EdX was founded by the faculty at MIT and Harvard to offer free, online, quality education by partnering with other colleges and universities. It is considered a collection of MOOCs, which stands for “massive open online courses.” Anyone can take a course on edX as long as they have access to a computer and the internet. Compared to other online portals, the course catalog isn’t exactly “massive,” but the courses are of high quality.

Overall, the courses focus heavily on academics, particularly the sciences, and leave gaps where some other categories are concerned. Currently, several million students are enrolled in edX and using its online learning portal for free or a reduced fee for verification for credit.

How Does EdX Work?

To create an account with edX and start taking advantage of its free courses, you can register on the home page. You’ll fill out a short form that includes your name, email address and the country where you live. You can also answer some optional questions about gender, past schooling and why you are interested in taking courses with edX. At this point, you can start taking courses with some of the world’s most respected professors and connect with other learners from around the world.

What Makes EdX Stand Out?

What makes edX unique is its free access to quality, online courses taught by respected professors from top-notch universities. In this way, edX is similar to Coursera. However, edX’s courses tend to focus on the sciences more than any other learning category, and edX offers both course verification and/or course credit for an affordable fee.

Common Reviews of EdX

Overall, the reviews of edX are favorable. People were pleased with the quality of the courses, especially since they are all free. One customer said: “EdX can open doors for anyone who wants to learn. My dream is to reach a million youth around the world and share with them the advanced learning opportunities edX courses provide. EdX can open doors for anyone who wants to learn, with basic access to the internet.”

Another customer went on to praise his experience taking courses with edX: “I have done 3 courses from edX and the experience has been great. Apart from being free, the courses cover the subject matter thoroughly and provide video lectures delivered by professors from some of the best universities in the world. You also get a certificate of completion at the end (for which you have to pay sometimes but is totally worth it) which can be a decent boost for your resume.”

Students also liked the peer review assessment. They found that it motivated interaction among the students while providing an easy and quick way to get work assessed, although others felt that it was lacking in direction by professors or their teacher assistants at times.

On the other hand, there are some negative reviews. One customer complained that there aren’t enough self-paced courses. Others complained that there wasn’t enough feedback throughout the courses and hoped there would be more interaction with professors or their teacher assistants. Another complaint focused on the individual course dashboard. The customer found having all your past, present and future classes on the same page confusing. The negative reviews were very few compared to the positive reviews about edX.

Is EdX for Me?

When trying to decide which online educational portal is right for you, there are a few questions you can ask yourself, such as:

  • Why do I want to use an online portal? For personal or professional development? Or both?
  • Am I looking for something to replace a traditional college?
  • Am I taking classes just for fun, or do I need verification or college credit?
  • What is my budget for taking online courses?
  • Do I require courses taught by industry experts and/or professors?
  • Am I business owner searching for a free or affordable professional development platform for my employees?

EdX is an online learning portal that can fulfill almost any need. While it cannot replace a traditional university or college, you can get credit for courses, which will give your college application an edge. Here are other reasons edX may be right for you:

  • You run a business or organization that wants to offer continued learning to volunteers and employees without a hefty price tag.
  • You are interested in a new career.
  • You have a burning curiosity to learn about a particular subject.
  • You are trying to decide on a major and want to explore courses to help you get a better understanding of various subject matter.
  • You are an entrepreneur who wants to hone your skills.
  • You are interested in learning about finance and planning for your retirement.
  • You are a college student who needs to supplement a course to better understand it.
  • You want to make your bio and resume more competitive by listing courses you have completed through edX.

If you’re thinking about trying edX out, there is nothing to lose. The courses are free, and there are plenty to choose from, especially in the sciences. If you are more interested in creative courses such as photography or personal development, edX may not be the best choice as it tends to lean toward courses of more traditional academic standing. For this reason, you can expect high quality and high value from every course taken at edX.