Posted on Monday, October 7th, 2013 by Will Hagle
EdX offers free online access to real courses offered by prestigious universities from around the world.
EdX was created by Harvard University and MIT as a platform for individuals around the world to gain free access to higher education. It offers hundreds of real courses from some of the world’s best universities. The site features courses in law, politics, economics, engineering, history, computer science and numerous other subjects, and all of the courses can be accessed 24/7 and completed at the student’s pace. Prior to enrolling in a course, a prospective student is able to view the class’s schedule, as well as its prerequisites. Since many of these courses come directly from places like Harvard and MIT, EdX ensures that you’re not jumping into anything too difficult without the proper preparation. If you do want to learn, however, the opportunity is always available. Some courses are completely open for registration, and others (such as a relatively prestigious Harvard course on Foreign Policy) require an application. If the application period is closed, however, students can still take the courses. They simply will not be graded and will not receive an official certificate of completion after finishing the course.
Many online learning sites can be isolating, since they lack the social component of traditional schools. EdX ensures that social aspect of school translates to the online community. There is a discussion board where students can pose questions to their Professor and each other. EdX also encourages participation amongst its students. While you’re learning on your own and at your own pace, you’re also closely connected with a vast community of likeminded, knowledge-seeking individuals. EdX courses are offered by schools such as the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas system and Georgetown University, as well as internationally-acclaimed institutions such as Australian National University and the Hong Kong University Of Science and Technology. Course offerings from Harvard and MIT, however, definitely dominate the site. Of course, those are two of the best schools in the United States, so that’s not a bad thing at all.