The eLearning platforms began to be actively used in 2012 and revolutionized the whole education process by blurring the boundaries between online and offline studying.
Today, we’ll figure out the reasons for their ongoing popularity on the example of Lynda and Pluralsight.
In this review, we’ll find out the strengths and weaknesses of both platforms based on the following information:
- amount, variety of the offered courses, and quality of the material;
- types of the subscriptions and their prices;
- the flexibility of customer support option: opportunity to ask instructors directly, the ways of contacting experts, etc.;
- applicability of certificates;
- requirements for the professional skills of instructors;
- content quality requirements for the instructors.
In the end, we’ll check the frequently asked questions about platforms and figure out the target audience for Pluralsight and Lynda.
If you want to dig deeper into eLearning topic, explore articles I’ve listed below:
The platform offers an extensive library with more than 7500 courses. Most of them are devoted to information technology, business development, etc.
All courses are divided into 3 levels according to the complexity of studying material:
For easier navigation, the page with course selection features numerous filters, which help to separate advanced courses from the basic ones.
The platform displays how the technology popularity index has changed over a period of 3 months (it’s called “Trend”). You can also find information about the growth of a specific technology (called “Growth trend”).
You can get all the necessary information about each course, including:
- the duration of a learning program and each lesson separately;
- an author’s bio and their achievements;
- short video overview, etc.
Also, each course has its own rank in a certain category.
The platform offers 9 main categories to choose the course from:
- information technology operations (networking, mobile devices, wireless technology, cloud computing, etc.);
- professional data (SQL Server, database administration, data insights, big data analyzing with Hive, etc.);
- architecture (3D modeling, simulation programs, photoshop, computer-aided design. etc.);
- cloud computing (Bitbucket, multi-cloud applications, Microsoft Azure, Certified Cloud Security Professional, etc.);
- artificial intellect (machine learning models creation, machine learning using Amazon Web Services, fundamentals of machine learning, etc.);
- business (business analytics, teambuilding, Certification of capability in Business Analysis, Mobile Security Testing, etc.);
- cybersecurity (asymmetric cryptography, secure coding, code auditing, software development security, etc.);
- creativity (Lightroom CC, astrophotography, cinematography, Adobe Experience Manager, etc.).
Some lessons are combined into the learning paths for getting comprehensive knowledge about the topic. This feature is common for both Pluralsight and Lynda.
Users of the platform are provided with exercise files, which may contain different slides, notes made by the instructor, source code, and so on.
The number of exercise files may differ from one course to another and depend fully on the instructor’s vision of the studying process.
All courses go through several stages of verification before getting public. Among them, the most important are:
– checking the quality of video and audio information;
– checking the content quality by the trusted Pluralsight authors.
The platform has special options for checking your knowledge and skills on a certain topic:
After passing a test, users can understand at what stage they currently are and what is worth focusing on.
Also, you can use a service called “Iris”. It’s a self-learning algorithm that is aimed at a highly personalized gaining of knowledge.
The system is based on the Bayesian network: the algorithm analyzes your learning process and offers content according to the level of your Skill IQ.
Most courses are taught in English, but you can use the built-in captions, which support over 100 languages.
Also, the platform offers to download a handy application to learn courses on the go. It can work with Android, iOS, and can be used on phones, tablets, desktops, TVs.
In 2015, the platform was bought by LinkedIn and rebranded to LinkedIn Learning. After the takeover, the information from Lynda was transferred automatically and the course bases of both platforms were combined.
Currently, the platform offers about 16000 courses, which is much more than Pluralsight can offer. The platform’s team pays much attention to the quality of the content, as well as to the quality of presentation.
