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EdX.org - Free Online Courses From Harvard, Berkeley and MIT
Take free online courses from top universities through EdX . Founded by Harvard and MIT, the application features courses from both universities as well as the University of California - Berkeley. Only seven free courses related to science and technology are currently offered, but finishing them will earn you a certificate of completion from the university where the course originated.
While the courses offered by EdX are currently limited, the developers of the website share plans to develop more courses as interest grows. Courses are offered by semester, so what is offered in Fall 2012, may not be what is offered in 2013. The reason for offering a limited number of courses is to ensure the quality and rigor of each course remains up to the standards of the connected universities.
The edx.com website
Don’t be fooled by the fact that courses are free. Student testimonials show that courses from EdX are not for the lackadaisical student. You must complete complex assignments and meet specific deadlines, just as if you were taking an actual college course. Before taking a course you can view the estimated effort required for the course and the timeframe you have to complete the course to help determine it if it’s for you. Some courses may completed at any point within six months, while others only last a few weeks.
Unlike other online course applications, when you complete a course through EdX, you receive a certificate that includes the name of the University sponsoring the course. Earning a certificate from HarvardX or MITx or BerkeleyX gives you more credibility than having just taken a course through a random online application, even if the courses are taught by the same professors.
The application goes further to secure its reputation, requiring users to agree to an honor code when signing up to take courses. By signing the honor code, users agree to complete all coursework themselves and maintain only one account. Agreeing to these statements will help prevent students from taking the same course over and over to improve their performance or to cheat to complete the program.
Benefit from EdX
EdX provides students with the opportunity to take courses from some of the nation’s top schools without going through the grueling application process. Accessing courses from Harvard and MIT can help students gain essential skills and knowledge in different scientific areas. However, the limited number of courses available may be EdX’s downfall. It is a good resource to check if you’re interested in taking computer science courses or physical science courses, but the random selection will make it difficult to find something that meets your overall needs and skill levels, especially with most courses being designed for students who have at least a basic knowledge of the subject matter.
August 17, 2012 by Stacy Zeiger
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