If you’re looking for a way to get your students more engaged in their learning, you might want to consider cohort-based education.Since cohort-based learning blends the best of classroom and online education, students become more engaged and invested in their learning. Cohort-based learning can be a great solution to help students learn more effectively while making classroom participation and discussion more relevant to their overall coursework.

Cohort-based learning is a popular online course design that has been proven to increase course completion rates. For new online course creators, it’s easy to implement this concept.

What is Cohort-Based Learning?

Cohort-based learning is when you break your students up into groups that take the course simultaneously. This allows all of the students in that group to progress through the material together and interact with one another while they learn. This means that instead of waiting for everyone to finish a lesson before you can provide feedback, you can offer personalized feedback as soon as someone finishes a particular slide or reading assignment.

Because everyone is going through it at once, you also don’t have to worry about students becoming frustrated by waiting too long for feedback or support from you or other classmates. Students feel like part of a community because they’re all experiencing it at once. In addition to getting feedback quickly, cohort-based learning also allows everyone to learn from each other—the best way for people to learn something is by teaching it, so students have the opportunity to become experts in what they’re learning by sharing their knowledge with their peers and helping them out when they get stuck on something.

This sense of community will also help encourage students to ask questions and get involved in discussions about the material so that they really absorb everything and won’t forget it later on.

What is the Meaning of Cohort Based Learning?

Cohort-based courses meaning that you’ll always have time to connect and talk to your students and encourage peer to peer communication. The most common definition is the one that sees it as an approach to learning that brings together students who are starting their education in a given area simultaneously. This way, they share experiences and develop relationships while they progress through the same academic path. Another, more academic way of defining this practice would be to say that a learning cohort is a group of learners who share several specific characteristics, such as:

  1. Starting their education in a given field at the same time
  2. Working under the guidance of multiple teachers over time
  3. Receiving support from each other and facilitators/mentors – both peers and adults - during their studies

When you implement this kind of approach, the ultimate goal is to combine many aspects at once - learning objectives, teaching methods, performance assessment strategies, etc. The idea behind this method is that students will develop skills and attitudes that will benefit them throughout their professional lives by working together, sharing ideas, and facing problems together.

What is a Cohort-Based Learning Approach?

Cohort-based learning is an effective strategy for helping students learn and retain knowledge because the cohort’s experiences are shared and reinforced by the group itself.

Cohort-based learning is a hugely popular online course design where students are organized into groups based on the time they sign up for the course. This allows instructors to more easily have small, manageable discussions with all of the students in their class and track everyone’s progress through the online course at once.

The idea behind cohort-based learning is to encourage a feeling of community among students and make them feel accountable for keeping up with the rest of the group. Cohort-based learning is a way to organize your classroom’s curriculum to make it more exciting, engaging and motivating for students. It’s not a specific curriculum but a way to divide your students into groups that can be used for any subject matter or instructional strategy. Each cohort will learn at a different pace than others, so you’re teaching students at their level as they progress through the course. This creates an environment where students are more likely to succeed because they’re caught up when they need help, have time to practice skills that give them trouble, and are challenged by the material at a higher level than them. The end result is happier students who are more motivated and engaged in the class.

7-Best Practices To Implement a Cohort Learning Model

Cohort-based learning is a common strategy in corporate and higher education environments, but it’s not always easy to implement.

It requires that everyone in the organization be on board to ensure that all the suitable systems are in place, and it puts a lot of pressure on employees to improve their skillsets constantly. However, there are 7 best practices worth considering when implementing this strategy, which can help make the process smoother and ultimately more successful.

1. Select a cohort-based learning platform wisely

Many websites have sprung up recently that offer the promise of accessible, inexpensive courses that are tailored to meet the needs of your specific professional industry. Some of them are great, and some of them are not. Before you take the plunge and start paying for a platform that will help you build your skills, it’s essential to know which.

The following list contains a few things to look out for:

  1. Ease of implementation—do you have a lot of content, or do you need to create your own?
  2. Is there a way to add custom fields?
  3. How seamless is transferring information from the school to parents and vice versa?
  4. Does it offer any features that will be key to your success, like live chat, parent forums, or an app for smartphones?
  5. What kind of support does the company offer? Is it responsive and professional?

This looks like a long list of requirements and finding a suitable platform can be difficult. I’m here to help as always, though! EdisonOS meets every requirement mentioned above and offers a FREE trial period of 30 days.

2. Decide on the curriculum

The second step in implementing a cohort-based learning model is deciding on the curriculum for your program.

You’ll want to pick something that will interest your students, align with your teaching goals, and be flexible enough to easily change it up based on what your students are interested in at any given time. If you’re not familiar with what kinds of learning content is out there, check out some other people who have implemented this kind of program before and see what they used.

