Since its founding in 1965, SEAMEO (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization) has promoted regional cooperation in the fields of education, science and culture among thousands of Southeast Asian educational institutions - from primary schools to universities.
The Linkr Connection
SEAMEO had been searching for a platform ready to support their 70+ institutions in a unique pilot project, and discovered Linkr simply by googling “virtual exchange platforms.” Realizing a Linkr homebase allows everything to take place under one virtual roof - classes, groups, professional development, partnering and more - they chose Linkr as the platform to host their VE pilot program.
The match was so perfect, they expanded their partnership to involve Linkr’s CEO in an educator training program for project-based learning, and plan to bring Linkr onstage during their October program closing, to speak about the experience of this first cohort of virtual exchange.
Demonstrate the power of VE to directors and institutional members
Improve digital competencies and 21st century skills of students and teachers
Provide a single homebase that can both accommodate and grow their community
Bring to life an innovative VE pedagogy around project-based learning and cultural exchange.
Outcomes: The Good, the Bad, and the Happy
We follow our clients’ linkr journeys closely, and with their feedback, compile what’s working and what’s not along the way, as well as where the biggest feels are for us! Here’s “The Good, The Bad and The Happy” of SEAMEO’s first cohort with Linkr:
Over 1,100 members signed up to the SEAMEO linkr. Professors and students found their bilateral institutional groups and were able to easily share outcomes of the virtual exchange programs through Linkr’s publication features. Platform adoption showed greater numbers than anticipated, and the overall feedback was glowing.
500 Participating Students
99.6% Felt their intercultural understanding had improved.
40 Institutional Administrators
95% Feel their linkr will help facilitate virtual and physical exchange across institutions.
Incredible Growth Potential
Linkr platforms have no end date for members, meaning alumni can participate indefinitely, serving as shepherds to help guide new members into physical mobility programs much more easily after a positive virtual exchange experience.
Collab Made in Heaven
Program manager Mr. Ansgar Schaefer was more than satisfied with the software and service linkr provided to his network. Further, the expertise of the linkr team helped the program move forward quickly, guaranteeing future work together.
“Setting up a virtual exchange programme across 11 countries with over 70 institutions seemed like a daunting task. Linkr’s efficient and easy to use software, as well as the incredibly supportive team behind the platform were key to the success of our programme. Linkr is exactly what SEAMEO needs to effectively facilitate virtual and blended exchange across a large network of institutions - now and in the future.”
Ansgar Schaefer, SEAMEO TVET Exchange Programme Coordinator, SEAMEO
Secretariat, Bangkok, Thailand
Launching the program in summer ‘22 meant there was little time to adequately train participants in the possibilities and methodologies behind project-based learning through virtual exchange. Students continued to virtually attend courses at collaborating universities, and only now are teachers realizing the untapped potential SEAMEO’s linkr represents in enhancing the experience. Luckily, 2023 is right around the corner and the entire SEAMEO team is now ready to maximize their new homebase!
The vast majority of SEAMEO students, teachers, and administrators gave hugely positive feedback on this first plunge into virtual exchange with Linkr. We were excited that such a sizeable and established organization placed such big trust in little us, and couldn’t be more thrilled that everyone seems super happy they did! Feedback stats don’t lie:
430 Student Respondents
415 Agree there was good coordination, preparation and exchange among teachers.
“Joining the SEAMEO TVET Exchange Programme was a big privilege and opportunity. I was able to discover new topics and gained knowledge through discussions with our professors and to connect with my fellow students from across the region. Although we are physically apart, the learning is still fun and the virtual exchange served as a medium for us to better understand each other.”
TVET Student, Philippines
“It was an honor to be part of this SEAMEO Virtual Exchange experience. What I liked the most about this programme is that from the very first day of our virtual classes, I could feel the cultural understanding, the enthusiasm, and happiness from our lecturer through the way they teach and communicate with us. I felt very comfortable as a first-time virtual student exchange. What I have improved most through this programme are my communication skills with people from different countries and my personal time management skills. I recommend to other students that are going to join this programme to just be yourself and enjoy the moment. If you are active and participate within the activities and interact with others, it is possible to build new friendships and have a once in a lifetime experience!”
TVET Student, Philippines
40 Teachers & Administrators
35 Felt the SEAMEO linkr improved the VE experience and was easy to use.
“Thank you SEAMEO Secretariat for implementing this virtual exchange. It made our poor but deserving students participate in the exchange which they consider a once in a lifetime experience. Congratulations on the excellent implementation.”
"Being a first time Coordinator for both Outbound and Inbound students for this SEAMEO TVET Virtual Exchange is both challenging and rewarding especially when you see your partners, students and participants smiling and enjoying the experience."
One of the biggest take-aways for SEAMEO and us, was that their board (the ones they wanted to impress in Goal #1) gained newfound confidence in the way virtual exchange can enhance mobility programs, and are just as excited as we are to move forward.
Next up, on November 17, our CEO Gabe Flacks will be discussing outcomes as part of the panel on the first SEAMEO cohort. Join here to register and learn more about what took place in summer 2022 and what is in store for 2023!
We’ve got blogs for that.