t’s no longer news that cohort based teaching is the way to go in 2022 and beyond. Self-paced, MOOC-based teachings have underperformed and only increased the learning apathy among students. A course completion rate of 3-5% for MOOC vs. a completion rate of 90% for CBC establishes this position. And as an educator or course creator seeking to stay relevant and thriving, CBC is a no-brainer.
But of course, creating cohort courses is only an aspect of the success narrative; the functionality of the cohort based learning platforms adopted by the course creator also plays a vital role. A study on learning platforms found that the effectiveness of the Learning platform affects a student’s motivation and performance success.
So what are the best platforms to create a cohort-based course in 2022? We have a list for you based on performance results, reviews, and popular demand. They include:
Let's go on to discuss what "cohort-based learning" is, how the platforms work, and why you should create a cohort based course, before we dive into a detailed comparison of the aforementioned sites.
What Is Cohort Based Learning?
If you are new to the education industry or you’ve mostly implemented the MOOC model, cohort based learning may sound alien to you. But it’s actually a straightforward learning model making a killing in recent times.
Cohort-based learning is a teaching method that supports collective and synergistic educational engagement among students. With this method, students enroll for a program at a fixed date and complete the program together within a specified duration. They go through the course contents as a group and collaborate throughout the learning period.
This is contrary to the popular but waning MOOC, which allows students to complete courses at an individual pace. While the MOOC seems more flexible, it is highly inefficient and less productive for learning. The reason is simple: several research studies have proven that humans learn better and faster and are more committed to their programs when in a group. In a recent article, we outlined in detail why CBL is a more effective alternative; you can read that post here.
What Are Cohort Based Learning Platforms?
Every course creator or online educator needs a medium to organize their course content, host students, and manage the learning process. And, of course, various learning platforms are available on the internet. But not all these platforms enable cohort-based teaching or learning.
In essence, a cohort learning platform is a system that enables educators to host and teach cohort programs and also allow students to learn collaboratively in a digital environment effortlessly.
Because cohort teaching has a unique approach that demands group-based learning with social interaction, a cohort based platform cannot be likened to or substituted with any other learning platform.
Why Should You Build a Cohort-Based Course?
Here are some important benefits of cohort courses and why you should take the cohort route in 2022.
- Increased revenue: Cohort-based courses demand the active participation of the educator, which enables you to charge more for your services.
- Easy to sell: cohort based programs are becoming more popular for several reasons; students prefer to engage with their colleagues, it enables social interaction, it is a more inclusive and exciting way to learn, etc. These reasons and more are making more people switch to cohort offerings. So if you have a well-structured and informative cohort course, you wouldn't have to do much to market it.
- Easy to plan: Cohort courses are easy to develop and plan because they are mostly live, interactive sessions.
- Personalized teaching: Most educators and students prefer the cohort experience because it allows for a one-on-one process that enhances the learning experience. Also, teachers can build good learning relationships with their students and structure custom-fit resources for individual students or learning groups.
- Accountability: Completing the coursework in MOOCs can be extremely difficult due to the absence of deadlines, feedback, and live interaction. Students are much more likely to carve out the time necessary to focus on their work when they are a part of a cohort and submit their assignments by the designated dates.
- Scalability: Cohort based courses enable easy scalability because you can host a wider audience per time rather than running round-the-year marketing and struggling to sell your courses.
- More leverage for your time: Cohort programs allow you to create an efficient schedule for our time. You know when it’s time to teach and you focus on doing just that. You can also plan for other activities without the fear of having an impromptu notice to attend to a student or a course.
Which Cohort-Based Courses Platforms Are Used the Most Today?
There are various cohort-based platforms today. They all offer slightly different features and may be best for different scenarios. Let’s have a quick rundown of some of the best cohort based learning & engagement platforms in 2022.
#1. EducateMe - Best Cohort Based Platform for Digital & Creative Academies, Bootcamps, and Online Schools
EducateMe is a more contemporary yet user-friendly cohort learning platform that provides critical features to enable educators to manage their programs better and easily. The platform gives you options for running live sessions, making it very flexible for users. Depending on your preference, you can integrate Zoom or embed Jitsi on the platform.
