is designing for a cross-cultural audience (p182). This factor influences the way I communicate both in writing and graphically. I am very aware that the University is composed of students from all over the world, and the messages I craft for the health center need to be understood by everyone. Idiomatic phrasing is not going to be understood by some portion of non-native speakers of English. Plain speaking explanations are best. When in doubt, I consult with peers across campus before a message is published.