- 3D modeling and animation (rendering, game design, post-production, creation of visual effects, etc.);
- audio and music (studio setup, live performances, projects, how to start music business, etc.);
- business (databases, data analyses, marketing using social networks, spreadsheets, etc.). Additionally, this course has 2 guides about how to become a manager and how to start a business;
- computer-aided design (automotive design, building information modeling, civil engineering, how to create prototypes, etc.);
- design (print production, design of websites, design colors, work with colors, etc.);
- development (design of mobile and desktop applications, web development, usage of databases, cloud computing, etc.);
- online learning (teachers tools, learning management systems, K 12 education, educational systems, etc.);
- internet technologies (business intelligence, network administration, virtualization, geographical information systems, etc.);
- marketing (business skills, search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, small business marketing, etc.);
- photography (retouching, compositing, black and white, high dynamic range photography, etc.);
- video (color correction, visual effects, animation, audio for video, etc.);
- web (web foundations, content management systems, user experience design, content strategy, etc.).
This platform doesn’t offer the same variety of languages as Pluralsight does. Most courses are studied in the English language only. Among the other available languages, there are German, Spanish, French, and Japanese.
The course base is regularly updated and new learning materials are added almost every week.
As it was mentioned above, Lynda offers Learning Paths as well as Pluralsight. Each of the categories contains a different number of Learning Paths but not less than 3. For example, if you decide to learn the Java programming language, you can check for separate lessons or choose the 21-hour Learning Path called “Become a Java Programmer”.
Lynda’s courses are characterized by their focus on the development of practical skills. For example, along with the theoretical part, most courses come up with various quizzes and exercise files. With their help, you can increase motivation and boost the learning process.
Another distinctive feature of the platform is the high level of interaction between students and the course providers. Also, Lynda’s courses may contain peer-graded and auto-graded assignments.
For ease of studying, the platform doesn’t use long video lessons. The course program is divided into separate video segments with a maximum duration of no longer than 10 minutes.
Also, the platform offers users to download the desktop and mobile applications, so they can study offline or on the go. If you use the mobile version, you’re limited with functionality compared to the desktop variant. For example, you aren’t allowed to use video transcripts, create bookmarks, and download exercise files.
This platform isn’t accredited and its certificates aren’t recognized by third parties unlike, for example, Coursera. However, this fact didn’t prevent the platform from gaining a positive reputation among many large campaigns: IBM, Accenture, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services. Also, its certificate can become a bonus during the job interview.
The platform provides users with certification of completion after passing the course; however, it’s worth mentioning that the platform isn’t accredited. Besides, users can add certificates of completion to their accounts, resumes, CVs, etc.
Pluralsight instructors are the industry experts who work for different companies (Apple, Oracle, etc.). Currently, their number is more than 1,500 and you can get the information about them in the corresponding section of the course they’re teaching.
On the official Pluralsight web page, it’s stated that peer reviewers check thoroughly the applicants’ professional skills and, on average, less than 10% of them are accepted.
The Pluralsight has a payment model that consists of:
- one-time fee per course;
- ongoing royalties for creating high-quality content.
Lynda’s instructors are also industry professionals, who go through a strict verification process before they can create and publish lessons.
The applicants need to give information about their professional skills, the experience they have, achievements, etc. They put this information into a special application form that is checked by Lynda’s team. After getting positive feedback, applicants can become instructors.
You can find an application in the menu called ”LinkedIn for Teachers”. Lynda’s payment model is different compared to Pluralsight: instructors get a one-time payment for each completed course.
From the start, the platform offers a trial that lasts for 10 days. Another variant is to get access to more than 3 hours of the content. After the trial expires, users need to pick Individual or Team plans. Each of them has 2 subcategories:
- Individual plan that comes up with Standard and Premium plans;
- Team plan that includes Professional and Enterprise plans.
|Type of Plans||Standart||Premium||Professional||Enterprise|
|Cost||$19 monthly or $159 annually||$29 monthly or $239 annually||$579 annually||$779 annually|
|Mobiles and TV applications||+||+||+||+|
|Skill and Role IQ||+||+||+||+|
|Usage and Trend analytics||–||–||+||+|
|Skills strategy plans||–||–||+||+|
The first one is called “Personal” and costs $29 monthly or $299 annually.
