The University of New Mexico’s subscription to Lynda.com, a tutorial website for Adobe programs, Microsoft programs and more, was officially discontinued on Dec. 20, 2017, according to an email sent out to Lynda.unm.edu users by the Information Technologies Center for Student Success at UNM.
“Increasing licensing costs, ongoing budget reductions and low overall utilization of Lynda.unm.edu all contributed to the difficult decision to discontinue this service in favor of competing priorities,” said IT Chief Information Officer Duane Ej Arruti.
Sol Siltala, a sophomore majoring in multimedia journalism, said he never used Lynda.unm.edu, because he never knew about it.
“I think it’s frustrating to find out that we had access to these things. I wish I had known about Lynda, and it makes me wonder what else I don’t know about,” Siltala said.
Those who knew about Lynda.unm.edu watched on average 3.19 hours worth of tutorial videos. The most utilized videos — No. 1 being most used and No. 10 being least used — on Lynda.unm.edu, according to Arruti, were:
- Excel 2010 Essential Training
- Excel 2013 Essential Training
- HTML Essential Training
- Foundations of Programming: Design Patterns
- Maya 2016 Essential Training
- InDesign CS6 Essential Training
- Access 2013 Essential Training
- Ruby Essential Training
- Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals
- Java Advanced Training
In substitution for Lynda, Arruti said many of the same courses are offered through UNM Continuing Education, and other equivalent tips and materials can be found on YouTube for free.
“While these options don’t offer a like-for-like service to Lynda.unm.edu, we did identify them as reasonable substitutes,” he said. “We have assembled a listing of many of the available resource options on the Lynda.unm.edu redirect page.”
A concern for Jessica Knight, a sophomore majoring in business with a concentration in management information systems, was the practicality of other instructional sources such as YouTube.
“(Lynda.unm.edu) narrowed down the search results, because (with) YouTube videos, you have to sort through thousands of videos, and none of them are related,” Knight said.
Adan Garcia said he teaches CJ 360, a broadcast news class, and CJ 464, an advanced documentary productions class, both of which used Lynda as a resource in the past.
He is now concerned about the challenges his classes will face down the road, Garcia said.
“(Students) have to learn a lot, and Lynda offers a lot of what the camera fundamentals (are), like camera functions, camera features and stuff that we go over in class and more that we have to go over again,” he said. “But some people need to refresh their memories and stuff. And one thing that Lynda did was…(allow students to be) able to go back on the weekends without the instructor going around them, and they can figure it out themselves, refresh their memories and also in moving forward when we do advanced editing with (Adobe) Premiere — all that stuff is on Lynda.”
Garcia has been teaching these classes for five years, and Lynda.unm.edu became a part of the dynamic in the classroom.
“Before they were able to go back into it and (say), ‘Oh I learned it off Lynda, Adan, I’m good...’ They can always use that resource themselves. Now not having that, I don't know the full impact that it will have, but I imagine it’s going to be negative,” Garcia said.
Essentially, Lynda.unm.edu had to be discontinued because of budget concerns and other rising priorities, Arruti said.
“Faced with limited available funding and rising licensing costs, we needed to prioritize limited funds on essential services: fixing computers and AV equipment in classrooms and labs, maintaining Wi-Fi for campus and providing the Help Desk with the resources needed to help users with technology needs on campus, among others,” he said.
When the initial Lynda.unm.edu subscription was made in 2011, the annual cost was $91,000 — in 2018 the cost to continue the subscription would have been $115,000, according to Arruti.
Half of the money used for the subscription came from student fees, and the other half came from the IT customer Support Service budget — both have faced years of budget cuts, Arruti said.
“There (are) still a lot of things that I would like to learn,” Knight said. “I was looking through all of the videos on (Lynda.unm.edu), and I was looking at HTML and other things that I could also use at work. So this has just reduced my resources.”
Amy Byres is a culture reporter at the Daily Lobo. She primarily writes profiles on DACA recipients. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @amybyres12.