How Lambton College is Driving Student Usage of LinkedIn Learning

May 13, 2020

See how Lambton College is driving such impressive student usage of LinkedIn Learning.

If you are looking for a higher ed institution that’s done a brilliant job of weaving LinkedIn Learning into the student experience, look no further than Ontario’s Lambton College.

From July 2019 to March 2020, students, staff and faculty members at the 5,400-person institution watched a combined 172,671 learning videos, primarily on project management, data analysis and network administration. The majority of students at the college are frequent users of LinkedIn Learning, with the average activated user watching 20 videos a month.

Those numbers are strong; far above industry benchmarks. How did they do it?

First off, Lambton is bought in on the why – they believe LinkedIn Learning provides a bridge to what students learn in school to what they’ll do in their work after graduation. And then, to drive adoption, they attack it from both fronts.

“We push it bottoms-up and tops-down,” said Jimmt Dawes, coordinator of at Cester’s College mentoring and tutoring program, which is part of Lambton College, and a champion of LinkedIn Learning at the institution. “That way, we reduce friction on both sides.”

Four tactics Lambton College used to drive student usage of LinkedIn Learning.

What specific tactics did Lambton College use to drive activation and usage of LinkedIn Learning among their students? Four of the most impactful were –

    1. They took full advantage of the LinkedIn Learning Champion’s Program.

The LinkedIn Learning Champion’s Program – available to institutions who partner with LinkedIn Learning – incentivizes students to advocate LinkedIn Learning to their peers. Few institutions have taken better advantage of it than Lambton.

At Lambton, LinkedIn Learning Champions set up booths in the Student Union promoting LinkedIn Learning. The champions gave presentations in their classes on how they use LinkedIn Learning. They created LinkedIn groups around subjects and promoted LinkedIn Learning courses within them.

“The champions really helped,” Dawes said. “They brought an enthusiasm and an authenticity that made other students want to use it too.”

    2. They worked with faculty to curate playlists to supplement classes.

This is something Dawes did in a select few classes, saw success, and now is doing it for all classes for the fall of 2020.

The concept is simple. Rather than having them dig through the library on their own, Dawes teams with deans and faculty members to create playlists of LinkedIn Learning courses to supplement their classes. An example – a playlist of LinkedIn Learning courses on project management, for Lambton’s project management classes.

This way, it makes it easy for faculty members to promote these courses to their students, as a resource to complement their class. It also gets faculty more bought in on weaving courses into their curriculums.

    3. They promoted it to at-risk students as an alternative way to learn.

When a student struggles at Lambton, they often are sent to the tutoring center for help. There, they are encouraged to use LinkedIn Learning as an alternative way to learn.

The benefits? When using the platform, the students can learn at their own pace, across a variety of subjects, from a variety of instructors. Dawes has personally seen students use LinkedIn Learning to get back on their feet.

“I had one student who really was struggling after his first two semesters,” Dawes said. “So, he started using LinkedIn Learning. During his third semester, his instructors couldn’t believe it; he was their most improved student. It made all the difference.”

    4. They advertised LinkedIn Learning relentlessly.

Dawes and his team of champions take every opportunity to promote LinkedIn Learning. Dawes promotes it to faculty, deans and his colleagues whenever he gets the chance. And he and his champions set up booths in the busiest locations – including during the first week of school, where everyone is out and about – to walk students through why and how to use LinkedIn Learning.

“I want every single student, when they start at Lambton, to activate and use the platform,” Dawes said. “Because I see the impact it can make.”

The impact LinkedIn Learning has had on students – it’s helping them land internships and jobs.

Lambton’s activation and usage of LinkedIn Learning are strong. But those numbers in themselves are just numbers – Dawes isn’t interested in “activation for the sake of activation.” 

Instead, what he really wants to see is impact.

“In terms of helping you apply what you learn in school to the job market, LinkedIn Learning makes the difference,” Dawes said. “It is really helping students. And, ultimately, it’ll help the economy down the road.”

Two people who exemplify Dawes’ point are Jackson Johnson and Riya Jindal, two recent Lambton graduates who both chalk up the jobs they got after their graduation to connections they built through LinkedIn. Both were LinkedIn Learning Champions and both said the LinkedIn Learning coursework and having a strong LinkedIn profile gave them an advantage when searching for a job.

“I love LinkedIn Learning because you can learn so many things from so many people who have achieved so much,” Jindal said. “And then, when you finish a course, you can add the certificate to your profile, which helps you stand out on LinkedIn.”

Johnson agreed on both parts. “With LinkedIn Learning, anything is possible,” he said. “And, when you add certificates to your profile, it shows to recruiters that you are hungry to learn — that you are hungry to develop yourself.”

Both Jackson and Jindal expressed appreciation for Lambton supplying them with LinkedIn Learning and both remain active on the platform. To Jindal in particular, LinkedIn Learning is something she wants to use forever.

“It really has been life-changing,” she said, saying several of the courses – particularly one on servant leadership – changed her worldview. “With LinkedIn Learning, you can never stop learning. There’s no paperwork, no government, no obstacles; just pick your course and learn whatever you want. It’s empowering.”