The platform comes up with a subscription model of payment. It means that you need to pay a monthly fee to get unlimited access to the whole course library. The main advantage of this model is that you can choose any lessons to study and schedule your learning process individually.
If you don’t know what plan to choose, the platform offers a trial that lasts 1 month. After this period expires, users need to choose between monthly or annual types of subscriptions. The cost of the monthly subscription is $29.99.
In case you’re interested in the annual subscription, you need to pay $299.88. It seems to be much pricier, but it includes a 17% discount. It means that you can save about $60 that is equal to 2 months of free usage.
The platform provides 24/7 support by email or handy chatbot. Also, Pluralsight has a ticket system and the ability to contact experts by phone. It significantly differentiates this platform from its competitor.
If you have any problems connected with the course passing, you can always ask mentors. They’re usually online 24/7 and can help you in real-time.
Along with this, Pluralsight comes up with an extensive knowledge base that covers most of the issues you may face with. A constantly updated blog can also be a source of useful information.
You can follow the official Pluralsight community on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. The platform has a YouTube channel where you can find a lot of tips, guides, interviews, and so on.
The platform offers fewer opportunities to contact the support team. Lynda doesn’t feature a chat bot for handling the support request. Besides, you contact experts by phone or try to solve your issue using an extensive knowledge base. There, you can check the recommended articles and the most popular topics.
Like Pluralsight, Lynda has a form to create tickets.
You can also join the community on Twitter, Facebook.
The platform has its channel on YouTube with the same information as Pluralsight has: guides about using the platform, interviews with students and course providers, short motivation videos, etc.
What is the Pluralsight channel?
Channel is a way to organize learning material and set up the priorities for lessons you want to learn. They can be created for individual learning, as well as for the team.
Is it possible to transfer access to Pluralsight?
Users aren’t allowed to transfer their accounts regardless of the type of subscription. However, there may be exceptions that are noted in the Sales Order.
Could I still have access to my Pluralsight account after the expiration of the subscription period?
Yes, it’s possible to log in and see the history, certificates you got, Skill and Role IQ, etc.
What is the Pluralsight One?
Pluralsight One is an option that provides a discounted access to the platform for K-12 teams and non-profit organizations. Also, it implies 3 variants of subscription (you can check it on the Pluralsight One page).
Will I be limited in functionality if I use Lynda’s mobile applications instead of a desktop?
Yes, because the mobile version doesn’t come up with video transcripts, the ability to download exercise files, or create bookmarks. There also are some features, not available in mobile applications: files with tasks, video transcripts, bookmarks, etc.
Can I have access to account Lynda’s information after merging with LinkedIn?
Yes, after the platforms’ integration, users can see all information they have on Lynda’s accounts: course history, certificates of completion, and so on.
Is it possible to get access to Lynda for free using third parties credentials?
No, this option isn’t available unless you’re a cart holder of Jacksonville Public Library.
Can I use PayPal to purchase the subscription?
Yes, Lynda supports this payment system for transactions. Debit, credit cards, Discover, and American Express are also on the list.
Summing up, I can say with confidence that both platforms have a lot in common.
Besides, Pluralsight is focused on digital technologies. This makes it an option for those who are aimed at developing IT skills (programming, web design, etc.).
As for Lynda, it can be the choice for those who want to pay once for getting unlimited access to the entire volume of versatile courses. Along with technical ones, the platform offers to acquire art skills (music, films, drawing, design, etc).
Users of both platforms can be sure of the courses’ quality since the requirements for the instructors are strict. Pluralsight and Lynda’s expert teams also carefully check the quality of the learning materials before publishing.
The essential difference between platforms is Pluralsight’s functionality: self-learning algorithm “Iris”, programs for assessing the level of knowledge and skills of users, constantly updated indicators of the courses’ popularity, etc.
The pricing policy of both platforms is mostly the same. However, Pluralsight offers more varied plans, solutions for teams (for example, K-12), and discount programs for nonprofit organizations.
Both platforms don’t provide skill certificates: you can only get the certificates of completion after passing the course to be used as a bonus to your resume or CV.