New learning paths give shape to LinkedIn courses

There are more than 16,000 courses available on LinkedIn Learning, which provides 24/7 professional development, skill-building and training of all sorts to every Iowa State employee.

Making the most of the platform's deep library is now a little bit simpler, as university human resources (UHR) has created 14 "learning paths," training courses built from LinkedIn Learning material to address common professional development needs.

Extensive options are part of what makes free and unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning, formerly, such a valuable resource. Need a primer on presentation design? A crash course on SharePoint? Confused about what a blockchain is? Interested in food photography? No problem. There's a course on those topics and countless others on LinkedIn Learning, which the university has offered to employees for more than a decade.

Learning paths give users a way to navigate through a substantial training program on LinkedIn Learning, finding the best and most useful instruction on broad topics among a breadth of choices, said Ed Holland, UHR benefits and WorkLife director. 

"LinkedIn's catalog is expansive. We've tried to package courses to help focus on some development tracks that employees will find relevant," he said. "And that may lead to exploring other resources available on LinkedIn."  

ISU's learning path topics are a mix of development areas identified by UHR and frequent requests from employees, such as the Professional and Scientific Council's push in recent years for expanding supervisor training, Holland said.

"We realize this isn't going to solve every training issue, but it's something we could get to campus quickly by leveraging the resources already available to employees," he said.

The paths range in duration from about five hours to 12 hours. The virtual modules are easy to progress through as time allows, since courses save the point where a user pauses. Links to ISU learning paths are available on UHR's WorkLife website under the growth and development menu. They're accessible via an Okta login.

UHR will solicit employee feedback on the learning paths, including possible new paths to offer, Holland said. Here are the titles and lengths of the paths currently offered: