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Online Learning Platforms

edX Review: How Does the Online Learning Site Stack Up?

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By Fatima Mansoor

edx review

When it comes to online learning platforms, edX is one of the most popular sites out there, reaching over 42 million students since it launched in 2012. And as you’ll see in our edX review below, there are lots of reasons it’s so beloved among learners.

With more than 3,800 courses across a wide range of categories, edX offers learning opportunities for everyone from hobbyists to those looking to gain knowledge and certifications to achieve career goals.

And with affordable pricing for its courses, edX makes online learning attainable for just about everyone.

But with so many online learning sites out there, how does edX stack up against the likes of Skillshare, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning? Is it among the best online learning platforms?

What are some of the good things that make edX stand apart from its peers? And perhaps more importantly, are there any drawbacks to it?

In this in-depth edX review, we’ll go over all the important details of this online course provider, including the pros and cons, how much it costs, how to use it and get the most from it, the popular courses it offers, and more.

Read on for our full review of edX…

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.


What is edX?

edX | Free Online Courses by Harvard, MIT, & more | edX edX | Free Online Courses by Harvard, MIT, & more | edX

edX is an online learning platform offering courses from some of the world's most prestigious universities and organizations on a vast array of subjects.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

edX is an online learning site offering over 3,800 courses across a range of categories to help people learn critical career skills.

The courses and professional certificate programs come from 160+ top universities, like Harvard, MIT, Berkley, University of Texas, and other renowned institutions, and most are aimed at adult learners.

edX is arguably the world’s biggest e-learning platform, having reached 42 million students across the globe with its fast-expanding, accessible e-learning platform. 

With edX, there are pathways to earning a degree or certification, including MicroBachelor’s Programs, Bachelor’s Programs, MicroMaster’s Programs, and Master’s Programs. You can begin or complete a degree totally online with edX.


Who Teaches edX Classes?

edx teachers

What makes edX special is that they collaborate with renowned universities and instructors to create some of the highest quality courses you’ll find online.

Harvard University is at the top of the list, and it is also one of the platform’s creators. It is not only one of the earliest universities in the USA, but it is also one of the top five universities in the world. 

There are more than a hundred Harvard edX courses accessible, spanning topics such as physics, business, literature, humanities, and religion. The school is an integral part of the XSeries curriculum, and upon completion, you will earn a Harvard online course certificate.

You can also take online courses from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), another one of the top universities in the world. Computer science, entrepreneurship, biotechnology, and molecular biology are among the 33 academic fields covered in the courses.

The University of Queensland has three famous lecturers. Professors Blake McKimmie, Barbara Masser, and Mark Horswill were awarded the edX Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Online Teaching and Learning in 2018. They instructed in the Psychology of Criminal Justice course. 

Professors Petra Bonfert-Taylor and Remi Sharrock of Dartmouth College and Institute Mines-Telecom received the prize in 2019. (IMT). C Programming is taught by them that comes with a Linux professional certificate. 

Moreover, other renowned instructors who won the award in 2020 include Researcher Tess Blom of TU Delft, Professor Andy van den Dobblesteen, and Eric van den Ham. The team is responsible for the design of Zero-Energy, which is a process for creating sustainable buildings. 

In short, edX instructors come from the world’s top institutions and have a wealth of expertise and credentials.


What Can You Learn on edX?

edx courses

On edX, there are more than 3,800 impressive courses available online at the time of this writing. Originally focused on higher education and the fields of science, edX has broadened its offerings to encompass technology and the humanities. 

edX online now emphasizes 31 key areas. Business and management, computer science, data analysis, economics, and finance are among the most popular subjects.

Some of their most popular topics are:

The majority of classes are developed in collaboration with prestigious companies and educational institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Amnesty International, and Amazon Web Services.

edX classes are divided into three levels of difficulty: introductory, intermediate, and advanced.

The majority of edX’s courses span 4-12 weeks and involve approximately 5-8 hours of attention. Every course has a completion date. You should have passing marks by the completion date while you are registered in the course and wish to obtain a verified certificate. There are instructional courses available that are self-paced. 

All assignments, exams, and assessments for the courses have a set plan and deadlines. All course materials are sent at certain times, and you must finish the course within a certain time frame.

There is no specified time frame for self-paced courses. When the course begins, you will receive all course content and must finish them before the course’s deadline.

You set your own speed for going through the course and turn in all projects, examinations, and assessments before the deadline of the enrolled course. Many self-paced courses provide recommended milestones to assist you in planning ahead. The organization and scheduling differ depending on the course. 

