All over the world, cohorts are gaining popularity among higher education institutions and online learning communities. Top business schools like New York University and the University of Pennsylvania offer prestigious MBA programs that have adopted teams and cohorts as an integral part of their learning experience. The University of Pennsylvania - Wharton says: “Cohorts provide catalysts for new insights, collaboration, and a start of a lifelong network.”
Unlike self-paced learning programs where individuals progress through the coursework at their own pace, with cohort-based learning, a group advances through the learning material together. This togetherness model benefits those who learn better in groups. If you haven’t considered this type of program format for your online school yet, here’s why you should.
A cohort is a collaboration-focused program where a group works together to complete a program. Members attend the same live classes, complete the assignments, and study together. They also finish at the same time. Typically cohorts have 15 to 35 members.
There are many advantages to offering cohort-based programs. Cohorts offer students more opportunities to engage with the instructor and their learning community. Since students advance together, they share common interests and goals.
A cohort community also uniquely positions students to network and develop relationships. In addition to learning from the instructor, students benefit from learning from each other. If members have a question or need support, they can turn to their peers. Being regularly exposed to new ideas can expand their perspectives and spark creativity. Frequent group discussions all enhance the learning experience. Not to mention, engaged cohorts transcend the learning community. Members may even become lifelong friends!
Lastly, cohort learning provides structure. To advance in the program, members have to attend the lectures and abide by all of the deadlines. This built-in accountability can improve retention and completion.
As an online school builder, Virtually is optimized for cohort-based groups with interactive learning environments. With video conferencing integrations for live classes and classroom forums, cohorts can improve member engagement and help you earn more compared to traditional online courses. Use Virtually to host any type of cohort program, including bootcamps, memberships, group coaching, and more. Create an online school with Virtually today.
Danielle Desir is an author and the host of The Thought Card, an affordable-travel and personal finance podcast. (danielledesir.com) Follow on Twitter: @thethoughtcard