Lynda tutorials free for Kent State



Nick Gates

All students and faculty at Kent State can now learn programs with free help from, one of the Internet’s largest online tutorial websites.

Kent State students can access tutorials at and watch videos on subjects ranging from design to photography to entrepreneurship.

Jay Frye, director of service management in Information Services, says can make learning technology easier.

“We’ve all had a late night where we were struggling with an assignment and the tool itself — Photoshop, Word, Excel — is fighting with you,” Frye said. “The goal is to get that basic technology issue out of the way so you can do the thing that you’re there to learn.”

Prior to the inclusion of the whole university, Lynda was available exclusively to students and faculty in the College of Communication and Information (CCI).

Tom Mahon, manager of training and outreach for Information Services, says that Kent State’s School of Visual Communication Design was partnered with a Lynda competitor but then switched to Lynda in 2014.

“When CCI started to express an interest, there was a need for a broader range of online classes, so Lynda started to make more sense,” Mahon said.

Christine Zuercher, an adjunct professor in the School of Visual Communication Design, says not only are the tutorials useful for students, but she uses Lynda herself.

“I love it,” Zuercher said. “I use it often when I’m trying to brush up on a subject. I’ll often watch them as I’m preparing for class.”

Nolan Nadler, a sophomore visual communication design major, says that Lynda helps to really understand a program.

“If you’re looking for help on software, you can easily Google it,” he said. “If you want really in-depth help on how to do certain things, YouTube isn’t going to be your best bet. Lynda uses teachers and professionals who know how to convey a message effectively.”

As CCI used Lynda, colleges across the university expressed the desire to be included, Frye said.

“We had a few faculty members saying ‘Can you guys get this for us?’ and it just made sense,” he said.

Among the many topics Lynda covers are using social media in business social media, becoming a small-business owner and understanding managerial economics.

Thomas Sahajdack, an assistant professor of economics, says Lynda is beneficial in the right classes.

“Do I think Lynda is useful?” Sahajdack said. “Yes. But I don’t know that it’s more useful than some other things out there, especially for an introductory class.”

Mahon stressed that Lynda isn’t limited to just a few majors.

“I can’t think of any major that would never have a use for Lynda,” Mahon said. “Even majors like history majors or English majors still need to get their data organized in the cloud. It’s maybe not a technical degree but there are applications in there that can help them.”

The online education service also offers tutorials on topics outside classes.

“Things like how to write a resume, how to use your camera, how to start up a business,” Frye said. “It’s the content you would get in a photo class or a business class that goes beyond just the basic use of the technology.” was purchased by LinkedIn in 2015. Two years later, LinkedIn was then purchased by Microsoft. Kent State is already in an agreement with Microsoft that provides the university with the Microsoft Office Suite.

Kent State, along with other state universities, are looking to add to that contract.

Nick Gates is a technology and sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].