Sometimes, the courses just have one exam, while others may have multiple tasks and examinations to complete during the term. Each course has a distinct minimum passing mark. 

The minimum score is displayed on the progress page of each course. The majority of edX courses are offered in English. However, specific courses are available in multiple languages such as Chinese, Russian, Spanish, French, and Italian.

The videos are accessible with English subtitles. The community of edX allows you to be a part of a group of students and instructors to communicate and have discussions like a physical classroom.


How much does edX cost?

Most edX courses are free to take. You must choose the audit option on the course details page to register for the edX course free of cost. All learning content such as videos, tasks, lectures, and readings are accessible in auditing at your own pace but without a certificate. 

If you want to get am edX certificate for completing a course, you’ll have to pay a fee for the class. The prices typically range from $50 to $300 for each course.

Professional certificates can be shared on a LinkedIn profile, resume, or any other professional application. 

Students may seek assistance if they wish to study in the registered courses but cannot afford the full fee. The majority of courses and programs are able to qualify for 90% of the fee of the course.  

It’s easy to apply for financial aid on edX. Simply enroll in the audited course and submit the financial assistance application. They will assess your application within a few days in most cases. 

Financial support is also available for MicroBachelors, Professional Programs, XSeries, and select MicroMasters. However, instead of applying for a comprehensive program, you must apply for financial help for each course separately.


How Does edX Pricing Compare to Other Platforms?

The edX pricing model is a little unique because you can audit many courses at no cost but have to pay a fee if you want to earn an edX certificate of completion. Coursera also does this for some of its courses, but for the most part, most online course websites have monthly subscription models.

Here are the prices of some competing platforms offering massive open online courses:

With thousands of free courses available for audit, edX compares very favorably to other online education sites.


How Does edX Work?

edX is user-friendly and makes signing up and taking classes pretty simple and seamless.


How to sign up for edX

Signing up for edX is a pretty straightforward process.

Just click the “Register for free” button on the homepage or on the course you’re interested in. You’ll then be taken to a page where you can create a username and password, or alternatively, you can register using Facebook, Apple, Google, or Microsoft credentials.

edx signup

How to Take edX Courses

enroll in course edx

Enrolling in a class on edX is also an easy process.

If a course is available for free auditing, the main course introduction page will mention that there is a free option. All you have to do is click the “Enroll” and you’ll be all set to start auditing the course at your own pace at no cost.

Once you’re enrolled in one of edX’s free courses, you’ll have the option to upgrade later (provided the upgrade deadline hasn’t passed) if you decide you want to pay and get a verified certificate upon completing the course.


edX Features Explained

Easy Accessibility

Learning on edX is supported by renowned institutions and academics that provide free courses via video lessons and study guides.

Students can access the video materials, which have been translated into different languages for accessibility.

It simulates the classroom and allows students to share their knowledge and experiences.


To make sure that students get something out of their lessons, edX connects course material with practice, evaluation, and analysis.

Active learning is an important part of gaining skills and being able to do things rather than simply knowing about them,” Ben, senior learning designer of edX, added.

Degrees & Certifications

edX has numerous courses grouped together to form specializations.

Apart from that, it also offers pathways to earning a degree or certification, including MicroBachelor’s Programs, Bachelor’s Programs, MicroMaster’s Programs, and Master’s Programs. You can begin or complete a degree totally online with edX.


edX FAQs

Are edX courses available for free?

Many of the platform’s courses are available for a free audit. Optional paid upgrades are available to students who wish to earn a certification upon finishing the free courses. 

Do edX certificates have value?

 Yes, the e-learning tool’s verified certificates are highly regarded. edX degree programs are equivalent to academic degrees, as well as all certificates might well be listed on your CV to demonstrate your accomplishments to future employers. As Harvard and MIT established the platform, it has a lot of value. 

Is it possible to list edX courses on your resume?

 Yes, you can list the verified certificates you’ve earned from completing edX courses on your resume to make it more appealing to employers. edX plays a significant role in creating a solid resume for you and can be a valuable addition to the Linkedin profile of learners as well. It makes a substantial impact on employers who are sure of your skills. 


Is edX Worth It?

Yes, edX is worth it for anyone interested in taking online courses to improve their knowledge and gain valuable career skills.

With a catalog of online courses from the world’s top universities and instructors, there’s something for everyone, and you can audit most courses at no cost at all.


Get Started with edX

Ready to give edX a shot? Click here to register for free to start taking classes online at no cost.

Have any questions about this edX review? Leave a comment below and we’ll help.

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