Some weeks ago I was looking for advanced online education platforms to tweak my knowledge around a few subjects. There are several great ones such as Lynda.com or Video2Brain but I was looking for a bit more academical approach with a tad of interactivity. Luckily enough that day I came across edX and really loved their offerings.
edX is a program run by several prestigious universities to offer online courses across many subjects and making them available on-demand and world-wide. I have signed up to my first course already which is the GSE2x “Leaders of Learning” by HarvardX and really enjoy it thus far. Every week a new part is brought online but if you don’t have much time in a particular week you can always continue where you left-off later on.
I was talking about this to my friend Diana Adams and she tweeted it a little later. Following that tweet it seemed many people did not know about edX but really liked it. That is why I wanted to share my opinion with you even further on this article.
— Diana Adams (@adamsconsulting) August 7, 2014
What’s happening on the platform?
So what do you get on this platform speaking of user experience? For me it was the first online education portal made available to the public entirely free of cost by universities. That’s a great step forward in mass education. The courses are all online and provide you with mixed media with a guideline to go through them. They offer you high quality videos of your professor, quizzes, written resources, visual explanation and when applicable even virtual 3D models all on-demand and on your own pace.
When you start a course there is a bit of forms to complete but it’s obvious that those only serve the improvement of the whole edX system so I happily completed them.
There is a great range of subjects available and definitely not only IT related matters to counter popular believe online education. Check out all those great topics currently available:
- Art & Culture
- Biology & Life Sciences
- Business & Management
- Computer Science
- Economics & Finance
- Energy & Earth Sciences
- Environmental Studies
- Food & Nutrition
- Health & Safety
- Philosophy & Ethics
- Social Sciences
- Statistics & Data Analysis
Some courses offer you different types of certifications when you have completed them. This is something you can be proud of and potentially add to your CV, add it to your LinkedIn profile or hand it to the HR department of your employer. Until today edX has provided more than 100,000 certificates to proud edX students.
The classes also have a discussion board attached for the students and the curators to interact with each other. That works best when you are in a course that is currently ‘live’ and launching new parts every week. You can exchange thoughts with real people and ask or answer questions that might be going around. This is truly unique about online education and you can actually meet people and make friends with the same interests.
There are more than 200 courses currently available and they keep adding new ones across all the subjects listed above. Below I have picked you a few choices that I considered to check into because I thought they are very interesting.
CS50x: Introduction to Computer Science
- UT.3.02x: Age of Globalization
- GG101x: The Science of Happiness
- 15.S23x: U.Lab: Transforming Business, Society, and Self
- FC-01x: Future Cities
- CS1156x: Learning From Data
- CAMSx: Computing: Art, Magic, Science
- 200+ others and always new courses in the overview
Founders of edX are the MIT and Harvard University. Beyond that there are also a lot of other great contributing organisations, partners and other supporters. You can check the full list at this link.
We think that edX offers really great services on educating yourself. The platform is very modern and fun to learn with. You are not tied to a schedule and can just work in your own time and pace, there is no cost involved at all(!) and when you finish a course you can get a certification in many courses.
Beyond the actual things you have learned, the certification proofs useful, for instance when added to your CV. It shows a potential future employer that you are interested and self motivated in improving yourself without someone to tell you to do it. That’s a very nice plus point when considering new staff. There is also a blog and a news page if you want to check on the latest.
edX: Strong recommendation to check it out and try a course.
Image credit: edX
YouTube: edX – How it Works