Do you remember the days when you had to go all the way over to your bookshelf and read through your encyclopedia to learn something? Wow, those days are long gone. Welcome to the era of cohort-based online learning.
The internet has changed the way the world learns and how people transfer information. In the 1980s, schools began to introduce computers and change education. Today, it’s genuinely mindblowing how influential IT has become to learners worldwide.
From learning foreign languages to picking up new skills — the internet has made that possible! Here are just a few of the ways that the internet has changed learning:
- Increased distance learning
- Personal development (eLearning)
- 24/7 learning
- Increased freedom of information
- Improved collaboration across borders
- More homeschooling
- Additional creativity & research capabilities
Furthermore, the growth of the internet has led to the growth of learning online. Here are some statistics:
- 73 percent of households have access to the internet for online learning
- By summer 2020, 93 percent of United States teachers used some of their teachings online from home
- Students with more than an hour of device use per week achieved far greater educational results
- 49 percent of students worldwide in 2015 took an online course, yet 81 percent of students claimed that digital learning improved their education by 2016
- Up to 40 percent of online companies offer eLearning to their employees
- Statistics in the United Kingdom show that people between 16 and 24 are more likely to use online learning materials than conventional learning materials
However, the free information age hasn’t always benefited everyone. Here are some of the pros and cons!
Pros of the free information age
1 – Everyone is more connected
The introduction of free information has increased the globalization of the world. As a result, it’s possible to receive information on topics from every corner of the world.
Are you looking to learn how to cook authentic Indian food from a street vendor in India? The free information age has made it possible to teach you how. Furthermore, with apps, social media, video, audio, words, and software – it is so much easier to transfer information and learn.
2 – Digital devices are more portable
The growth of tablets, smartphones, laptops now means that you can learn from everywhere and anywhere. In turn, it’s possible to learn whenever you are! Even you are traveling – in the car, on the bus, on the train, etc.
The introduction of portable devices has also added a whole new level of software. Meaning you now have various learning methods to choose from.
Are you looking to learn a foreign language via an app? There are countless easily accessible options. Traveling in a foreign land without an actual guide has become so much easier with tech!
3 – Learn about anything you want
You can find solutions for nearly every problem. For example, if you’re looking to learn a foreign language, you don’t need to rely on classes. So many youngsters have picked up new languages from dramas or shows they like with the free resources online.
Learn to cook, develop an app, knit, carve, draw and even build a house — learn anything you want.
In the past, you would need to attend courses physically, but now? Sitting on the toilet browsing the internet could teach you more than a boring 2-hour lecture.
Cons of the free information age
1 – Social isolation
There are enormous benefits from learning information around other people. You can bounce ideas off each other, learn and benefit through collaboration. But, unfortunately, the free information age has led to social isolation. When you can obtain all information from the comfort of your home; many people isolate themselves from society and don’t enjoy the benefits of learning from others.
Social isolation is awful for your mental well-being and health. Know to be a gateway to poor motivation, stress, and in the end not learning.
2 – Work overload
It’s not uncommon for people to overwork themselves when they use eLearning materials. The sheer amount of information on Google is near infinite. You really only learn as much or as little as you want.
So of course, if you’re willing to work very hard, you can get ahead in life with the endless information. However, work overload and burnout aren’t uncommon either if you push yourself too hard.
However, if you know your limits, it’s entirely possible to enjoy a healthy balance. But then and again, how would you know your limit? As such, many people struggle to find that crucial balance.
3 – Unreliable information
Last but not least, one of the most significant problems with the free information age is finding actual reliable information. When you’re consuming free content or cheap online courses anything goes. There are tons of con-men and malicious pranksters who find it their duty to spread false information among the masses.
Therefore, you should always conduct thorough research on your information just to make sure it is reliable. But the reality is, anyone can just start a course on the internet and claim to be an expert. Even if they aren’t – you wouldn’t know!
So finding third-party confirmation & multiple re-affirmations of sources is a great way to ensure the knowledge you are consuming is accurate.
What is cohort-based learning?
So how can learning online be fun you ask? With cohort-based learning.
