Website offers Rowan students free classes

In an effort to assist professors and students as technology becomes more prevalent in classrooms, Rowan offers a free subscription to offers over 2,400 classes that train faculty and students to use different types of software such as Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and Microsoft Excel.

“I think that Lynda has a wide variety,” said Denise M. Ruggieri, training assistant in Information Resources. “It doesn’t just show you the advanced stuff. It will start you from the beginning.”

Classes are offered at beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels through video tutorials taught by experts in each particular field of study. The videos themselves are broken down into different subjects ranging from the standard Adobe tutorials to more in-depth areas such as HTML and coding.

In addition to the video tutorials about software, also offers courses about design and marketing. Layout, typography and logo design classes are offered at the three skill levels. Social media classes are available to give users advice on how to use Twitter and other websites for marketing purposes.

Ruggieri said that these courses can give people an opportunity to learn more about a topic before they fully commit to using the software or website.

Rowan officials made the decision to sign up for after professors expressed concerns about teaching students about the programs and software themselves.

“We were getting complaints from faculty that they might need students to use certain software, but they didn’t have time to teach the software in class,” Ruggieri said.

Rowan first piloted the website for employees in late 2010, and Ruggieri said that after they experienced success with the pilot they opened it up to students three months later.

“We wanted to help more people with technology and help the students with their class work,” she said.

Ruggieri has received positive feedback from faculty over the past four years.

“Faculty are using it in their classrooms as part of their curriculum,” Ruggieri said. “We have been consistently getting new people [to sign up] every month.”

Ruggieri said that since 2010, over 2,900 Rowan faculty and students have used the website, and over 98,000 videos have been watched.

When Rowan first signed up for only 800 classes were offered, but now with over double that amount available, Ruggieri said there is something for everyone. She hopes to see more students take advantage of the rapidly expanding website.

“In a month there might be a class they want,” Ruggieri said. “It’s really a great opportunity to learn more [about these programs].”

Students can access the training videos and practice material by logging on to using their Rowan email.

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