Also, make sure that the platform you select has options for presenting more than one type of learning content (videos, articles, quizzes, etc.).

3. Identify the key learning outcomes and goals

The third step is to identify what outcomes you’re hoping to achieve. What do you want everyone in your student group to know or be able to do by the end of this period? Once you’ve defined these outcomes, break them down into smaller goals.

For example: If your goal is that everyone learns how to use the new software system, break it down into smaller goals like writing up instructions for how clients will use the system successfully or creating mockups showing how those instructions will look in action.

4. Use tools to make things easier for you

You can make it easy to run a cohort course by taking advantage of all the tools available.

  1. EdisonOS : is a tool that allows you to create landing pages and sales funnels to promote your course, handle payments, and house your course curriculum all in one place.
  2. Facebook : has a group feature that enables you to create a community for your students. You can create groups that facilitate communication among students and with you. If you’re a teacher, the chances are that you have students whose families are far-flung and who will miss out on the holiday season because they are spending it with their family members.
    There’s no reason not to make them feel included in some way. Facebook has an easy to use the feature that enables you to create a group for your students, which is especially useful during the holidays. With these groups, you can create an online community that facilitates communication among your students and you.

You can post pictures of holiday events or resources that might be helpful during this busy time. By posting announcements or links to relevant content, you may spark student interest in a subject they otherwise might not have explored or inspire them to look at the world differently than before. They will also get to see their friends’ faces and enjoy the comforts of home while away from home during the holidays.

  1. Google Calendar can help you and your student group be organized by sharing all the events and deadlines. You can easily create a calendar specifically for your cohort group and share the calendar with them so that they can add it to their calendars. Google Calendar is free online, and it’s easy to access with a basic Gmail account. Google Calendar is a convenient and free way to share events and deadlines with your student group. If your group is looking for a new way to stay in touch, Google Calendar could be an excellent option for you.
  2. The calendar will automatically add events from other members’ calendars so that everyone can keep track of when meetings are happening and when each other is free. You can also create your own custom calendar for your group. This means that you can keep track of the deadlines and due dates for all the things you’re working on together, like assignments or articles.
  3. To use Google Calendar with your group, first, make sure you have a primary Gmail account and that each member has a Gmail address that they can access from their computer or phone.
    You will also need to create an organizational calendar using Google’s website. Then, share that calendar with all the members of your group. Once they’ve added the calendar to their own accounts, they’ll be able to see all the events you’ve added—and they can add their own events too!

5. Decide on the duration of your cohort-based learning program

A common challenge in implementing a cohort program is determining how long to continue the program. If you choose too short a time frame, you will not have enough time to see results, and if you choose too long a period, you may lose people’s interest and focus throughout the program.

It’s essential to find a balance that works for your organization, but remember that it’s always better to end the program with positive feedback than overstaying your welcome and losing momentum.

6. Understand the importance of facilitation

When putting together a cohort-based learning model, you must have a facilitator responsible for keeping everyone motivated and moving forward.

The facilitator should also ensure that all participants get what they need out of the program. This might mean meeting with individuals outside of scheduled sessions or simply reminding people of deadlines as they approach.

7. Decide on what to measure and then measure it

When implementing a cohort learning model, the last step is deciding what to measure and then measuring it. You need to know what you want to track, how you will track it, and how you will use the information that you gather. Are you looking to determine how much time students spend in class? Do you want to know how many books each student reads per month? These are examples of things that can be easily measured, but some aspects of learning cannot be directly observed.

For example, if you want to track your student’s progress towards their individualized educational goals. You will need students and educators to collaboratively collect and analyze information that helps determine the student’s progress and success.Once the team can identify measurable goals, they will have to design a system for tracking the data. This step can sometimes be more complicated than anticipated because it requires both educators and administrators to agree on the most effective methods for gathering data.

The system should also be able to accommodate different types of learners. In other words, every student learns differently; therefore, every student will learn at a different pace. The system should allow educators to modify the assignments based on each student’s needs and abilities to account for this individuality.


If you want to start implementing a cohort-based system in your organization, here’s what you should know. Consider all these best practices when developing your cohort-based learning system, and you will be well on your way to creating a sustainable, highly effective program. A cohort-based system is an excellent alternative to the traditional classroom style, but only if designed, organized and implemented correctly.

Start small and make the program part of your culture. Cohort-based training gives organizations the tools to create training programs that are more effective and efficient than traditional learning management systems.Implementing a cohort-based learning system is no small endeavour, but it’s certainly one that will pay off in the long run. It looks as though cohort-based learning is becoming more and more common, which is excellent news for everyone. After all, the more we examine the system, the more ways there are to have it improve educational outcomes for students.

Riddhima Parkar
Content Marketing Associate
Table of Content
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