Making Money

Why You Should Integrate Cohort Based Courses In Your Community

January 12, 2022
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Cohort-based courses provide P2P and collaborative learning environments for your community members. They also help with community monetization.

Why You Should Integrate Cohort Based Courses In Your Community
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Online courses have been around for a while. The New York Times declared 2012 as the year of MOOCs. However, edtech was one of the least funded sectors in India until 2019. 

The rise of remote learning during the COVID-ridden 2020 has changed this. Byju's, Unacademy, upGrad...the list goes on and on. We are also seeing a lot of engagement and retention with smaller players. Especially cohort-based courses (CBCs). This article will outline how you can monetize your community with CBCs. Surprisingly, some of the most successful CBCs are hosted by SaaS and enterprise businesses.

The value proposition is clear and well understood. You're offering top quality world-class education at a fraction of the price, or even free.

The value proposition is clear and well understood. You're offering top quality world-class education at a fraction of the price, or even free.

Growth of MOOCs

But then why do we see abysmal course completion rates? Or a graph that mirrors rather than superimposes their growing adoption? What is stopping people from educating themselves to level up in their careers?

Course Completion Rates

The reason is MOOCs have become education voyeurism, not education. Yes, they do provide a great alternative to traditional education systems. But the ones who benefit the most are highly motivated people. They would likely find a pathway to achievement with or without an MOOC.

With cohort-based learning, the value provided is not in the course material. It's in the P2P learning and collaborative learning environment. In the internet age, with a little bit of digging, you can  find pirated content in no time. Your unique selling point is not paid access to the course content, but paid access to the community. Those who apply want mentors who can hand-hold them. They want classmates who they can compete and collaborate with.

There is a tremendous business opportunity because people don't skimp on education.. Our days during Avalon Meta are a testament to the business model. Not to brag, but we clocked >3Cr revenue in around 4 months. Yes, CBCs work!

Indian Edtech Report

In 2026, the online learning market is projected to reach $167 billion.

Avalon Meta

Content -

Before we launched the Scenes by Avalon app, we had another app called Avalon Meta. It was a library where you could consume free content anytime, anywhere. You could also post questions on a bulletin board. The Pro Leagues were our paid offerings. This was where we, as mentors, conducted live lectures, assignment corrections and coaching.

Community -

Every module had its accompanying community (cohort). Here, students could learn, compete and collaborate with their peers. That's like your classrooms. We also had the Avalon Meta Virtual Campus, which as you may have guessed, was like your college campus. It was where we hosted fests, inter-house competitions and concerts.

How community helped us

Having a community proved to be useful for us in a variety of ways, as you can see below:

  • Our community members would suggest the courses and topics that they wanted us to teach. This helped with demand and supply economics.
  • We would promote members from the community to work as teaching assistants. This was a win-win because they could now teach what they had learnt. As Feynman put it, the person that learns the most in the classroom is the teacher.
  • The teachers were also put to the test in front of the community. Before being offered to host a Pro League, we made sure that the teachers could perform. We did this by dishing out free masterclasses within the free community. If the mentor could captivate the attention of the attendees, it would give us a green signal.
  • Regular feedback. The thing we quickly realized with CBCs is that there is a huge service element involved. Quality assurance, hiring course creators and ensuring that all the students would get a 7-star experience. One bad apple could drastically damage your brand irrespective of the rest of the batch. Since our community was part of the journey, they were thoughtful (and forgiving) when giving suggestions and feedback.

CBCs by SaaS companies 

We've started to see a lot of SaaS businesses use CBCs as an opportunity to provide software education and real world experience.

Cohort Based Courses BY SaaS Companies
Community Building in SaaS
Trailblazer Community

Trailhead by Salesforce is a great example of how community and learning build around a SaaS business.

CBCs are an incredible tool most founders don't have in their arsenal.

Remember, when creating an online course, it's important to go beyond high-level overviews of topics. Get deep into a specific issue or concern that your customer has. Deliver the value they can't get anywhere else.

Extra resources like videos, quizzes, and tools that your audience can use to increase their understanding can also be helpful.

Courses allow you to curate valuable knowledge into a useful tool for your audience. If your customers already love the tips and tricks that you share in your community, they'll appreciate the chance to get involved more.

This is why integrating cohort-based learning in your community is a deal that can never go wrong. If you want some more information on how to go about it, talk to us.

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