With EducateMe, mentors/instructors can automatically record meetings and track students' performance using in-built insights and analytics tools. Students can also send feedback and observations to help the tutor improve their offering.
The essence of a cohort-based learning platform is to enable seamless collaborative learning sessions, and EducateMe offers just that.
Features of EducateMe
- Automated meeting record: lessons can be recorded for future references and to build your course library
- Messenger to enable easy and live communication
- In-app notification: never miss anything
- Analysis and performance tracking tool: this helps to measure performance and track student’s progress
- Active customer support to enable educators to maximize the efficiency of the platform.
- Self-servicing software system for instructors to sign in and design their courses
Pros of EducateMe
- All-inclusive platform for cohort-based learning, allowing instructors to access all necessary tools from a single location.
- It is multi-dynamic. EducateMe is not only built for individual course creators. It is also suitable for academies, accelerators, boot camps, virtual seminars, etc.
- Offers a limited trial period to allow users to experience the features on the platform.
- It offers a great learning experience through an analytics-driven process. Student dropout rates are analyzed and the resulting reports can be used by mentors to better support their students and thus increase the course completion rate.
- It integrates communication tools that ensure high student engagement.
- The system offers Kanban-style collaboration making interactions and sessions flexible and fun.
- Provides automated tools to manage daily activities and tasks assignment.
- The platform is user-friendly and self-explanatory. As such, it is suitable for entry-level and expert course creators.
- EducateMe also has a strong suit in branding. The platform adds another channel for spreading your brand's message to a larger student audience.
Cons of EducteMe
- Does not have a mobile application.
Offers a free trial period and a very flexible monthly payment plan of $2.5 per student.
#2. Maven - Best Cohort Based Courses Platform for Single Experts
Maven was among the first platforms to grace the cohort-based learning landscape. When they debuted, they came with the spice of some renowned content creators like Sam Parr, Nir Eyal, and others. Notwithstanding, this platform's major downside is that it operates a marketplace business model. As such, the platform has control of your data and brand, thereby opening you to a world of competition with other content creditors. The Maven platform is best suitable for content creators who are well established in their fields and have a very strong social media followership.
Features of Maven
- Time-based group learning settings.
- Design syllabus and monitor project submissions.
- Customized auto-emails to guide students through the registration process.
- Self-paced classes with defined goals.
- Track instructors and student performance in cohort-based courses.
Pros of Maven
- Maven cohort based courses provide content creators with all the tools necessary to facilitate teaching.
- Maven takes care of marketing your content for you, thus helping you build your brand as a thought leader in the education sector.
- The Maven platform offers a community-centric learning model that offers to learn the feeling of learning in a class.
Cons of Maven
- The Maven platform is unsuitable for rookie content creators who are just starting their careers.
- Maven does not offer a white-labeling solution. As a result, users may not be able to get custom-made learning tools to meet their specific needs.
- Maven does not function on mobile devices. As a result, all the community-centric fun that mobile devices offer is lost.
#3. Eduflow - Best Cohort Based Platform for Instructional Designers
Eduflow is a collaborative learning platform that makes corporate training and learning seamless. The platform allows instructors to create and customize their course outline designs without sacrificing user experience. Eduflow offers a freemium service with an option to upgrade to a premium plan if you wish to access more juicy packages. The platform was founded by David Kofoed Wind, Malthe Jørgensen, and Simon Lind in 2015 and is the go-to platform for corporate and sales training.
Features of Eduflow
- Self-servicing software system for instructors to sign in and design their courses
- Powerful editor tools for course designing.
- Professional Learning Management Systems that offer trainees personalized learning experiences.
- Progress tracking features
- Record video pitch
- Interactive classrooms for trainees
- Peer review and instructor review features
Pros of Eduflow
- The platform is easy to use, making content designing stress-free and less time-consuming.
- It offers peer and instructor review activities alongside group discussion and practice sessions to help increase inclusive learning and knowledge retention.
- The platform also provides tracking tools to help monitor trainees' and learners' progression over time.
Cons of Eduflow
- The platform does pay much attention to peer review actions, thus defeating the very purpose of interactive learning for which it was founded.
