With the release of Season I: Cohort, your Administrators, Editors, and Teachers will have a set of new features and updated designs in a few areas of Pathwright.
The new designs and features are similar enough that you won't need to relearn anything entirely, but it can still be helpful to get a glimpse of what's coming beforehand. Here's a look:
Unless you've been on the Complete Plan or Enterprise Plan, a Course and a Cohort likely seem virtually identical for how you teach on Pathwright. But now that we're opening up Cohorts for everyone, there's a more apparent distinction between a Cohort and a Course:
Courses are the guided step-by-step path filled with actionable learning content. They're best viewed as a template or playbook that supports a real-life learning experience.
Cohorts are a unique group of people on a learning path together. In Cohorts, at least half of the learning experience comes from discussion and feedback, not content. A Cohort may start on the same path as everyone else, but their path adapts to their unique set of interests as they make progress.
If you think about the best learning experiences you've had, they've probably shared a similar mix of Course & Cohort dynamics: well-designed, interesting content paired with an engaging community.
Now, this real-life dynamic is reflected more directly in the design of Pathwright as well:
Source Path: your Source Path for a course is the best version that you want to share with all current and future Cohorts.
Cohorts: Cohorts all inherit the latest version of the Source Path (and can be updated to share it). But Teachers of a Cohort can uniquely personalize their path by adding additional steps, lessons, schedules, discussion prompts. (This is what the best teachers do in real life anyway - the best version of the course is the one you're teaching now.)
For a visual guide to how Cohorts work, take a look through our new page: www.pathwright.com/cohorts/
The New Home Screen
The new Home Screen is designed to feel more personal and open - like your own space, not just a management tool. But along with that, there are several improvements to each area that help people shift into different mental modes: learning, teaching, or designing.
Home > Learn
Visible to all members: Learners, Administrators, Teachers, etc.
The new Learn screen works just like the old Learn screen with a few helpful additions:
Completed courses are readily visible: Learners now see their Completed or expired courses in the "Complete" area instead of needing to discover them under the dropdown.
More obvious calendar: If a learner is in a Cohort with scheduled start or end dates, the calendar now shows up as a prominent button with a label instead of a tiny, easy-to-miss icon.
Search: For long-time learners (or super ambitious learners who start many courses at once), it can be hard to find the course they want to reference at the moment. Now, any course is just a quick search away.
Collection Stack: if you're using the Collections Beta feature, your learners will see a new "stack" that shows the Collection they're in that they can unroll to see all their progress in Collections.
Home > Teach
Visible to all Administrators, Teachers, Moderators, and Community Group Mentors or Leaders
The new Teach screen is a significant update that includes several helpful enhancements:
Cohorts are spaces for people: Cohorts are all about people learning together, so the new design shows them as a "space for people" rather than a content-focused course.
Mark Cohort as Complete: If a Cohort is no longer active, you can now "Mark it as Complete" to move it out of the way of the In-progress Cohorts that need your present attention.
Marking a cohort as complete will make the path, discussion, and content "read only" for all learners, teachers, and moderators. Everyone will keep access to the content, discussion, submissions, and notes, but they won't be able to post new discussions or replies or complete additional steps in a complete Cohort.
Additionally, completed cohorts are opted-out of new Lessons or Steps synced from the Source Path, which prevents the learner's progress from changing.
New options menu: look for the "..." icon on any object to open an options menu with shortcuts to everyday actions: view learner progress, adjust Cohort settings, and more.
The most recent is always on top: now, the most recently-created Cohorts are first on the list so you don't need to go digging for them.
Search: teaching a lot of Cohorts? Now you can search by the Cohort name to quickly find them.
Home > Community Groups
If you're participating in the Community Groups Beta, your Group Mentors and Leaders will see their Community Groups on the Teach screen as well. Instead of relegating them to the sidebar, they're more easily accessible at the top of the Home > Teach screen.
Home > Design
Visible to all Administrators, Course Editors, and Library Editors.
The new Design tab includes a few updates to help you and your path designers create great paths and content:
Design-focused: Courses display on the Design tab with larger cover images and in a grid - like a book or album cover facing forward for display on a curated shelf.
Your paths vs. all paths: Now, the Paths you've created or edited show up on top (with all other paths below).
Search: If your school includes many courses, the search can be handy for finding them quickly here.
New Course + Cohort Creator vs. New Path
Administrators and Editors who can create Courses & Cohorts will see a "New Cohort" button on Home > Teach that opens a more straightforward form for creating a new Cohort and Course in a straightforward form:
Tip: you can now create a new course by typing in a new title or selecting an existing course to create a new Cohort.
If you're using the Collections beta feature, you'll also be able to create a new Collection by using the toggle.
New Cohort Switcher
The new Cohort Switcher displays all in-progress Cohorts in one easy place so that switching between them and the Source Path is now just a click or tap away.
Manage all cohorts: The Manage link shows all Cohorts, including those marked Complete.
Search: Have more than a few in-progress Cohorts? A search bar will automatically show up to make finding them in the switcher even easier.
New Cohort: quickly create a new Cohort for the course you're on by hitting the "New" button.
Source Path: The Source Path now displays a darker background with a subtle grid to indicate where you're designing your path.
Speaking of making path changes...
We've replaced the Publish button & functionality with an all-new Syncer. Now when you make changes to your path and hit "Sync," you'll see a complete list of everything that changed:
Tip: you can hover over any change to see the details
And now for the best part:
Have you ever accidentally updated your path in the Cohort and not in the Source? (If you've used Cohorts for any length of time, we'd guess you almost certainly have!)
Now, you can sync changes made to a Cohort back to the Source Path so that you can use them in other in-progress and future Cohorts:
Simplified Cohort Options Menu
Essential teaching tools and Cohort settings are now available in the header no matter which tab you're on or which mode you're in. Everything works like before, but now all in one place:
Tip: You'll now find Course settings by selecting the gear in the top right.
New Community Feature Drops
During this first season, we'll focus on enhancements that make each Cohort a even more of a learning community, not just a path.
Here are a few enhancements coming up as Feature Drops throughout this season:
New: Post to discussion feed: now, the discussion feed is more than an aggregator of discussion in the path. Anyone can post directly to the Community Discussion feed anytime.
Drop 1: Community > Member Directory: A year-book-like view of everyone in the Cohort gives even those who've never met in "real life" a way to get to know each other and share about themselves.
Drop 2: Community > Activity Feed: The activity feed gives a real-time sense of momentum - when we see others making progress, sharing feedback, and posting interesting stuff each week, we feel a little more like doing the same thing.
Drop 3: Community > Topics: Enable exploratory, topical discussion that integrates with and expands around your Cohort Path.
You can follow along with each upcoming Feature Drop (and more) in the Season 1 Path:
Pricing Plan Updates
If you're on a plan that doesn't already include Cohorts, the good news is that you'll have at least one in-progress Cohort per course as soon as we launch (and your plan fees will not change.)
For schools new to Cohorts, the number of in-progress (active) Cohorts per course will vary by plan:
Starter Plan includes one in-progress Cohort per Course (e.g., if you have a Spring Semester & Fall Semester in the same course but don't have more than one active at the same time, this is the plan for you.
Essentials Plan includes three in-progress Cohorts per Course.
Complete or Enterprise Plans include unlimited in-progress Cohorts per Course + Member-Created Cohorts.
Not sure which plan is right for you? Check out our plan guide.