By Dr. Tammi Cooper
There is no doubt that currency, relevancy, and industry-focus are important aspects of business degrees, but with the fast pace of change in today’s business world, wide-ranging topic areas, and time required to adapt curriculum in online courses, it can be a challenge. Something different, beyond our traditional approach, was needed. Providing students with access to the knowledge and perspectives of a variety of industry practitioners, the most up-to-date content, and a laser focus on what is relevant in business now – EVERYDAY, was our goal when we began considering how to ensure our business degrees would be different. Partnering with the world’s largest professional networking company, LinkedIn, to leverage their learning system offered the solution we needed and much more to our business students.
What is LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning provides unlimited access to thousands of videos and courses in business and other topics. It allows students an opportunity to learn new skills, bolster their resumes, and enhance their LinkedIn profiles. However, at WCU, we wanted our business students to receive academic credit while earning industry relevant certificates of completion. To do this, we integrated LinkedIn Learning into our core business courses.
How does LinkedIn Learning Work?
Through a seamless single-sign-on process, BSBA and MBA students have access to LinkedIn Learning collections aligned with the main topics of their business courses from within our learning management system. During one designated week of each course, students choose a LinkedIn Learning option from a collection we curated. This image is an example of our collection for BUS 535 Organizational Behavior and Leadership.
Once students complete the LinkedIn Learning option of their choice, they upload the certificate of completion to our learning management system as the assignment submission for that week. Students receive credit for an assignment while simultaneously earning recognition on the world’s largest professional networking site.
What are the Benefits of LinkedIn Learning?
- Personalized and Flexible: Student choose a topic that interests them from their business course and explore it further in LinkedIn Learning.
- Industry Relevant: LinkedIn Learning courses are created by industry practitioners from a broad range of fields.
- Academically Aligned: Each LinkedIn Learning collection is curated to align with the main topics of each core business course.
- Building a Professional Presence: Students receive certificates of completion to add to their LinkedIn profile and bolster their resume. Using LinkedIn also encourages students to engage in professional networking.
- Creating a WCU Professional Community: Our online faculty and staff have access to LinkedIn Learning, can explore alongside our students, and model lifelong learning as a key part of continued professional growth.
About the author: Dr. Tammi Cooper serves as the Program Dean for Business Administration at WCU. She has over a decade of experience as an educator and leader. She began her career as a management faculty member and went on to serve in a variety of leadership positions including as a vice-president for innovation, associate provost, and in various dean roles. Her experience includes, strategic planning, strategy execution, accreditation, leading and designing assessment processes, competency-based education (CBE), innovative change, faculty leadership, and student success efforts. Dr. Cooper is an active supporter of innovations in higher education, having participated in the Educause Breakthrough Models Academy, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s CBE work group, and earning a Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate. In addition, she has served three times as an examiner for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program; the nation’s only Presidential award for performance excellence.
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