- The platform has no provisions for users to filter activities by type. As a result, users are left with the option of creating an external dashboard to filter activities by type.
Eduflow offers a limited free plan, a budget-friendly plan at $20 per month with limited features, a pro plan at $120 per month, and a premium plan.
#4. Teachfloor - Best lPlatform for Corporate Trainers
Teachfloor is a platform that integrates the zoom video conferencing tool to enable cohort learning. The system supports various courses and programs as long as they are teachable through Zoom. The user-friendly platform enables educators to earn money while expanding their student base online. Teachfloor enables instructors to monitor their students' performance and responses to assignments. It also provides a thorough report on student performance, which will assist the instructor in determining what works and what does not work for the students, thereby establishing the best approaches to teach them.
- Provides a virtual social integration feature that allows educators to have an interactive community
- It also provides a performance report on student performance.
- It allows corporate trainers to have analytical reports of their business.
- Stripe integration to enable educators to receive payments.
- Supports white-label
- Virtual Bootcamp: The platform allows practitioners to organize Bootcamp while accounting for each learner.
- Standby Support Services: The platform has a support service that is always available to help users in case they run into issues while using the platform.
- Automated Reminder: The platform has an automated email reminder which helps ensure easy professionalism while dealing with learners.
- It lacks one-on-one video learning capability.
- It can only be accessed on the web; No mobile version
- It offers only basic features for learning.
Rates begin at $79 per month for a maximum of 50 students.
#5. Disco - Best for Single Experts, Bootcamps, and Building Communities
Disco is a live cohort course creation platform that enables tutors and subject matter experts to offer live learning experiences through cohort-based workshops, courses, and interactions. This platform allows instructors to brand their knowledge.
- Integrate digital tools to offer live sessions
- Enables chat and direct messaging to build a collaborative environment
- It offers community building and social interaction.
- Supports tracking and performance measurement
- It allows students access to courses that satisfy the industry’s needs.
- It offers a 100% remote management capability.
- It allows creators to establish authority in their domain.
- Courses may not be available to learners after the live session.
- No mobile app.
Disco offers a base rate of $60 per month for the pro version and $319 per month for the organization version.
#6. FreshLearn - Best Platform for Mixed Programs
Freshlearn is a platform that allows instructors to create, modify, and sell digital courses while handling things like landing pages and payment processing. It enables students to access courses taught by instructors from all over the world.
- Supports self-paced learning.
- Supports multiple languages
- It has multiple payment integration features.
- Provide information about student progress.
- Good UI/UX
- It offers a white-label feature
- It has limited integration.
Offers a limited free trial period but can get up to $41 per month for the no-brainer plan.
So Which Is the Best for You?
It’s okay to be a little confused about which of the platforms is best to create online courses; I mean, variety is the spice of life. But you don't have to think too much about making a choice. Rather, you should focus on your offering and what you intend to accomplish with your cohort course.
Here is what we mean; as already noted, there are various platforms, and they slightly differ in their features, pricing, and use. So instead of stressing over which is the best, you should find any of the best platforms that aligns more with your objective and offerings.
You should ask and answer the following questions before making a decision;
- Pricing: Does their pricing suit your budget?
- Features: Do they have the necessary features and tools I would need the most?
- Market: Is the platform suitable for my target market? (some platforms may be best for boot camps, others for high-school children, and some are very flexible for any category).
- Availability: How available and efficient is the platform and its customer support? This is very critical for new course creators who may not be used to using learning platforms. You may need a user-friendly platform with 24/7 support.
Quick tip: if you are not sure about the platform that is most suitable for your objectives, go for a more flexible cohort-based platform like EducateMe.
Which learning platform is the best?
It isn't easy to designate a particular learning platform as the best. This is because each platform is suitable for varying purposes. As such, choosing a platform should be based on your learning needs. For instance, if you seek a training platform, Eduflow is usually a preferred platform. But if your interest is to launch a flexible cohort-based course, EducateMe should be preferred.
What is a cohort-based program?
A cohort-based program is an online learning program where a group of learners or trainees are put together to learn a particular course from start to finish. This program adopts a community-centric approach that makes learning inclusive and interactive, thus improving the retention rate amongst learners.