4 Benefits of Cohort-based Learning for students

Scape News

3 minutes read.
Published: December 14, 2022.
By Evelyn Ogungbemi.

Do you remember how in high school, you had classmates from the very first day of school till the end of the school year? You attended each class with these same people, made friends with them, solved assignments together, motivated one another and planned for the future.

Hold that thought.

Have you ever taken an online class— you know those ones where you have to go through a series of course materials and it’s up to you to decide when you want to watch the videos or read the articles?

I’m sure you noticed how difficult it was to complete those classes. You’d even need extra motivation to start the next module as you struggle and look forward to getting that certification.

Cohort-based learning is taking an online class, but like in high school— with ‘classmates’, people you start and end this course with, collaborate with and who offer motivation to keep you going when you get tired.

Also, unlike with self-paced courses, cohorts give you a one-on-one connection with your instructor. There’s usually a community where instructors get to manage and monitor students’ commitment to the learning process. They organise video discussions from time-to-time, initiate chat and encourage interaction with peer-to-peer projects. They encourage questions and give constructive feedback until the learners are ready to move on and scale their career.

How is cohort-based learning perfect for students?

  1. Increased Accountability
  2. Shared responsibility
  3. Higher Engagement
  4. Networking and Community Support

Increased Accountability

Self-paced courses have no deadlines, so students learn whenever they feel like and almost always end up not completing the course— mostly blaming lack of motivation and course complexity. 

Because of the structure provided by cohort-based courses, students have to keep up with the study schedule set by the instructor. That way, they are accountable to both the instructor and to your peers.

They must keep track of deadlines, complete assignments by a set time and give feedback from time to time. You really can’t just disappear and come back next year.

Shared Responsibility

Most online classes are too broad in scope and do not cater to the needs of the individual student. They were designed to reach a large audience and in order to remain relevant for a long time, they avoid diving deeper in certain subject matters.

Within cohorts, students can develop a closer relationship with the instructor, ask questions, strengthen their weak points and receive information targeted at their specific use case.

Both the instructor and the students are responsible for the learning process. You don’t have to ransack the internet for more details— the instructor is right there like a coach, leading the way and ensuring you understand everything.

Higher Engagement

Since cohorts thrive on interaction, students can guarantee that they won’t be listening to lectures all-day. From community discussions to real use-case applications, the study material will definitely come alive with active learning.

This can take the students to a new level of engagement with the course materials. They will learn to apply course concepts to real world problems, already equipped for the demands of their future roles.

With group discussions and class assessments, students can leave the course job-market-ready, having worked on multiple real-life projects. They move on to develop their career with all the tools they need to continuously upskill.

Networking and Community Support

With cohort-based classes, students get to experience the power of community. They connect with other learners over group projects and discussion boards, building long-lasting and meaningful relationships.

And because their cohort members relate to their career interests, they can share challenges, goals and achievements and even channel this professional network into good use in the future.

Cohorts encourage learners to see things from different perspectives, develop top soft-skills needed to excel in the workplace today— leadership, innovation, problem solving, teamwork and more. 

While creating life-long learners, the cohort-based revolution has gradually taken over the ed-tech learning space. Cohort-based classes uniquely position the students at the centre of the learning process and these students go on to reach their full potential in their different career paths.

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