If you want to get ahead in 2021 and beyond, you might want to consider earning a master’s degree or a verified certificate, even taking just a few classes! – to boost your credibility.
Online learning is a rapidly growing industry. If you browse through all the online degrees and MOOCs available, you might be overwhelmed by all the choices. If you want to earn a master's degree or expand your professional education, you can find many platforms that will help you do so.
We've created this edX review to provide you with an overview of edX courses and to help you decide whether they are worth taking as well. Additionally, we tell you what you need to know about this unique online learning platform and how it differs from its competitors.
Table of Contents
- What is edX?
- edX UI
- Content Quality
- User Learning Experience
- edX Courses
- edX Pricing Model
- Pros and Cons of edX
- Cons of edX
- edX Alternatives
What is edX?
edX is an online learning platform that serves as a MOOC (massive open online course) server. Depending on your personal and professional goals, you can find a variety of online courses here. These courses are offered in partnership with leading educational institutions. Several universities lend their services to this company, including Penn State, Oxford, MIT, and the, University of California.
Created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, edX offers university-level classes in dozens of disciplines. Since its launch in 2012, the company has partnered with numerous institutions, companies, and nonprofit organizations to offer courses to students across the globe.
edX has 35 million registered users worldwide and is the largest online learning platform. It offers more than 3,000 courses and 300 programs from 160 institutions worldwide. Additionally, it employs more than 6,000 instructors.
The following section will point out several noteworthy aspects of this online learning platform. Learn how to pursue professional education here.
Certificates of completion are provided with some edX courses, while others are credit-eligible. EdX offers a variety of ways for you to learn, depending on the institution. You can audit a course (also known as a verified course), or you can complete a bundled set of up to seven verified courses for one subject.
Weekly Learning Segments
edX consists of online courses organized into unique blocks. Learners will complete weekly learning sequences that consist of short videos and interactive learning activities.
There are often tutorial videos available in courses that will provide you with the same kind of professional education and hands-on experience you would receive if you were studying on-campus at an institution. Besides posting questions and comments, you can interact with fellow students and teaching assistants.
Wide Collection of Learning Options
It is possible to choose from various kinds of courses and programs on edX. Several one-time courses are available for you to take in your free time along with MicroMasters programs that will help you improve your skills even further. You can earn professional certificates and even enroll in a global Freshman Academy tailored for first-year university students.
Are you interested in learning more about a specific subject? edX offers that as well, with its unique XSeries Program. Through this program, you can learn more about an in-demand field while exploring a subject that interests you. Among these are classes are Astrophysics, The Civil War and Reconstruction, and Water Management. When you sign up for these classes, you'll pay and register for many courses at once.
Here's a table showing the wide collection of learning options on edX.
|Programs & Degrees||Information|
|MicroBachelors Programs||Undergraduate-level, for career advancement or a degree path.|
|MicroMasters Programs||Graduate-level, for career advancement or a degree path.|
|Professional Certificate||From employers or universities to build today's in-demand skills.|
|X-Series||Series of courses for a deep understanding of a topic.|
|Online Master's Degree||Top-ranked programs, affordable, and fully online.|
It is one aspect of edX reviews that stands out that the courses are exceptionally flexible. Both self-paced and instructor-paced courses are available, with instructor-led courses following a set schedule with due dates for tests, assignments, and quizzes. Your course materials will arrive at predetermined times, and you will complete the class in a set time frame.
You can study at your own pace and turn in all assignments whenever you want.
edX courses are reviewed for their simple and easy navigation, as noted in most user reviews. The language of instruction varies, from English (most of the classes are in English) to Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, and Chinese. Additionally, all videos include subtitles in English.
It is possible to download edX courses for offline viewing. Therefore, you can work on your computer, mobile device, etc. You can even download an edX app for Android or iOS. You will have access to your course materials even after the course has ended if you enroll in the verified track. Furthermore, you can access an audited course only for the number of weeks it is being offered, as specified on the enrollment page.
The quality and consistency of the courses on edX fluctuate like any other online learning platform. You get what you pay for when earning a degree, and that is true whether you are on edX or some other platform.
Usually, they take between one year and a year and a half to complete. The average course costs about $1,000.
With more than 60 different MicroMasters programs to choose from, these programs offer some of the best content quality when it comes to the many options available on this platform. The average course costs around $1,000 and takes around a year and a half to complete. It is open to everyone. No requirements are required to enroll in these programs, even though some of the most prestigious universities in the country offer them.
