Cohort (educational group)

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A student cohort aboard a ship on the Star-Spangled National Historic Trail learning about the War of 1812

A cohort is a group of students who work through a curriculum together to achieve the same academic degree together. Cohortians are the individual members of such a group.[1][2] In a cohort, there is an expectation of richness to the learning process due to the multiple perspectives offered by the students.[3]

Cohort model[edit]

A cohort model features a delivery structure that is driven by the expectations, experiences, and beliefs of the cohort's participants.[4] It is usually implemented based on an applicable theory such as the structuration framework.[4] Cohort groups can be organized in such a way that groups of students take a number of similar programs each semester and this organization can change when the term ends so that students can interact with more students.[5]

Cohort can be distinguished from groups of students through the following aspects:

  • cohorts allow school administrators to enroll students en masse while groups only concern teacher management within the class;
  • cohorts are bigger than groups; and,
  • a cohort involves a set of students within a system-wide course.[6]

Cohort-based learning (CBC) is a learning model that integrates content with the community. Since most of the interaction occurs in real-time, CBC falls under the category of synchronous learning. The model works similarly to conventional classroom learning, where a group of like-minded students learns the same content together to achieve similar outcomes.[7]


  1. ^ Williams, Brian. (2013). "Cohort XV Synthesis Presentation" Lecture July 20, 2013, at Stephen F. Austin State University. Nacogdoches, Texas.
  2. ^ "Doctorate in Educational Leadership | Secondary Education & Educational Leadership | SFASU". Archived from the original on 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  3. ^ Gosper, Maree; Ifenthaler, Dirk (2013). Curriculum Models for the 21st Century: Using Learning Technologies in Higher Education. New York: Springer Science & Business Media. p. 3. ISBN 9781461473657.
  4. ^ a b Young, Michelle D.; Crow, Gary M.; Murphy, Joseph; Ogawa, Rodney T. (2009). Handbook of Research on the Education of School Leaders. New York: Routledge. p. 397. ISBN 978-0805861570.
  5. ^ Bondy, Elizabeth; Ross, Dorene D. (2012). Preparing for Inclusive Teaching: Meeting the Challenges of Teacher Education Reform. New York: SUNY Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0791463574.
  6. ^ Nash, Susan Smith; Rice, William (2018). Moodle 3 E-Learning Course Development: Create highly engaging and interactive e-learning courses with Moodle 3, 4th Edition. Birmingham: Packt Publishing Ltd. p. 342. ISBN 9781788472197.
  7. ^ "The evolution of online education: from MOOC to Cohort-Based Courses". 2021-02-02.