Cohort-based learning is a collaboration-focused program with 15-35 people (sometimes way more) who work together to complete a program. The group members attend the same live classes and study together. They will start and finish the course at the same time.
Content used to be the primary method of online learning. But now, cohort-based online learning is becoming extremely popular in leading business schools. Examples of schools using this style include New York University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Wait, what about YouTube?
In the last 15 years, there has been a sharp increase in online content that is free and easy to access. YouTube now has over 500 million views every day.
Their content spans anywhere from the deep depths of the sea to astronauts having fun in space. But most importantly, you can find free crash courses on how to freelance, sell, and cook (or just watch funny videos).
In most cases, for educational-based creators, select classes will be offered for free on their YouTube channel. And to access more content, the viewer will have to sign up for a more in-depth course which is often a self-paced learning course. Pay an upfront fee and then learn at your own pace. While this is great, many people who purchase the content never start.
And creators on YouTube who provide free resources end up earning most of their money via merchandise, affiliate links, and sponsorships with brands. This, unfortunately, means that many genuine instructors with real knowledge continue to struggle to make a living as learners tend to rationalize paying a premium for the content they consume.
The likelihood of a learner sticking to a course when they don’t pay a premium price for that content is almost minimal. In fact, reports suggest a 3 to 6 percent completion rate at best. That’s where cohort-based learning online is offering a fresh, better alternative to self-paced free content that floods the internet.
If you haven’t tried cohort learning before, we’re going to give you various reasons why it might be the better alternative for you!
What are the benefits of cohort-based learning online?
1 – You will build a network of fellow students
One of the most significant benefits of cohort-based learning online is the ability to meet like-minded individuals on the same path as you. It doesn’t matter what you’re learning; whether it’s tech sales, fitness, or computer programming, you’re going to meet excellent people along the way when you learn in a cohort-based environment.
As a result, when you enter the job market and look for the best jobs, you’ll have many connections to get ahead of your competition. You can also attend networking events via your contacts and meet people that can lead your career in the best direction.
2 – You can enjoy face to face learning
Although many cohort-learning-based courses are online, you can also find many face-to-face learning courses. Some of the benefits of face-to-face cohort-based learning include:
- Face to face learning offers the stimulation we need to absorb the information
- There are fewer distractions
- You’ll get to build your network with fellow group members
- You have more opportunities to observe your teacher’s body language
- You’ll have the chance to socialize and learn from your fellow group members
Face-to-face learning can feel like you’re part of a community. That said, you can also find all these benefits with an online cohort-based learning course if it’s an excellent learning environment.
Many cohort-based learning courses and now online, meaning you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
3 – You’ll enjoy support from group members and teachers
Support is one of the critical aspects of any learning environment, and you’ll enjoy ample support when you’re taking part in cohort-based learning. You have the opportunity to discuss the course with the group members and communicate directly with your instructors.
As a result, you’ll enjoy better learning prospects and have the opportunity to get help if you’re ever struggling through the course. You can even discuss your future job prospects, career guidance, and motivations with your mentors.
A recent study from MIT researchers found that self-paced online courses have a dropout rate of 96 percent over five years. In contrast, you’re far less likely to drop out when you have support from peers.
In addition, research from MIT found that students that worked with other students during the course and successfully supported one another scored higher than people learning on their own.
4 – You’ll experience robust structure
Having structure in life is one of the best ways to find success. The biggest advantage of having a structured routine is having set dates, times, and deadlines on your course. In addition, your team members can keep you accountable, encourage you to complete assignments, and help you stick towards your structure.
Alternatively, when you’re completing a self-learning online course, you may struggle to find structure because you’re alone, don’t have fellow group members, and you’ll have to set your own deadlines. In any learning environment, whether you’re looking to become a soccer player or an actor, your coach will tell you the importance of structure and sticking to it.
If you’re an extremely self-disciplined person, you can still find a structure with a self-paced online learning course. However, for many learners, a cohort-based learning online course will give them better results.
