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KCD Cohorts

I freaking love learning

A KCD Cohort is a group of 5-12 people who are going through my coursework (or anything else) together. Research suggests that we learn better when we learn together, so that's the goal of a KCD Cohort: it's a place for a group of people who want to learn the same thing to do so together.

Why join a cohort?

  1. You'll learn what you want to learn better than if you try on your own.
  2. Develop friendships with other nice learners.
  3. You'll get a special place to meet virtually (both async text and sync video) on the KCD Discord community.
  4. You have access to me (Kent) during twice-weekly office hours to ask questions.

Starting a cohort

If you'd like to start a cohort, then you need:

  • Determine what you'd like to learn specifically
  • 4-11 other people who would like to learn that same thing
  • 1 person to volunteer to be the cohort leader
  • A cohort schedule

If you don't already have a group of people who want to learn together, I'll help you find them.

Send Kent your cohort application (here's an example) as a Google Doc with the following information:

  1. Cohort name (can be anything)
  2. Learning goal
  3. Schedule (the topic for at least 4 meetings)
  4. Cohort leader name and email address
  5. Cohort members (names and email addresses)

If your cohort application doesn't have enough members yet, send it along anyway and Kent will help you find more members.

Cohort Leader

One of the volunteers is responsible for putting together a schedule for when and how the cohort will interact and what activities they will participate in to learn together. They're responsible for leading the cohort meetings and ensuring the cohort is accomplishing its learning goals.

Cohort Meetings

Here's an example meeting agenda:

  1. Greetings
  2. Review deliverables from the previous meeting
  3. Discuss any relevant learnings since the last meeting
  4. Participate in a "learning activity"
  5. Discuss any learnings and ask/answer questions
  6. Determine the deliverables for the next meeting

Someone should make notes of any group questions to take to the next KCD Office Hours.

While meeting synchronously over video is preferred, it's not always possible for everyone to meet synchronously due to timezone differences. A cohort can agree to conduct all meetings asynchronously in the text chat if they must.

Learning Activities

The learning activity can happen as an activity you do together during the meeting, or as something that everyone is expected to do before the meeting.

Examples of activities:

  • Watch a video
  • Read a blog post
  • Build a demo

These should expose people to new ideas or think critically about concepts their already familiar with.

Learning Discussion

The core of the cohort meeting is discussion of the learning activity. This is the opportunity for everyone to ask questions and provide answers about the new ideas and concepts. It will allow people the opportunity to think critically about their understanding of the material.

Cohort Schedule

The schedule is a simple list of the order of concepts you'll be learning. If you're planning to go through one of my courses, then it can simply be a list of the videos with a date associated. It could also be a series of blog posts you want to read and discuss together. In that case it would be a list of the posts you want to discuss.

The schedule doesn't have to be set in stone (it can be flexible) and the cohort leader doesn't have to decide everything on their own (this can be collaborative). It simply ensures that everyone in the cohort is on the same page.

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Kent C. Dodds