Over the last few years, we’ve seen a significant shift happening in the online education space. Learners are looking for engaging online courses that go beyond teaching a framework. While pre-recorded asynchronous courses are convenient, more people are prioritizing real-time interactions and an interactive learning environment. Course creators who focus on nurturing relationships and building communities will make a greater impact, offer tremendous value, and increase their earning potential. Before we share why live online group learning works, here are the most common formats.
The most commons types of live online group programs include:
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With live online group programs, learners are more likely to show up to class and complete the curriculum. It sets the cadence for progressing through the coursework and sets learner expectations, thus keeping them accountable. Students who miss sessions risk falling behind and overall interact less with their peers.
In live online group programs, students not only learn from their instructors but also other students. Rather than solely relying on instructors like an asynchronous course, live online group programs offer the perfect learning environment for students to teach each other.
Students can mentor each other, and they retain more information in a casual learning environment. As for the instructor or coach, there’s less of a burden to lead every session.
Empower peer leaders and alumni, and create project prompts where students can facilitate group discussions, share feedback, and learn together. Keep students engaged with a variety of events, including masterminds, mentor sessions, and working groups.
Masterminds are regular peer-led group sessions where members advise each other on overcoming obstacles they are facing. Working groups or co-working sessions are peer groups that focus on completing a project through collaboration. Students can apply topics learned during a live lecture during mentor sessions.
Managing live events as you scale your online group program is challenging. Did you know that, on average, it takes seven steps to organize a live event? Virtually streamlines all the backend logistics of event management so you can spend more time engaging your students.
The community component offered by live online group programs like cohort-based courses, bootcamps, masterminds, and accelerators offers learners even more value than just the curriculum alone.
When you create a community around your program, learners build genuine relationships with other students, making for an even richer learning experience. It also encourages collaborations, increases engagement which ultimately improves satisfaction.
Also, we’re starting to see cohorts as a ramp to building community. First, students are a part of a structured live program and then join an alumni network in the next phase.
Some have alumni membership fees, while others host complimentary alumni communities after the program. Some programs doing this include Ali Abdaal’s Part-time YouTuber Academy, On Deck, and Ship 30 For 30.
Of course, learners come to learn or improve their skills, but they do not always want to learn alone. Some want to learn alongside a group with the same goals as them. While they may join your program to master the topic, they will stay for the community.
Danielle Desir is an author, freelance writer and the host of The Thought Card, an affordable-travel and personal finance podcast. (danielledesir.com) Follow on Twitter: @thethoughtcard