The role of the creator is evolving. 

And with it, the way we teach and learn. 

Today's learners – whether honing their craft or expanding their skillset – crave more than just a passive consumption of content. They seek active engagement, connection, and a sense of community. 

It’s how cohort-based courses (CBCs) and interactive platforms like Session came into play; bridging the gap between creators and their audiences in innovative, engaging ways.

Cohort-based courses are revolutionizing the way we approach online learning, tackling common issues such as low completion rates in typical online courses and providing a potent combination of on-demand, self-paced courses, and live participation. 

They've emerged as an effective way for creators to foster a vibrant learning community, ensuring that every participant feels seen, heard, and valued. But, like any tool, the magic of CBCs lies in how you wield them.

This article explores the nuances of CBCs and the features that make platforms like Session a powerful ally for creators. 

It's about diving into the heart of what makes a course truly transformative: engagement.

The Great Pivot: Why Learners and Creators are Turning to Cohort-Based Courses

Traditional course based e-learning became a revolution in education. But since the pandemic, a shift has started. More and more creators and learners are pivoting towards cohort-based courses. 

But why is this shift occurring, and what makes CBCs a preferred choice over traditional online courses? Let's delve in and find out.

Closing the Completion Gap

One significant concern with traditional online courses is their infamously low completion rates. 

The completion rate for free open online courses ranges between a staggering 5% and 15%, which shows the struggle many online learners have in maintaining commitment and engagement through to course completion. 

Despite the flexibility and convenience they offer, the solitary and self-paced nature of these courses often leads to learners losing interest, feeling overwhelmed, or simply dropping out.

The lack of a defined structure, real-time interaction, and peer support exacerbates this issue. 

On-Demand Content Meets Live Participation

Learners appreciate the ability to learn at their own pace but they also crave the interaction, feedback, and engagement that traditional classrooms offer. 

CBCs effectively bridge this gap, offering a hybrid model that combines the best of both worlds.

They offer live sessions where learners can interact with the creator and their peers, participate in discussions, work on group projects, and receive real-time feedback. 

CBCs also leverage technology to offer on-demand, self-paced content that learners can consume at their convenience. This could include recorded videos, articles, podcasts, and more. 

This blend of asynchronous and synchronous learning caters to diverse learning styles and preferences, making CBCs an attractive option for a wide range of learners.

Unlocking The Power of Cohort-Based Courses

In this new age of e-learning, the creator wears multiple hats. You are not just an instructor, you are guiding your cohort through a shared learning experience. Your role is to 

  • Spark discussions
  • Stimulate thinking
  • Foster collaboration
  • Provide feedback

So, why should you consider participating in or running a creator course? Here are some of the benefits that a CBC brings to the table:

Engagement, engagement, engagement

A CBC fosters active – you guessed it – engaged learning. 

It's not just about consuming content passively but interacting, discussing, questioning, and contributing. This dynamic approach enhances understanding and makes the learning experience more enjoyable and meaningful.

Around 59% of the U.S. e-learning market share comes from content-related online learning products, showing there is not only room to grow, but there is demand for more interactive and immersive learning experiences.

This paired with knowing that live video is among the most effective content elements on the internet today. 

When it comes to online learning and development, live video is the more preferred medium compared to text documents. As an engaging and integrative content format, video is seen as a vital part of online education and workplace learning.

Community Building 

As a creator, building a community is important to facilitate a stronger learning experience. 

A CBC allows you to cultivate a community of learners who are engaged, invested, and supportive of each other. This shared experience fosters a sense of belonging among learners and deepens their connection to you as a creator. 

This is something that cannot be achieved with traditional online courses and helps you as a creator to become more well known within a wider range of circles. 

Accountability and Motivation 

When learners are part of a cohort, there's a sense of accountability and motivation that doesn't usually exist in self-paced courses. 

The shared goals, group discussions, and collaborative activities foster a sense of responsibility and commitment, pushing learners to stay engaged and complete the course.

Real-Time Adaptation

As a creator, a CBC allows you to adapt and adjust your course in real time. 

Based on the feedback and interaction during the course, you can tweak content, adjust pacing, and modify activities to better meet the needs and interests of your cohort. This dynamic approach ensures your course remains relevant, engaging, and effective.

The Art of Engagement: A Deeper Look into Cognitive Connections

So you've dived headfirst into the creator world – and why wouldn’t you? There are a million reasons to get involved. 

