Why are CBCs more effective than MOOCs?
Over the past decade, our team has taught over 10,000 students across different subjects and cohort sizes. We are presenting our insights below.
We have organised our data into the following graph displaying completion rate as a function of cohort size.
- The graph contains an interpolation of our data collected over the years across various cohort sizes. Exact data points are hidden to protect institutional privacy.
- The courses referred above are largely technical courses.
- The course duration varies between 3-23 weeks.
- These are courses run by a team of experts continuously refining the course delivery processes over many years.
- The observations may vary from one educator to another.
Our data is compared to the average completion rates of MOOCs. We assume a consistent and generous 10% MOOC completion rate across cohort sizes. As you can see, the efficacy of CBCs is near perfect for smaller batch sizes.
We see a dramatic drop in completion rates while scaling from around 40 to 100 students per cohort and a slow downward taper there onwards. But CBCs continue to be at least twice as effective as MOOCs even for large cohorts of 1000+ students.
At cohort sizes of 10,000 students and greater, the benefits of CBCs can be seen to diminish. At this scale, the educator has very little direct contact with the students and is, therefore, ignorant of their individual needs. Furthermore, the educator has limited ability to make any considerable impact in their learning process.
Let’s now try and understand why CBCs have better outcomes than MOOCs.
- A Cohort Based Course is a truly internet native format of teaching and learning.
- Live sessions enable the application of Active Learning pedagogical techniques. This vastly improves completion rates.
- The CBC format takes Community involvement in learning on to a whole new level. It creates an environment with a positive kind of peer pressure. This helps more students complete the course.
In our upcoming issues, we will expand on what it takes to run a streamlined and effective Cohort Based Course.