Why are Cohort Based Courses so hot right now?

By Chez Spigelman

Cohort Based Courses are very trendy right now, and for good reasons. Some of the big name providers, such as On Deck and Maven, recently raised hefty Series A rounds. A range of companies, such as Virtually (backed by YC) and Coleap (by On Deck Fellows) have launched aimed at providing software and infrastructure to help instructors launch courses. Awareness of the value of CBC’s is growing due to a rare confluence of factors that have combined to create a very fertile environment for CBC’s to thrive. These are the following:

1)   COVID, first impact. The pandemic has wrought great changes upon society. With regards to education, online classes are now de facto, online socialisation is fun and “normal” , and online commerce (deals, partnerships) is now the norm. Since students can now develop strong, non transitory connections online, the network effect value of CBC’s has increased.

2)   COVID, second impact. Another consequence of COVID has been “The Great Resignation” – the well documented phenomenon of people resigning their cushy corporate jobs, seeking a new avenue in life. A non-negligible percentage of them have become entrepreneurs and/or entered the passion/creator economies. They’re well placed to both be students of CBC’s, as well as create their own, or at least add to the content ecosystem that empowers CBC’s.

3)   Cohort based courses work, and they are effective. Traditional MOOC's have a tiny completion rate - CBC’s, though not formally quantitatively analysed, are indicating rates above 50% - and other, less tangible effects, such as increased network, better employment opportunities and life satisfaction are reported by students as well.

This is a great space to be in, but it’s not a zero-sum game. Much like each CBC ecosystem on it’s own, the natural network effects of the CBC ecosystem at large is net positive – every course that succeeds brings more students into a world of constant, evolving learning and living. One positive outcome is that the world of CBC’s is devoid of hucksters and self promoters and instead consists of generous, smart and ambitious people.

The list of CBC’s available to join grows everyday. Here at NextCohort we are constantly scanning new options to add the best to our growing database of courses. Find your next one by visiting our Course Directory

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