The Present and Future of Education Is Cohort Based Courses

A month ago, I read Thiago Forte’s breakdown of how cohort-based courses are taking over the online education space.

This is a recap of Thiago’s article, plus some of my observations on a trend that will change how you and your kids learn.

To understand what the future holds, let’s first look at the past.

In Thiago’s post, he shared how online education has gone through four stages:

2008: MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
Taking offline courses, recording them, and putting them online
Examples: Edx, Udacity, Coursera

2010: Marketplaces
Online first courses built on top of marketplaces.
Examples: Udemy and Skillshare

2014: Toolkits
Online first courses built on independent platforms so creators can own their audiences
Examples: Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi

2016: Cohort Based Courses
A group of students who go through an online course simultaneously and reap the benefits of community and accountability.
Examples: AltMBA, Reforge, B School

I’m going through my own cohort-based course right now with #brand30. And I’m loving it! This format blends the freedom of online learning with the powerful social forces of offline learning.

I suspect that this shift will lead to a massive increase in online course enrollment. Because if self-learning isn’t your strong suit, the peers in your cohort will help you and keep you accountable.

As someone who loves learning and hated school, this innovation gives me hope for a better education future.

If you’ve written off online courses in the past, I encourage you to try out this new model to learn something new! 🤙

Cam Woodsum
I've been building digital businesses, wandering the world, and writing about optimizing life for freedom since early 2017. My mission is to lower the barrier for people who want to live with more freedom: whether that be as an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, an early retiree, or just as someone who wants to live a happiness-driven life.