Rohit Malekar

June 5, 2021

The Holy Grail for the Enabling Tech for Cohort-Based Courses

Cohort-Based Course is the new terminology in town. Without going into the debate of whether the phenomenon deserves a new name, there are a few elements of this experience that are being enabled creatively by more than a few instructors. Specifically, this includes peer-to-peer learning by design, small coach to coachee ratio, holding each other accountable for outcomes, dedicated bandwidth for spontaneous bi-directional communication as compared to a traditional classroom setup to name a few.

What are the characteristics of a digital platform that can effectively support instructors and participants engaged in a CBC experience?

Let's backtrack a little to attempt an answer to this question.

The Assertion

The most memorable learning experiences in life are two-way streets. Those moments happen when the speaker walks away from the experience as enriched as the audience. This is enabled by the spontaneity of the discourse in the form of questioning assumptions, exchanging ideas, sharing insights, and much more facilitated by the instructor.

The Goal

The holy grail for the instructor thus goes beyond mere parting the knowledge with the participants - it lies in the ability to advance the thinking of the participants for handling the known unknowns. The instructor achieves this using the course content while continuing to evolve the participant experience by incorporating the key takeaways from the spontaneous discourse.

The Ask

Thus, an effective CBC platform in my mind should exploit answers to these three pursuits. How can the platform:

  1. Effectively capture the spontaneous moments of shared growth between the instructor and the participants
  2. Empower the instructor to share and refine those moments across cohorts
  3. Enable continued asynchronous learning for participants juxtaposing the spontaneous commentary with course content