Whether you're a coding whiz, wellness coach, or a content marketing maven, you know that constructing a monetized audience and churning out consistent quality content are key challenges faced by every solopreneur. 

Both of these pillars are necessary for a sustainable venture, but their linchpin is engagement.

To make a significant impact and ensure your creator courses are as successful as they can be, we need to understand, and most importantly, master the art of engagement. 

Now, what exactly do we mean by engagement?

Merriam-Webster describes 'engage' as "to hold the attention of" or "to induce participation." Scott Gould, an expert in engagement, takes it a step further, describing engagement as a relationship, an ongoing connection that deepens over time. 

Gould suggests that it's a dynamic, evolving interaction that encompasses various psychological states. To unpack this concept further, we look at Gould's three-part framework that categorizes engagement into head, hands, and heart engagement.

Together, these components represent an all-encompassing engagement that's both profound and powerful. They offer a holistic way of understanding the various dimensions of engagement, emphasizing that true engagement is multi-faceted, involving the mind, actions, and emotions.

As creators, our ultimate goal is to foster engagement that encompasses all three domains. We want to captivate the minds of our audience (head engagement), spur them to action (hands engagement), and resonate with them on an emotional level (heart engagement).

So, now that you've dived deeper into the art of engagement, are you ready to put this understanding into action? Let's turn these insights into a tangible strategy to captivate your audience and make your creator course a memorable experience.

Driving Engagement with Session: Key Features You'll Love

Creating a successful creator course means cultivating an environment that encourages active participation. 

Fortunately, a platform like Session is packed with features designed to foster engagement and transform your courses into dynamic, interactive experiences.

 Let's take a closer look at some of these standout features that make Session a go-to choice for creators.

Confetti Bursts:

There's no denying that everyone loves a good celebration, and that's precisely what confetti bursts bring to your creator courses. This delightful feature lets you shower your digital classroom with virtual confetti, adding a fun and celebratory touch to milestone moments. Whether you're acknowledging an insightful comment, celebrating the completion of a module, or simply bringing a dash of spontaneity, confetti bursts can enhance the atmosphere and keep your attendees engaged.

Emojis:

In today's digital age, emojis have become a universal way to express emotions and reactions. Session leverages this global language by enabling attendees to use emojis during the course. Whether it's a thumbs up, a heart, or a round of applause, emojis allow attendees to respond in real-time, fostering a more responsive and interactive learning environment.

Polls & Q+A:

Active participation is at the heart of engagement, and the Polls and Q+A features in Session encourage just that. Use polls to gather instant feedback, gauge attendees' opinions, or make democratic decisions during the course. Q+A sessions provide a platform for attendees to pose their questions, fostering dynamic discussions that can enrich the learning experience.

Music & Timers:

Every creator knows the importance of setting the right tone and pacing in a course. Session's Music and Timers features can help manage these crucial elements. Use music to set the mood, create anticipation, or signal transitions. Timers can assist in keeping your course on track, managing breaks, and ensuring that each module gets the time it deserves.

Chat Banners:

Don't let important information get lost in the flurry of a busy chat room. Session's Chat Banners feature lets you highlight key information or announcements during the course. Whether it's a crucial point in your presentation or a reminder about the next session, chat banners ensure that your key messages stand out.

Session has crafted these features with one goal in mind - to boost engagement in your creator courses. By harnessing these tools, you can transform your course into an immersive and interactive experience that leaves your audience feeling connected and eager for more. After all, when your attendees are engaged, they're not just learners - they're active participants in the shared journey of discovery and growth.

Putting it all together 

Engagement is the cornerstone of effective learning. 

Through cohort-based courses, creators have the opportunity to cultivate an environment that fosters connection, interaction, and, ultimately, engagement. 

With platforms like Session, equipped with features designed to drive active participation, creators can transform their courses from static one-way lectures to dynamic, interactive experiences.

But the journey doesn't end there. As creators, it's crucial to continually adapt, innovate, and harness new strategies to enrich our courses. By fostering engagement and placing our audience at the heart of the learning experience, we not only elevate our courses but also empower our learners, shaping a future where learning is a shared, transformative journey.

The age of the creator is here, and with the right tools and an engagement-first approach, we can redefine what it means to teach and learn in the digital world. After all, when it comes to learning, we're all creators on a shared journey of discovery and growth.

Starting to make plans for your CBC? Get started for free with Session today to make sure your live engagements are set up for success.