If you’re not quite familiar with the wonderful opportunities of the EDX online courses portal or you haven’t really gotten a chance to use it yet, here is an introduction to it. Even if free online courses have long been available now and then since the internet has become more and more immersed in all aspects of our lives, including education, sometimes it’s hard to find them.
Even if we do manage to find some free online course on the topic we need to study or which fascinates us, it’s very likely that the course in question is less than top of the line. All that is about to change now with the new EDX online classes portal: the best universities in the world come together making plenty of their courses available online for free through this portal. Also, you can receive certificates of completion after each course which you can then use in your professional resume.
From now on, when you explore the EDX courses in search of a particular topic, you can relax knowing that the results you’ll get will be truly the best on that topic. To get you started, we’ve put together a short guide on how to access the portal and find free online programs on a particular subject you’re interested in. Then, we will also present you with a few suggestions of which particular EDX classes we like the most (and the ones we plan on starting with ourselves).
How to Access the EDX Online Courses
First of all (and hopefully needless to say), you need a well-functioning computer and a reliable internet connection. Then, you need to access the EDX portal at the following address: https://www.edx.org/. Once you reach the main page of the portal, you will notice a search field at the top right corner of it, inviting you to enter the subject which you’d like to learn about. For example, if you’re a visual arts enthusiasts and you’ve seldom had much luck with that (photography courses are usually limited to technique and don’t share much vision), here is what you do. Type ‘photography’ in the EDX courses search bar and enter. At the time of our visit, there were three verified courses as results to this particular inquiry:
- An MIT course on ‘Making Science and Engineering Pictures: A Practical Guide to Presenting;
- An UT Austin course on ‘Ideas of the Twentieth Century’;
- An University of Toronto course on ‘Behavioral Economics in Action’.
While these may seem a little further than the strict limitations of the photography topic, all of them will prove extremely useful to any visual arts enthusiast who wants to learn more about the vision of photography and how it changes the world. Also, learning to use visuals better for any scientific report couldn’t hurt, especially when you’re being taught that directly by MIT experts, right?
Beyond the photography example we’ve just indulged, you should know that there are of course plenty of other EDX online courses available just a click away, from a whole variety of subjects and fields. Feel free to explore (and think about entering synonyms or equivalent phrases too, after an initial search, just to see if you get different results and maybe find another gem from the best universities in the world).
Last, but not least, you should know that some EDX online programs are archived (which means you can access them and read up at any time), while some have a start date which needs to be considered. The courses offered by EDX with a start date will need your regular presence (similar to an actual course) since they will be updated with a new chapter once per week or so, or maybe even schedule a live demonstration or online lesson from a teacher. Make sure you take these details into account too, when starting one of the free courses online hosted by the EDX portal.
5 Great EDX Courses to Possibly Start With
We realize this list will surely fall short on satisfying a wide range of interests, but these courses were our personal faves:
- The MIT Course on Making Science and Engineering Pictures
- The Davidson online course on Electronic Literature (#1 pick!)
- The UC Berkeley course on Academic and Business Writing
- The Smithsonian course on The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture
- The Wellesley course on Introduction to Human Evolution.
Whatever your favorite picks of the EDX online courses will be, you will sure have plenty of options to pick from. Enjoy the free online courses no matter if you’d like to really opt for a certificate of completion or not at the end. After all, the charm of the portal lies precisely in being able to explore knowledge offered by the most prestigious universities in the world without the commitment of enrolling for them.
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