By Danielle Rocheleau
Laridae Learning’s courses and sessions follow what has recently been coined as the “Cohort-Based Course” model of learning. This term refers to a group of learners who join an online course together and progress through it at the same time.
You may be thinking that cohort-based courses is just a new name for “class”. Well, you’re not wrong. It is how we learned at in-person schools from elementary to university. But it was only recently that technologies such as high-speed internet and Zoom made it possible to bring people together online in real-time — with relative ease. Fast-forward to a global pandemic, and educators the world over were looking to replace in-person learning with online models that still made way for peer interaction.
Cohorts emerged as a better alternative to webinars, or asynchronous (pre-recorded) course material.
Advantages of Cohort-Based Courses
Increased Peer-to-Peer Engagement
Laridae Learning participants quickly find community within their cohort during our live learning sessions. Our programs are highly interactive, featuring: breakout rooms, seminar-style group discussions (that we call coffee house sessions), and even group coaching. In this way, participants soon bond through shared experiences, common challenges and even occasional epiphanies! As a result, much additional learning occurs peer-to-peer as they engage and encourage each other along the way.
We see immediate benefits to building community in this way.
Better Support for Leaders and Managers
Let’s face it: Life in a non-profit managerial or leadership role can be lonely. You’re often asked to deliver a great deal more than you feel prepared to take on – but now that you’re the boss, there’s no one else to ask for help.
We get into some emotional territory at times. Non-profit work can involve tough subject matter. Organizations almost never have what they need to serve everyone with need – it’s a delicate balance between serving our communities and becoming overwhelmed by them.
No Geographic Restrictions
In cohort-based courses, geography is removed as a barrier to interpersonal exchange. People who might never otherwise have met are suddenly discovering someone else with the same role in a similar organization, with all the same frustrations and rewards that come with the job, yet are communities and even provinces apart.
Many of our participants remain close friends long after – and continue to encourage each other once back in the real world, just as they did in class.
The ability to learn from anywhere, without the time and expense of commuting holds strong appeal. For some, “getting to class” just means leaving a work Zoom call to join a Laridae Learning Zoom call. This has made it easier for some participants to attend longer-duration Training programs as they don’t need to factor in additional time away from work for travel.
Laridae’s Learning Model: Getting Better and Better
Cohort-based course learning makes it possible to tweak the content as quickly as we need to, ensuring it never becomes irrelevant. For example, in the span of a few days, lockdowns changed the way managers interacted with staff, how they gave feedback, recruited and onboarded new hires. So many of the management basics were upended and flipped that Laridae Management Training facilitators were continuously adding new information as the reality of work-from-home (or work with masks and social distancing) prevailed.
Online learning is not just about another ‘talking head’ on your Zoom screen. Laridae Learning classes move quickly, feel engaging and inspire in real-time. Our facilitators are expert moderators, skilled at helping participants understand how to apply what they’re learning directly to their own work, helping to build confidence as they find their own solutions.
Live Learning is Key
This is the key difference – and advantage – of Laridae Learning’s cohort-based-course approach. Where some online learning is asynchronous, as in, it consists of pre-recorded Powerpoints, or webinars, our sessions are live and interactive. We actively seek opportunities to create community within each cohort – and ensure no one is left behind.
While many of us look forward to a return to “old school” professional development and continuing education formats, there is no reason to avoid learning opportunities now. Cohort-based courses deliver all the same benefits, aside perhaps, from a chance to get out of the office and enjoy a different view.
If you have any questions – or if you are interested in registering a full group from your own organization for a private cohort – get in touch via the form below.