What are Cohort Based Courses?

A Cohort Based Course (CBC) is a collaborative learning program that is usually taken by a group of students together. It is organized according to a syllabus and is time-bound.

Cohorts are nothing new, our schools and colleges are the perfect examples of a cohort based environment.

History of Online Education
A little history of online education

Online education has proven to be a boon for people who want to learn without being affected by barriers such as location, fees, etc. It started flourishing when websites like Edx and Coursera launched. They launched the first MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

Then came the marketplaces like Udemy and Skillshare. This allowed the teachers/ course creators to sell their courses on their platforms. The platforms took a share of what the course creators earned by selling their courses on their platforms.  

The next to come were platforms like Teachable and Kajabi. These allowed the course creators to manage their courses on their terms. However, this also meant that the teachers were responsible for building an audience and marketing for their courses.

Today, educational content is abundant on the internet. Pick any skill, you can find hundreds of crash courses on websites like Youtube, Udemy, and other educational platforms. However, over time it has become pretty clear that the availability of such content doesn’t mean a higher completion rate and engagement.

We are currently in the 4th wave of online education. People want to learn and grow in a community where they can expand their network and are held accountable for completing their assignments. They wanted a direct interaction with the teacher who is leading the course and their peers. This is where the cohort based courses come in. 

But, why should you care to join a CBC?

1. Community 

People get to interact, socialize and learn with each other during the entire course of the cohort. It is the perfect environment to expand your network and learn with like-minded people. I've been able to establish great friendships through the cohorts I've been a part of. 

2. Accountability 

It is often said, to reduce how much you procrastinate, get an accountability partner. That's exactly what CBCs do. When you learn and perform tasks in a group, you tend to procrastinate a lot less and are much more likely to complete the given tasks. 

3 Time-Bound 

Unlike the traditional online courses, CBCs start and end at a particular date. This creates a sense of urgency and accountability when you're working on the assignments. 

4. Interaction 

You get to interact and learn directly from your mentors. While some CBCs have pre-recorded lectures, the others have live classes. However, constant interaction and communication are consistent across all CBCs. 

5. Hands-on learning 

Since you get to complete assignments in real-time, by the time the cohort ends, you can present the assignments you’ve completed as sample projects in your portfolio when you start looking out for freelance gigs/jobs. 

6. Get Job Opportunities 

Gone are the days when you required only a college degree to land the job of your dreams. In today's rapidly growing world, you need tangible skills as well. Top startups and companies have begun hiring directly from cohort based courses for some time now.

If these points haven’t convinced you, cohort-based courses have a completion rate of about 95% compared to 5-13% of traditional online courses and MOOCs. Apart from this, you get to learn in an environment of like-minded people and expand your network.

Due to the constant increase in the ease of creation and management of CBCs, more and more teachers are moving towards this model, and this will only increase in the future.

Since you invest considerable time and money, finding and deciding on the perfect cohort for yourself might prove to be difficult. We at Coursenest, have listed some of the top cohort based courses from across the web and you can browse them for free!

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Written By
Avi Gupta