The Benefits of Cohort-Based Learning

The Benefits of Cohort-Based Learning

Last year, almost 3.6 million Americans graduated high school. High school and college are two common examples of cohort-based learning. The system moves a group through a set curriculum toward a shared goal.

Cohort-based learning has been used since time immemorial. Yet, in the modern workplace, it has often been overlooked in favor of self-paced approaches. Does that mean that it’s had its day and is no longer relevant to the corporate world? 

Not at all! We’re going to show you that cohort-based learning still has a valuable role in helping teams develop. Join us as we explore the key benefits that only come from cohort-based learning programs.

Support of the Cohort

Cohort-based learning brings you together with a group of peers. You’re all linked by your joint interest in completing the learning program. This community can provide a crucial benefit that helps each member along the way.

Benefits include:

  • Strong connections with peers can strengthen working relationships
  • A variety of perspectives enrich the learning program
  • A readymade peer support network
  • Additional motivation when the going gets tough

Many people struggle with motivation on a self-directed course of study. By contrast, collaborative learning is interactive, enjoyable, and stimulating. You may gain more from the experience when you work together as a group. Additionally, there are opportunities for peer review and feedback.


When we learn as part of a group, we feel a sense of accountability to those around us. This may sound like extra pressure, but it’s actually healthy for us. 

Accountability is not about control–it’s about empowerment. When you build strong relationships with your coworkers–and co-learners–you all want to succeed together. You’ll be there to help them when they’re struggling; likewise, they’ll be there for you.

Together, you’ll all pull through and achieve your goals. That goal could be a formal leadership qualification or other credentials. Or it can be achieving a set of goals for your team that you have agreed with a coach or a team leader.

Either way, being accountable to the rest of the cohort can give you an added incentive to succeed. People who feel that healthy peer pressure are more likely to stay the course and achieve their goals.

Structured Learning

We may want to believe we’re all free spirits, but the fact is that most of us crave structure. That’s not a weakness, it’s a basic human need, and it’s an advantage of cohort-based learning.

Such learning programs start and end at a predefined time. We know what we’re going to learn and when we’re going to learn it. If there are tasks and assignments to complete, we get to know the deadlines well in advance. The benefits of this approach include:

  • Better time management: You know what’s coming up and can structure your life around it
  • Reduced anxiety: You don’t have to worry about being overwhelmed with work if you stick to the program
  • Progress tracking: At any given time, you know where you are with the program and can seek support if you feel you’re getting behind

Real-time Interaction with Instructors

Most of us thrive on personal interaction with our tutors, be it through classroom teaching, one-to-one feedback sessions, or interactive video conferencing. Cohort-based learning employs these methods effectively, allowing you to benefit from real-time instruction.

On the other hand, self-paced learning often relies heavily on books, videos, and other pre-recorded media. While this has its place and can be accessed 24/7, for many people, it’s just not as effective as interacting with a real person.

Interacting with instructors isn’t the only benefit. You also get to interact with your peers, giving you access to different viewpoints, approaches, experiences, and backgrounds. All of this can enrich the learning program and provide something unique you could never get from self-paced learning.

Soft-skill Development

Learning in a group setting gives us an opportunity to develop many crucial soft skills. These include:

  • Effective communication
  • Time management
  • Appreciating diverse inputs
  • Challenging our own assumptions and unconscious prejudices
  • Giving and receiving feedback 

Realistically, groups of peers who work together will not always agree–and that can be healthy. It’s an opportunity for them to learn active listening and conflict-resolution skills.

Team Bonding

Group coaching and learning experiences can help a team develop lasting bonds. When such bonds of friendship and mutual respect exist, people look forward to coming to work each day. They’re more likely to give their best and be productive workers.

An additional benefit? They’re less likely to leave. This could be critical to your business’s success, as in 2022, over 50 million Americans quit their jobs. 

The word on the street is that many people feel there are better opportunities to be had elsewhere. But if you value the team you already have, help them to feel empowered and engaged in their current role. Embarking on a shared learning or coaching experience could be just what they need to feel sure they’re already in the right place.

Achieve Goals More Quickly

Self-paced study may sound great. “Complete the course in just a few weeks!” the adverts may proclaim. The reality is often different, as they rely almost entirely on self-motivation.

On the flip side, cohort-based learning has the potential to move a team forward at a faster rate as they learn together. This is also highly motivating, as no one wants to be stuck on a never-ending course.

How Group Coaching Can Benefit Your Team

Group coaching takes the norms of cohort-based learning and turns them on their heads. Leaders and team members work together as one cohort to achieve extraordinary goals they never thought possible. Goals that they could not achieve on their own. 

At Aden Leadership, group coaching does not follow a one-size-fits-all model. We offer tailored approaches for teams of different sizes. You can choose to work solely with others from your organization or a range of businesses. Whichever approach you choose, you learn as a group, moving through the key principles together.

Learn more about group coaching and contact Greg to access group coaching for your team today!

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