What Happened When LinkedIn Learning Was Embedded into a Classroom
July 14, 2020
This winter, when Instructor Kari Meixl was reflecting on how to best teach her Professional Sales course at Wisconsin’s Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC), her mind went to what else she could add to the course to further bring it to life.
“I was looking for ways to incorporate resources into the course that would be more hands-on and meaningful,” Meixl said.
One option was LinkedIn Learning, as FVTC – which offers 22 business programs and several certificate options, and graduates 500+ students from its business division into the workforce each year – already had a campus-wide subscription to it. After vetting the platform, Meixl was impressed enough to assign LinkedIn Learning courses to her students.
To many, this was a welcomed addition.
“I learned so much from LinkedIn Learning,” student Paul Sadiev said. “For me, I learn a lot faster from listening, as opposed to reading. And the Instructors were all experts in sales; the passion they showed was unbelievable.”
Fellow student Ellizer Clune agreed.
“Best learning experience I have ever had virtually,” Clune said. “In short, being able to complete the curriculum at my own pace was much more inviting and got me excited to get back to the curriculum.”
Why assign LinkedIn Learning courses – a chance to bring in more perspectives and real-life examples.
Previously, for the Professional Sales course, students would read sections of the textbook and come into class ready to discuss. But the textbook came from the view of only one person and it lacked meaningful real-life examples, Meixl said.
In response, along with the textbook, Meixl also asked students to take the Learning Path Become a Sales Representative on LinkedIn Learning. Why?
A few reasons, according to Meixl. First off, the courses featured a diverse array of instructors. Second, the instructors were all longtime salespeople, so their courses were packed with real-life examples that brought sales theory to life.
And there was a third benefit as well – LinkedIn Learning’s tie to LinkedIn. Meixl wanted students to understand the power of the professional network, and this was an effective way of doing so.
“Anyone who wants to go into sales – or, really anyone interested in any industry in general – should be active on LinkedIn,” Meixl said. “By having students take courses on LinkedIn Learning, it was also familiarizing them with LinkedIn and how powerful it can be.”
The results – students appreciating a new way to learn while building out their professional brand.
How did assigning LinkedIn Learning courses go?
“The response was great,” Meixl said. “95%+ of students said it was a very positive experience. And many students went beyond what I assigned and took more courses on the platform.”
In interviews with LinkedIn, Clune and Sadiev said they don’t particularly love learning from a textbook. They both said retaining the information from the LinkedIn Learning videos was much easier and more enjoyable.
“It was really easy to follow,” Sadiev said. “And the courses were interesting; they really emphasized the importance of relationships in sales.”
Clune echoed that. And both said they appreciated the social aspects of the platform.
“Being able to connect with the Instructors on the platform made it feel as though there was an avenue paved for future learning and networking,” Clune said. “Because, as the saying goes, ‘it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know’.”
Sadiev felt a sense of pride when he finished the Learning Path and added the completion certification to his LinkedIn profile. “That was the coolest part,” he said. “It felt like, now I’m a professional sales guy!”
What’s next? Meixl is looking to weave LinkedIn Learning into more of her courses to give students alternative ways to learn.
“I’ve been impressed with LinkedIn Learning,” she said. “And the student feedback has been so positive. I’m looking where else I can use it.”