Heading from audience to a community

The future of online education seems bright, seeing how it has evolved in the past few years. It is now a brilliant tool to build a community. Cohort-based courses have a group of students who enroll in an online course simultaneously and go through it at the same rate. It is a form of community-backed learning, where the teacher gives structure and guidance. But most cohort learning takes place in real-time, as students discuss what they're learning and encourage each other to keep going in their pursuit of education.

When it comes to online education, people almost often consider it a form of community learning. For example, an apprentice observes the master share the nuances of their trade, or a group conversation entails delving into a topic from various angles. Even solitary talents like writing or getting together in writing groups to provide feedback to each other is an important element of progress.

Educators who have been blessed with an audience can always capitalize on this to form a community and lead. They can become leaders in the online education space through the gift of cohort learning. Since massive open online courses were introduced, online forums have been an element of these courses. However, calling them a "community" is a stretch. Such forums were frequently only a customer service channel or a resource list, and many of them were characterized as ghost towns with little to no activity. Fellow students were little more than nameless symbols on a webpage without the ability to see, hear, or enjoy the same experiences.

The intense actions that occur on cohort platforms happen in a fraction of the time they normally take. Students discover mentors, collaborators, thinking partners, coaches, advisers, and even clients, employers, or love partners through a variety of interactions and partnerships. Community is a nebulous concept. It is impossible to plan or forecast everything that will happen. Inside jokes, nicknames, origin stories, and unsaid values are common examples. On the other hand, we may purposefully create the conditions for a community to form. We can value and elevate those moments, and a real community will form as a result.

Guidance counselors, study groups, teaching assistants, face-to-face class sessions, student portfolios, and final projects are examples of how cohort-based learning reinvents the multiple levels of social accountability and support seen in traditional institutions in a virtual context.

These accountabilities help students get through the toughest aspects of learning while instilling a culture of high expectations in everyone involved. They are critical to students assisting others from different backgrounds complete the program for which they signed up. This mix of encouragement and challenge results in far higher completion rates than we've come to anticipate from online learning.

The learning experience is enhanced by live contact, which includes sharing, laughter, surprise, irreverence, humor, victory, and failure. These are topics that can't be communicated through pre-written material or a chat-based forum.

Many types of interaction can overlap and intersect in a live group video setting. As much as a university classroom, the developing learning experience resembles a video game or a virtual environment. Many-to-many communication is enabled via polls, interactive whiteboards, and emoji reactions, which may keep hundreds of people interested at once.

Certain types of material, such as background reading and how-to instructions, are easier to consume on our own. However, the greatest benefit of education is not found in its content. You may always use Google to look it up on demand.

Education's genuine worth is in its potential to change individuals. Cohort-based courses are particularly suited for transformative learning. People's identities are shifted so drastically in such a short amount of time because of this learning that they scarcely recognize themselves on the other side.

The structure of cohort-based courses and accountability enables students to consistently achieve good results, which was probably never achieved previously. The cap on how much online instructors may charge is rising in line with quality requirements. This allows them to invest in the experience, such as hiring designers to develop identifiable brands, training coaches to provide tailored feedback, collaborating with technological specialists to adapt to the web interface, and incentivizing marketers to reach new audiences. It is crucial to remember that each new wave in the history of online education does not obliterate the one before it; it only progresses.

Although it has taken longer than anticipated, we are on the verge of being able to fulfill an educator's promise of becoming a community leader. Cohort-based courses have been criticized for their high cost and exclusivity. They've been dubbed aristocratic and exorbitant. However, this new approach to education will make online learning more open, accessible, and democratic than ever. It will help build communities out of simple audiences and make online learning a mandatory form of education in the future.