A cohort-based course is basically a group of strangers coming together to learn.
Now, as the course creator and instructor, you want to give them what they came for: the transformation, the shortcut to an outcome.
To make that happen, you're going to dive right into your content.
But not so fast!
There's something else you need to give your students first. And that's psychological safety.
You see, the magic in a course happens when everyone feels comfortable with each other. When students feel safe to be vulnerable, openly share their struggles, and accept help from their peers. That enables the transformation.
But the cohort doesn't arrive at that state automatically.
When your students first meet, they're wary of what's allowed to be said out loud in the group. They observe the group dynamics and evaluate how they're supposed to behave. It's just what humans do.
Now, how do you make them feel safe?
It's really up to you to set the stage for your cohort. Here are two things you can do:
- Model the behavior that you want to see from your students. Be open, be vulnerable.
- Plan for your students to meet each other and bond before the first official session. For example, host a meet 'n greet on icebreaker.video.
TL;DR? Don't jump into content immediately, solidify connections first. Engagement before information!