The online education sector has seen a dramatic change in the last few years. In recent years, there has been a significant shift from in-person to remote learning and a steep increase in the uptake of online courses. Even with more people signing up for online courses, completion rates have dwindled. To increase the engagement and motivation of the learners, Learning & Development specialists have to look for new teaching methodologies. Sourcing the right learning platform can be challenging in the sea of different solutions. One of the most effective ways of delivering content that resonates with learners is cohort-based learning.
The following are some key features common to the best cohort-based learning platforms to look out for. With the following features, Learning & Development managers can ensure learners retain information, stay interested in the content and improve their knowledge.
Key Features of the Best Cohort-Based Learning Platforms
With cohort-based learning, groups of learners come together in real time to learn the course material and move through the course in tandem till completion. There may be components of the course where students are brought together in online chat rooms to discuss materials. There are certain features that the best cohort-based learning platforms have, as follows.
1. A Community Space
Due to the collaborative nature of a cohort-based learning platform, a reliable community space is necessary to bring learning groups together and enable dialogues for learning purposes. There are several ways in which community spaces can be delivered.
- Live Chat: Live Chats are used to bring learners together to have face-to-face interactions and discuss in real-time solutions that they can implement and apply directly back to their workplace.
- Discussion Boards: Discussion boards are a shared wall that all learners in the cohort can see. These boards give learners a space to post anything they’d like to discuss, ask questions, reflect and share experiences. Moderators and others in the group can also comment and contribute to the discussion.
- Interactive features: Interactive features facilitate learners’ communication with each other engagingly, beyond spoken or written words. Some examples are polls, post-it notes, quizzes, GIFs and more, and when leveraged properly can be powerful to bring the cohort closer together too.
The purpose of the above features is to create a space where learners feel comfortable sharing ideas and opinions to facilitate building relationships with others in the cohort.
2. Analytics & Insights
L&D leaders must know as much as possible about the learners taking the courses to ensure they are meeting overall L&D targets and objectives. Analytics and insights within the Learning Management System enable L&D leaders to know where their people are at in capabilities, uplifts, and how engaged they are. This data can help leaders gain deep insight into what’s working well and what isn’t by showing patterns in learners’ data, which facilitates data-driven decisions to improve overall strategy and deliver exceptional training experiences.
The ability to run smoothly on a mobile device is a feature that is often neglected by standard cohort-based learning platforms, as not all currently offer mobile-friendly course content. Employees conduct their lives on mobile, and many would appreciate the ability to log into their course anywhere, anytime, from any device. As such, having a mobile-friendly platform can encourage more participants to engage with the course. Mobile-friendly courses increase the convenience of using and accessing the platform and course materials. To be used on mobile, programs should have features such as a user-friendly interface, a simple layout to retain user attention and reduce distractions, and comprehensive privacy options for users.
4. Learner Activities
One of the most crucial features of a cohort-based learning solution is the ability to ensure learner understanding of the materials through reinforcement activities. At Cahoot Learning, rather than having formal assessments where learners are assessed through standard quizzes, we focus on real-life case studies and discussions where learners can solve issues that they can directly apply to their work.
Remember that while there are some cohort-based learning platforms available with good features such as the ones above, choosing the most appropriate learning solution takes into consideration other important factors, such as the right team and support.
A successful learning solution needs a good mix of the right content delivery supported by a good platform.
At Cahoot Learning, we use a cohort-based learning platform that can help organisations promote collaboration in employee learning. Together with a strong learning design team, we help create learning experiences that increase your workforce capabilities, backed by real-time insights. Consider using our active learning model to educate your workforce using the most up-to-date methods certified by the Education Alliance Finland, and start learning with us.