Many of the learning communities we’ve partnered with over the years have goals similar to multi-institutional, interdisciplinary, and/or international organizations. Some have memberships in the tens of thousands made up of students and professionals, with activities ranging from implementing new curricula to training new teachers. Others are as simple as two institutions expanding their curriculum through a virtual exchange collaboration.
For all of them, a linkr fills the need for a secure online homebase that can grow with their membership and provide a seamless bridge between the various entities they affiliate with. This necessity has only become more critical since the pandemic.
We’ve uncovered six deal-makers most learning communities are willing to pay for:
ONE: An Inviting Yet Neutral Space Where Members From Multiple Institutions Can Assemble
Often, like with our client Vanier College, academic institutions and learning communities already have an LMS or dedicated platform for students and faculty. They tend to be exclusive for security reasons, leaving external communities of practice and associated programs out in the cold, scrambling to mobilize alongside them.
For example, when teachers at Vanier decided to participate in an Intercollegiate Sustainability Collaboration Project funded by Entente Canada-Quebec, they discovered linkr and found that secure online space beyond their institution that supported their goals to the extent where it qualified for grant funding. Four institutions worked with 500 students across 10 classes, a highly enriching experience that Teacher Alexandre Enkerli writes extensively about in an article published on Prof Web entitled, “Intercollegiate Sustainability Collaboration: Teamwork Beyond Institutional Limits.”
TWO: The Ability To Track, Chart And Showcase Outcomes
For learning communities that report to a higher entity, whether for funding or program evaluations, it’s essential to be able to capture and consolidate the results of their efforts across the semesters and years. A linkr platform allows users to organize data productively, aggregating courses under the Community tab, using Groups to share and document outcomes, and even publish their findings within and beyond their community (yes, Linkr has its own publishing platform with user-controlled settings) which is a huge strategic advantage.
THREE: Easy Onboarding
Intuitive ease of use is a must for any community platform, but when your numbers are in the thousands, this quality becomes essential. By all accounts, adopting and onboarding members to a linkr platform is a simple process that saves administrators tons of time. Send an invite, let the user create their profile and explore the courses, programs, resources, and network they’ll be contributing to.
FOUR: The Ability to Continue The Conversation
Collaborative learning programs invariably lead to exciting new connections that can develop into mentorships and lifelong friendships. Yet often platforms used for a specific program or cohort are then discontinued, forcing users who want to continue their conversations to turn to social media or personal email. The beauty of a linkr is that it can exist for as long as the community (or member) wants to keep it alive. Groups can be created outside of coursework, curriculum, and calendar year, allowing users to continue enjoying the networking, sharing, and publishing features for years to come.
FIVE: One Stop For Everyone
One of the biggest pet peeves among large learning communities especially, is having to cobble together multiple free platforms to satisfy the networking, resource sharing, tracking, portfolio and publishing needs of their membership. Aside from being extremely time-consuming, this exercise invariably leads to confusion, decreased efficiency, and in worst case scenarios, issues around privacy and security.
For large-scale collaborations, like the one our client HIVER is running with funding by the IIE and Steven’s initiative, they’ll use a linkr to deliver their program to 2500 students from 20 institutions from the U.S. and the Middle East. That Linkr can provide a solid and functional homebase for such a large and geographically dispersed community is proof that our process, approach, and priorities are very aligned with the needs of learning communities today.
SIX: Curriculum Delivery
Last but not least crucial, curriculum delivery to students or any group of learners - teacher training programs for instance - is the next most obvious component for the education industry. The linkr platform was imagined by a teacher, so easy curriculum delivery is one of its founding features. Setting up a class, inviting students, adding and organizing resources, and engaging with all of it effortlessly has been a big reason for the buzz around Linkr. Neither Vanier, HIVER, nor many of our other clients would have been able to sign off on a linkr platform without this feature.
If any of the above are deal-makers or breakers for your community goals, go ahead and reach out. We'll assess your needs and give you a personalized look at what a linkr can do for your learning community.