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Strategy - Leveraging Success With One Cohort in Another

Analysis conducted by the Research and Evaluation team has shown that, on average, online engagement decreases throughout the years (i.e., Sophomores engage at lower rates than Freshman, and so on).  While this is often the case, there are always outliers, and in any case we don't want engagement to decrease over time - we have just observed that it has.  This article presents strategies for leveraging successes in one cohort with another.

Leveraging Successes Between Cohorts 

In the example below, you can see that there is a range of online engagement across cohorts at BLA II.  

With two clicks, a much deeper understanding of the differences between these cohorts can be obtained.

Tableau remembers your filters as you navigate around the different dashboards, which is why, when the School filter is opened above, a such short list is displayed.  Since I selected only one manager, the School filter will only show schools assigned to that manager on the Cohort and Class dashboard.  

Now that the Cohort and Class dashboard is filtered to one school, trends can be observed to inform a conversation with the case managers at that school to share strategies.

1 - Class Trends

In this example, the 2017 and 2018 cohorts both have particularly low online engagement in Classes 1 and 4.  In this case, there is potentially an issue with the time of day the iMentor session takes place (i.e., first or last period) that causes attendance to suffer and therefore engagement as well.  

In this case, maybe there is potential to bring this data to the school partner administrator to troubleshoot the challenge - maybe work together toward increasing attendance; maybe reschedule the iMentor session.  The manager may consult with other managers that have case managers who have seen success in early or late periods and learn what strategies have worked.

2 - Spikes

In the example, BLA II 17 showed a fairly significant spike in online engagement from mid-May to mid-April. 

It is worth exploring what caused this spike with that case manager.  Maybe an incentive program that was well received was in place and that program can be recreated with the 2018 cohort.  It is also worth noting that engagement dropped again shortly thereafter, indicating that whatever intervention caused the spike may not have been long-lasting, which could spark discussion on how to augment the strategy to increase the longevity of its effect. 

3 - Outlier Cohorts

The introduction made reference to "outlier" cohorts - in this case, older cohorts outperforming younger ones.  This is a particularly interesting case because early in the year, the 2018 cohort was outperforming the 2017 cohort.  

This trend can inform an interesting discussion to determine what may have caused the decline in engagement in service of the design and deployment of strategies to increase engagement to where it once was.  Additionally, there may be lessons to be learned from successes in the 2017 cohort that can be applied to achieving success with the 2018 cohort.

The same strategy can be used to identify trends or patterns between cohorts regarding in-person meeting engagement.  It is worth noting that the strategy doesn't have to be limited to the same school.  Managers may need to consult with one another to find similar schools/cohorts from which they can learn and even connect case managers across teams.

Feel free to reach out to [email protected] with any questions or requests for support in leveraging this strategy in your work!

Have you tried this strategy or deployed a similar effort? If so, please consider leaving a comment below outlining your experience!