5 – Many cohort-based courses have a clear start and end date
One of the main reasons people struggle to complete a self-paced learning course is the lack of a clear start and end date. Alternatively, when you participate in cohort-based learning, you’ll have a clear date where you begin and finish.
Therefore, you can plan your schedule around the course and know exactly when you’re finishing and when you’ll be ready to hit the job market. But imagine having no actual start date when you start a self-paced learning course? You might not even begin the course, and there lies the most prominent problem!
Self-paced courses lack accountability because they lack a fixed structure. Alternatively, a cohort-based learning course’s start and end date will give learners a sense of urgency that drives them towards success.
6 – Many cohort-based courses have genuine status and recognition
So we’ve established that there’s a lot of free content out there? Therefore, many of these free courses don’t have a strong network or reputation when you complete the course because there are just so many of them.
Alternatively, completing a cohort-based learning course with a credible institution can give you a clear network, recognition and will act as a viable stepping stone instead of a self-paced learning course that lacks credentials.
You can’t tell your prospective employer that you completed a 20 dollar Udemy course and expect them to believe you’ve learned expert skills. In contrast, if you completed a cohort-based learning course at a credible institution, your prospective employer might look at you differently during the interview.
A cohort-based coding boot camp saw 74.1 percent employment after 9 months of graduation, an example of the excellent opportunities cohort-based courses can offer.
7 – You’ll experience hands-on-based learning
Cohort-based learning is often hands-on, and that gives you some excellent benefits. For example, when students are in the third or fourth year of medical school, they will have to diagnose medical problems with actual patients. Before that, they would read textbooks and learn without hands-on experience.
That’s a significant problem with self-paced courses — they rarely encourage you to conduct any hands-on experience, often leaving you unprepared to complete the skill in real life after the course.
You won’t have this problem on many cohort-based learning courses because you’ll have to complete the task before completing the course. The excellent thing is you’ll have various group members to support your learning as you begin the hands-on process.
In life, you can’t really succeed until you take action, fail, and get up and learn from the mistake. That is especially true in the sales industry. A study from Harvard University found that students taking part in a hands-on introductory physics class scored higher and learned more. Moreover, studies show that students learn more from hands-on, active learning than static learning.
How many free courses really encourage people to get hands-on? Some do, but many courses are merely static learning.
8 – Cohort-based learning is bi-directional.
Self-paced learning is generally static learning in the form of YouTube courses and cheap paid courses on sites like Skillshare. On the other hand, cohort-based learning is bi-directional, and there’s an exchange of knowledge between the learner and the instructor.
As a result, the exchange of knowledge between the learner and the instructor forces both parties to become more accountable. Of course, if you have nowhere to hide, you’ll have to turn up and complete the work. After all, there’s an instructor who’s waiting to exchange information with you.
Furthermore, cohort-based learning courses often incentivize the instructor to make material far more actionable for their students. In turn, it can lead to better-quality educational experiences.
There has been a gigantic growth in free online learning content in the last twenty years. Unfortunately, a lot of that content lacks quality and doesn’t always produce an effective learning environment to achieve optimum growth and success.
Combine online learning with many traditional learning aspects. Some examples include bi-directional classes, the social aspect, supportive instructors, a structure, start dates, end dates, and so much more!
While there are benefits to self-paced learning courses, studies show that cohort-based learning provides better results for most people. With the impact of the pandemic & changing communication styles, there are vast benefits to learning with group members:
- Having set deadlines with a clear start and end date
- A strong network of global friends
- Ability to learn in a social environment
- Enjoying a genuinely supportive environment
- Having credible instructors with official credentials
Now is the best time for you to sign up for a cohort learning program like Uvaro – that can take place from the comfort of your own home. Enjoy all the fantastic benefits that it offers during the learning process and after! Land a job in tech once you graduate from Uvaro while quite possibly sipping hot coffee in your pajamas.
Learn more with Uvaro
Uvaro offers the best cohort educational experience for anyone looking for the best online learning experience. Many of our students learn a ton and often find their dream roles in tech sales after graduating from our 12-weeks sales course.
Try out cohort learning with Uvaro and gain the valuable skills needed to kick-start a career in tech. Contact us today!