Additionally, these certificates can help you fulfill some of the requirements for obtaining a master's degree.
Furthermore, edX offers MicroBachelor's programs. This platform is relatively new and offers college courses in partnership with colleges, corporations, and universities. The following five programs are currently offered: Marketing Essentials, Information Technology Career Framework, Professional Writing, Elements of Data Science, and Computer Science Fundamentals. Generally, these are high-quality, three- to six-month programs that cost around $1000.
Also available are professional certificate programs, XSeries programs, and master's degrees.
User Learning Experience
A vast majority of people who review edX online courses express great satisfaction with the learning experience. It depends greatly on the specific course and the individual.
You might have a different experience depending on what class you're taking and who your instructor is. EdX, however, does an excellent job of screening its instructors as compared to other platforms. If you are planning to teach through edX, you will need to work at one of the institutions listed above, a requirement that does not apply to similar online learning platforms.
There are a variety of EdX courses available, including courses with varying lengths and time commitments. On this platform, you can find more than 3,000 courses on a variety of topics, including:
- Business & Management
- Computer Science
- Economics & Finance
- Energy & Earth Sciences
- Food & Nutrition
- and much more!
Most edX courses do not require prerequisites, but their difficulty varies. In most cases, you will need to study for about 4-12 weeks and work for about 4-8 hours per week. The courses each have a defined end date, which doesn't matter if you're auditing them or taking them for fun. If you wish to earn a certificate, you must pass the class and meet all requirements by that date.
edX Pricing Model
edX, like many other MOOCs, offers education to a subset of students who might not otherwise have the opportunity. Although this platform offers many free courses, even those requiring payment are still accessible and affordable, helping to decrease some of the inequalities of higher education.
You can choose from two different pricing models for an edX class. Both verified and unverified classes are available. Unverified classes are free, offered completely free of charge at any time of the year - there is no need to wait for a particular season to take them.
The verified track offers a variety of courses at different costs. The cost might range between $50 and $300. It is also possible to audit a course so that you can learn the material on your schedule. You will not, however, receive a certificate for completing the course.
Prices for degrees and programs vary quite a bit, as you can see. It will depend on the program you choose. There are, however, some quite expensive classes.
Pros and Cons of edX
The truth is, not every platform is perfect. Each has its flaws and strengths. Therefore, we will briefly describe the pros and cons of edX to give you an idea of its strengths and weaknesses. First, let us start with the pros:
The primary benefit of taking a class on edX is receiving accredited certificates that have real value in the job market. These certificates will be available to you once you complete a course, and you can use them to showcase your knowledge to potential employers.
edX has plenty of instructor-paced and timed courses, but the vast majority are self-paced. As a result, you can move through the material at the pace that's right for you without having to worry about rushing through topics.
With edX, you can take classes with a variety of prestigious organizations, companies, and universities, including Berkeley, Microsoft, and Harvard. In addition to learning from instructors who are experts in their fields, you'll earn a highly respected credential.
Flexible Payment Options & Generous Refund Policy
You can take a course with edX at a price you can afford. There is no monthly subscription fee to worry about, as you only pay for the courses you take, and there are options for people of all budgets and lifestyles. Even students who might have difficulty making tuition payments can apply for financial aid.
edX even has a generous refund policy that allows you to get a full refund if you decide not to continue taking a verified course within 14 days of purchasing it.
Cons of edX
The courses on edX are offered by a variety of higher education institutions, so you won't find quite as many topics as you might on Udemy (an online learning platform that offers everything from dog training to filmmaking).
Messy Website Features
Some users have complained that the user interface of edX is clunky and difficult to use, especially when it comes to course descriptions or other features.
No Set Structure
While some platforms require instructors to design their courses in a certain format, edX does not have this requirement. Instead, courses are created by partners who have the freedom to design classes however they please. As a result, this can make some courses inconsistent.
edX has several alternatives that you should consider. Here are some of the best.
Another platform to consider is Udemy. Those looking to learn from several instructors, including individuals with passions to share, should check this one out! If you want to teach at Udemy, you don't need a prestigious institution - just a flair for what you do. Ultimately, this makes it a great online course platform to consider if you are interested in making some money by teaching an online course, too.
Those who are seeking K-12 educational programs or supplements to their regular schedules should check out Khan Academy. Unlike EdX, it is not geared towards adult learners but is free for anyone to use.
