The Ultimate Guide to the Cohort-based courses in 2022

The Ultimate Guide to the Cohort-based courses in 2022

Education is evolving from physical college & universities to pre-recorded lectures and finally gearing to the next wave of Cohort-based learning.

Education has changed drastically from physical college, universities to pre-recorded online lectures and finally gearing to the next wave of Cohort-based learning. 

Before getting into how to make a kickass-cohort course that sells, let us first understand why it has become the talk of the town? And why is every next creator trying to start his online classes in the form of cohorts these days?

The first wave of online education began in 2008 when reputed universities like MIT, Harvard and Stanford kicked off recording their offline lectures and making them accessible online in the form of the MOOCs i.e Massive Open Online Courses freely through the internet. 

The year 2010 saw the second online education wave in the form of the Marketplaces where companies like Udemy and Skillshare provided platforms for independent course creators to build a pre-recorded lecture and sell it all around the globe. But these platforms ruled the pricing and other factors which is why those instructors could not successfully create greater revenues.

The third way of online education came as a solution to the challenges faced by the course creators by providing them with the necessary toolkits to reach and monetize their audience. But these courses demanded too much time and determination of the learners to complete their courses making it ineffective in terms of quality educational learning.

The cohort was the outcome of most of the above-mentioned problems suffered by most of the learners. This is the fourth online wave that has emerged.

Image Source: Fortelabs

What are cohort-based courses all about?

A cohort refers to collaborative learning activity conducted by an instructor to teach a similar syllabus at the same time to a group of people. The cohort-based courses take place live virtually via video conferencing tools like Zoom, so people all across the world can take advantage of these sessions. It promotes community-based learning. The learners get a sense of belonging with each other as there is live interaction happening between them. 

What makes cohorts special?

These 4 factors make cohort-based courses unique:-

1. Accountability 

Cohorts drive group members to create a sense of relationship with the instructor and within themselves. This relationship factor prompts us to perform well, complete those assignments, learn and scale up together. Everyone participating in these cohorts pays proper attention unlike in self-paced courses, where we don't even tend to complete the whole course. Studies show that cohorts show 70-90% completion rates which makes it one of the effective forms of learning.

2. Interaction

Video-conferencing facilitates live interaction between all the group members. A participative environment gets created whereby the members freely share their experiences, life lessons and so on while learning something new. They crack jokes, laugh at times, amuse or cry together. This increases their attentiveness in the cohorts. Self-paced courses lack this utmost important factor which makes them tedious and boring.

3. Community

It is a human tendency that people like to learn in groups. Be it a cricket match where players try to push each other's limits or a choreographer teaching dance in thriving groups, the community has always been present. People enjoy each other's company and collectively grasp the new information. Research studies prove that people learn optimally when social interactions are included in their learning experiences.

4. Impact

There is loads and loads of educational content available over the internet. By taking any random course to learn a skill, does it really transform you? Hardly, it does. That's where community-led learning comes into the picture. Cohorts bring that much-needed impact on our learnings. People in a group push each other against all odds to accomplish an objective together. Learners who took Seth Godin's AltMBA course had experienced a before-after transformation, which is remarkable in a short span! 

The three steps to build your first online course without coding unplugged:

1. Determine your niche and target audience

  • Research deeply and try to find the ideal customer profile who will benefit the most from your course. Are they college dropouts? Or people who want to upgrade in their career?
  • Create a buyer's persona. What are their ideal age propositions? Where do they like to hang out more on social media? What are their expectations? What difficulties are they facing most? All these pointers help us to understand the customers in-depth and form the basis for our marketing plans.

2. Pricing and Promoting your cohort

  • Research about your competitor and their pricing model. Usually, cohort-based courses are priced higher than self-paced learning programs.
  • Pick up a price that is parallel to your goals and which your target audience doesn't find it difficult to pay.
  • Once done with price selection, kick off with the marketing activities.
  • Curate text posts, videos, podcasts across social media channels, Linkedin communities, Facebook groups, Twitter spaces. Buyers persona helps with what, why, when and how to post.

3. Choose a platform to deliver your course

  • Various cohort-creating platforms have geared up to best support the course creators.
  • Choose a platform that has major easy to use tools integrated with the platform, to design the lectures. 
  • Tailor-made specifications is a must feature while selecting the right platform.

The Final Thoughts:

Cohort based courses are a win-win situation for both, the creator and the learners as it is the current hot trend in online education. The learners benefit as they can avail the best-world class courses at their doorstep. The live interactions facilitate instant doubt clarification and boost your learning experience. 

In online education, content is no longer king- Cohorts are! - Wes Kao.

Want to launch your first-cohort course effortlessly? Start on Pensil now.

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