One of the biggest challenges that came with the wholesale shift to remote work during the pandemic is that many employees felt disengaged and disconnected from their work and their colleagues. Even as people have begun returning to the workplace, there is still a larger population of remote workers that will remain that way. In this new hybrid environment, the isolation challenges for remote workers become even sharper, as they can begin to feel cut off from their peers who are in the office.

Learning teams have worked to address these challenges by shifting the way they create and deliver learning, leveraging tools that enable more communication and collaboration with a learning context. Learning experiences can go a long way toward driving community and culture, even when people are not in the same place. One strategy companies are having success with is something that has been around for a long time: learning cohorts.

Cohort-based learning is something most people associate with higher education, but it can solve many challenges in today’s on-site/virtual work environment. Essentially, cohort-based learning has learners take a series of classes and courses together as a group, sharing the same schedules and timelines.  This creates an environment where learners progress at a similar pace by driving accountability.

But what makes cohort learning so attractive now is the collaborative element. It is a way to keep both remote and on-site learners connected in a continuous, ongoing way. There are more opportunities for shared perspectives which lead to more knowledge breakthroughs. This is especially critical at a time when the only option for many remote workers is on-demand, self-paced learning. These programs can be extremely productive and impactful, but they don’t offer many chances for the kind of connectivity that makes companies successful.

Cohort-based learning brings the kind of structure and support that is missing from solely self-paced programs. It also provides learners with a network of peers they can turn to outside of the learning environment. Today’s technology-enabled, highly digital world of work allows organizations to take learning cohorts to a new level.

To learn more about modern cohort-based learning, tune in to an episode of Brandon Hall Group’s Excellence at Work podcast with Chris Olson, Head of Corporate Strategy and Partnerships at Class Technologies as he talks with Rachel Cooke about what goes into creating effective learning cohorts for today’s learners. 

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

 About Brandon Hall Group Inc. 

Brandon Hall Group is the only professional development company that offers data, research, insights and certification to Learning and Talent executives and organizations. The best minds in Human Capital Management (HCM) choose Brandon Hall Group to help them create future-proof employee development plans for the new era. For over 28 years, we have empowered, recognized and certified excellence in organizations around the world influencing the development of over 10,000,000 employees and executives. Our HCM Excellence Awards was the first to recognize organizations for learning and talent and is the gold standard, known as the “Academy Awards of Human Capital Management.” Our cloud-based platform delivers evidence-based insights in the areas of Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Talent Acquisition and HR/Workforce Management for corporate organizations and HCM solution providers. To learn more, visit For information on Brandon Hall Group’s research and how we can assist your organization, please visit

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David Wentworth

David Wentworth has been a senior research analyst in the human capital field since 2005 and joined the Brandon Hall Group in 2013. He has authored reports and articles on various human capital subjects with an emphasis on workforce technology. He has contributed to several reports published by ASTD, including authoring Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations, and Instructional Systems Design Today and in the Future. His work has also appeared in Compensation & Benefits Review and T+D Magazine.