While edX has recently begun exploring this option as well, Coursera offers more options for corporate customers. In addition, Coursera offers free content. Classes tend to be less collegiate, however.
edX offers more courses in the natural sciences and humanities. Meanwhile, Coursera emphasizes professional training such as computer science and business. Both provide certificates and a user-friendly website.
We hope our edX review and recommendations helped you find the right online learning platform for you. Whether you use edX to obtain a recognized certification or a complete master's degree – or another one of the many MOOCs we've reviewed - continuing your education is a terrific opportunity to boost your profession, increase your marketability, and learn new things.
Are edX courses free?
The edX courses are free. But you have to pay the charges if you opt for the verified certificate. Depending upon the type of course you choose, the cost of the certification will vary.
For archived courses, edX does not offer any certificate, and hence they are free of cost. Other courses are subject to whether they are verified or not. You will have to pay the course fee if you choose a verified certification course. However, some courses are free of charge for which the certifications are not verified.
Thus, depending upon the type of course, area of specialization, and certification you choose, the prices will vary accordingly.
Is edX better than Coursera?
A question that arises in learners' minds when they are on the surge of exploring the virtual learning environment is which platform to choose. With the increasing popularity of several MOOC platforms available, confusion is inevitable. Provided both Coursera and edX are e-learning platforms, what can be the significant difference between the two?
Both platforms offer a diverse range of subjects. Conversely, Coursera focuses more on professional training---computer science and business degrees. EdX, on the other hand, offers numerous courses in domains like humanities and the natural sciences.
Hence, it would be unfair to the two platforms on the grounds of what they offer. Because one specializes in professional training while the other provides courses in totally different domains. Therefore, you can choose the best platform according to your interest and requirements.
Does edX give certificates?
edX offers certificates in all the courses. However, the archived courses will not give you any certificate. There are two options for courses that provide certificates. edX generally offers certificates of two broad categories. First, the verified certificate. These certificates are available for a fee that are available for some nominal fee, depending upon the course you choose.
The other certificates that edX offers are not verified. These certificates will be proof that you have taken a course from edX. But, this will not entail any evidence of you clearing the assessments or validating your expertise in that domain.
Thus, edX offers certificates for all the courses except for the archived courses. The certifications can generally be split into two categories which are verified certification and non-verified certifications.
How does the edX certificate work?
edX offers verified certification courses to help you gain the desired skills and flaunt the certification in school and interviews. A verified certificate indicates that you have completed an edX course with a passing grade on the verified track.
The certificate also serves as documentation that you have validated your identification with your camera and a photo ID with a photo and name on the same side and a name that matches your edX account's full name. Hence, the certificates, at no level, compromise with user authentication and validation of the skills.
Therefore, the certifications work well in all the aspects you wish to test them in. The certification is verified, authenticated with the candidate's ID, and leaves no space for any misguidance.
How much does it cost to take an edX Course?
edX charges you only for the professional education courses. Other courses, which do not provide you with a certificate or provide graded assignments are free of cost. Nevertheless, if you opt for a verified track, you can expect to pay between 50 and 300 dollars depending on the course.
edX charges only for upgrading to the verified track or enrolling in professional education courses. edX courses do not have any other fees.
edX has started a Financial Assistance Program under which you can apply for a scholarship or financial aid stating the reason. If your application is accepted, then you can get the course free of cost.
Are edX Qualifications Recognised?
The verified certificates that edX offers are optional. Once you have completed the course, you need to pay a fee to opt for the verified certification. Your identity is verified digitally via webcam or scanned ID upload.
Students and working professionals widely undertake these certifications and showcase them on their resumes, CVs, Linkedin, and even job applications. Thus, the certification is not only verified by the provider. It is widely accepted in the professional world as well.
Do edX certificates expire?
No! The edX certificates do not expire. Once achieved, you will always have access to them from your respective account. The majority of the courses available on edX are verified and have a tried & tested curriculum. You can refer to the course catalog available to find the courses that offer verified certificates that you can use anytime you want.
To achieve a verified course certificate, you need to enroll and pay the desired fee. After you've made the payment, you'll need to verify your identity either via webcam or by uploading a valid photo ID. After completing the course curriculum, you are supposed to appear for the assessment. You are eligible to receive a verified certificate if you achieve the passing grades in the test.
Therefore, before getting enrolled in any of the courses, ensure that the certificate is verified. Once you decide on the course, register yourself, make the payment, and clear the assessment. The verified certificate never expires and can be used for the reference everywhere.