Online education – this term is not restricted to watching pre-recorded videos on the internet anymore. The world of online education has evolved, and the next step in it is community based learning.
Yes, you read that right!
Online community based learning is the next big thing, especially for working professionals. In today’s world, the internet is overflowing with quality content that is either free or available at really low costs. And with work commitments to complete, this makes for a perfect option for professionals to upskill themselves.
In this blog, we’re going to explain everything, from what community based learning is to why you should opt for it.
But before I share all this with you,
Check out LikeMinds if you are looking for a platform to start your online learning community. You can manage cohorts, upsell memberships with renewal nudges, host workshops, bootcamps, and provide one-to-one consultation to members to monetize your community more effectively.
In this blog, we are going to focus on majorly 2 topics:
- Evolution of community based learning from the offline world to online
- Why is an online community based learning better for upskilling?
So stick with me here to learn more about community based learning.
How Community Based Learning Went From Offline To Online?
Community has always been the de-facto learning methodology in the offline world. Top B-schools and engineering colleges thrived due to their ability to drive student-to-student engagement.
Creators of these schools arranged regular classes, seminars, and workshops for imparting knowledge using mostly static content. Experts would teach a particular topic to a group of students, along with discussions and doubt sessions. This was often followed by the students working together to finish assignments and projects.
Essentially, community based learning is a group of people learning something live together.
Now let us see how community based learning evolved in the online world. In the early 2010s, the concept of massively open online courses (MOOCs) started picking up through which professionals were able to gain skills on-demand.
The pre-defined syllabus of MOOCs made it easier to decide if a professional wants to pursue a particular course or not. The syllabus covered various sub-topics of a parent topic that helped professionals in upskilling. People were able to access knowledge from global experts. Learning was getting democratized. Platforms like Udacity, Udemy, Skillshare, and tools like Thinkific and Teachable flourished.
However, after the initial frenzy, MOOCs stopped delivering the promises they made while marketing. The primary reason – the urgency and motivation to complete the course was missing. As per research conducted by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, course completion rates were 3% – 6%. MOOCs were self-paced involving solo and passive content consumption. This was equivalent to reading textbooks in the offline world. There was no ‘offline classroom’ like experience.
Finally, community based learning arrived in the online world. Zoom started getting popular. Improved internet access and speed made it possible to deliver the offline-like live learning experience online. More recently, pandemic made everyone realize that community based learning is not only possible online, but it has its own benefits.
In online community based learning, you get access to learning live from top experts who might otherwise be difficult to access. It offers more flexibility in terms of geography and time. You get a great peer set who is as passionate as you are for the subject. And, you can collaborate with them for assignments and projects at your own time.
A big value that top offline schools and colleges provide, along with learning, is the network you build there. Top programs attract the best talent. Hostels and clubs allow interest, passion, friendship, and serendipity to combine and do the magic.
This is also being replicated in online learning communities these days. The price of community based courses is high enough to keep only seriously interested professionals pursuing them. WhatsApp groups, Discord servers, Zoom breakout rooms, and icebreaker tools have become great enablers for people to hang out with others. With improving technology and upcoming online community platforms, it is only a matter of time that this experience becomes at par if not better than the offline experience.
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Why Are Online Communities Better For Upskilling?
Several benefits of online community based learning are at times, missing from offline learning and MOOCs. Online community based learning is especially a great option for working professionals to upskill themselves. Let us have a look at some of the benefits:
- Get your doubts resolved by peers: It provides professionals with the opportunity to see the same problem from multiple perspectives. Professionals can connect with each other, talk to each other, and share their experiences.
- Learn more in less time: With online community based learning, professionals tend to learn faster with round-the-clock access to experts, mentors, and peers. Community based courses and bootcamps are designed to upskill professionals in a specific skill in a defined time period.
- Option to revisit content and discussions: Apart from live classes, it also includes archives of recorded content. Not just this, one can also, always revisit the old discussion threads to use the additional links and resources shared by other professionals there. A follow-up query can also be asked in the same thread if needed.
All in all, online learning communities provide the best of both worlds to working professionals when it comes to upskilling themselves.
On that note:
If you’re a mentor looking for a platform to monetize your online learning community better, then visit the LikeMinds website now! You can easily manage cohorts, up-sell memberships with renewal nudges, host workshops, courses, bootcamps, and provide one-to-one consultation to members.
Online community based learning is by far, the best version of education for professionals. Also, the concept of live learning mixed with the community makes it super easy for professionals to upskill themselves. Not only do they get to learn the exact skills which they want, but they also learn them in a community centered learning environment which makes it more fun.
And the benefits don’t just end here. As more people join in, the previously added members of the community will get to learn more. With every new cohort, the scope of learning something new about a particular field just increases.
You’ll always get to learn something new in an online learning community.