One major dilemma many online users face from time to time is differentiating popularity from quality when it comes to service providers.
Currently, there are hundreds of sites hosting online courses. And the course content itself runs to the tune of millions. Need I not mention that this means there are hundreds of lectures now available online for any topic interesting you.
Two of the most reputable host sites for quality online courses are edX and Coursera. These two are broad in scope and materials. The course categories here cover just about any subject or field.
They both have impressive instructor localization, as they only take experienced tutors from renowned higher institutions. Again, these two both have quality affiliations and accreditations.
Creating a standard divide, therefore, means we take a more in-depth look at how individual platforms run. Reading along would help you know which of the platforms is the best suite for active learning.
edX is a top tier e-Learning platform created by two world-renowned universities, MIT and Harvard. This initiative was started as a non-profit in 2012 – ever since they have become host to several notable online classes taught by accomplished field lecturers.
The science-targeted open online center edX started as it has since graduated into a global learning platform. And to further the course of making knowledge widely available, edX hosts all of its general courses for free. Currently, close to 700 courses are listed on the massive learning site open to over 7 million users.
EdX is designed for students in schools or persons looking to study part-time. This means the majority of courses and the prevalent style of teaching is academicals.
Courses are taken more like courses and the instructional materials more like the materials. These are usually augmented with references to hard materials like textbooks or other book guides. This has come in handy for students, especially undergraduates, having difficulty grasping their coursework.
Right now, all known faculties of study in schools have courses listed on edX. Be it the arts, humanities, social sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, business, engineering, law, medicine, and health; you name it! They are all fully loaded on this impressive online learning platform.
More attractive about these courses is the fact that they are all free to take. This is a great motivation for many students around the world. They are given access to a world-class education at virtually no cost. And not only so, but they also get a participation certificate.
For the more advanced level subjects, these are listed at a given price. And they come with even better awards; paid accredited certificates or diplomas for the respective degree level.
Most of the courses here are made from the working academic curriculum. This means they are relevant coursework for students. And in a like manner to most student work, these courses are made available on schedule.
This means you have to work to time in enrolling for edX courses. This also reflects in the number of hours earmarked for completing each course or program.
The creation of Coursera goes much like that of edX. University professors created the massive open resource online center from Stanford. They initially created it to host computer science materials. And ever since, the site has moved on to house many more courses from various subjects.
Coursera has developed a web of connections that has made it a formidable force in the online learning world. As of now, over 150 universities are affiliated with the site, and they have collaboratively pulled together close to 3,000 courses and four full degree programs. This platform has shifted from the Master of computer science to efficiency in all other fields available.
Coursera was put together by two beautiful minds to provide the best learning experience to people worldwide. And to do this, they had to widen the scope of materials hosted by computer science to all other fields of study.
Comparatively, Coursera offers fewer categories of subjects. These categories are, however, laden with numerous courses on topics involved per subject. This helps cover the ground in terms of curriculum and student work.
Areas of specializations is a feature specific to Coursera. And here, they gather related courses to create a more expansive view of the study’s scope. This method works best for skill courses. The singular certification granted carries more weight than those of individual classes.
The final class of programs on Coursera are the degree programs. This is limited to only four courses listed under the degree section. These are online equivalents of university degrees, run part-time, and cover every inch of the regular coursework. And also runs for about how long average computer science degrees run.
The quality of courses on Coursera gives it the top-standard reputation it upholds. Course instructors make the instructional materials as in-depth and advanced as university courses. To accompany the quality work made available on the platform, students can get paid certificates. These are personalized and often bear the name of the course’s host institution.
join facebook group
stay in touch
want to learn more?
EdX vs Coursera: The Telling Differences
Here listed are a few points that can be used to separate edX from Coursera:
One great thing about learning online can find courses of your interest with ease. This is a significant determinant of how much quality an e-Learning facility offers.
The quality and categories of courses available on a MOOCs platform dictate the target audience of such. Many online course sites have streamlined their course offerings to constrict their student base better.
Classes available on edX are divided into five major categories. These categories span from high school grade courses to university degree equivalents. These categories comprise numerous courses from various fields.
The available categories include the edX verified courses, XSeries programs, High school courses, Credit eligible courses, and professional development courses. Each of these targets a specific subset of online students.
The verified courses are regular classes on particular topics with accompanying certificates upon completion. The XSeries program steps this up a notch and only comprises university curriculum work. They are usually complex and require a level of foreknowledge.
High school work on edX are classes designed to prepare prospective college students. These usually don’t come with certification but are quite easy to understand. Notable here are the standard prep materials made available for use.
Credit eligible courses are for higher institution students. These usually come with an award of degrees or a grader equivalent called MicroMasters. Professional development courses are handy to get working skills with certification.
For Coursera, the course categories are not very distinctive. However, there are numerous choices available from significant fields. And though there are no strict separations, it is easy to find relevant courses from personalized dashboards and search features.
The two major program types run on Coursera are specializations and degree programs. Other than these, courses can be taken individually as deemed fit.
Specializations are programs that comprise related courses in a professional field or on a particular subject. Specialties come with one certificate for the overall plan. This seems to be more weighty than individual sessions, and it saves time and money at the same time.
The other type of program run on Coursera is Online Degrees. These are much more comprehensive than specializations. The courses listed in this category are advanced level. The significant programs here are the Master’s degree level in Computer Science, Data Science, and Business.
Overall, both edX and Coursera have an expansive list of courses offered. And comparatively, they both have their tentacles spread across virtually all courses available at higher institutions. However, edX betters Coursera going by the number of courses listed.
EdX vs Coursera: EdX has the upper hand
Support and Community
An essential concern for online learners is the non-interactive nature of courses. This could lead to being stuck on problems. And in most cases, there is a lack of motivation to carry on with the module.
Having an interactive platform boosts the performance and active learning of students. And this is made possible with the advent of discussion forums and chat platforms.
On Coursera, not all courses come with interactive features to relate with other students and instructors. However, some allow students to share ideas and projects. These are called peer-reviewed courses.
For edX, more courses are set-up as peer-reviewed. This makes the learning process much more educational and real-time. And most of the time, instructors also weigh in on the discussions and grade works in real-time.
Coming down to support, this focuses on boosting user experience. At one time or the other, issues come up with usability and technical know-how of the site. This can be provided by customer support from the site.
edX offers a better support system from experience. Not that Coursera does not provide excellent user experience and customer support, but the overall feedback and help options on edX beats that on Coursera.
Hence, if you are the type who needs to gather morale from interactions to boost the subject comprehension, edX might be the answer. And for the best usability and less technical support issues, edX would also be preferable.
EdX vs Coursera: EdX is more user friendly
Just as substantial as the quality of knowledge of a course is the amount it goes for. One thing that has discouraged many students from enrolling in online classes is the price tag.
On a good note, both MOOCs platforms are considered the two top sites with the cheapest courses. Many students have been afforded the advantage of getting great information for next to nothing.
Coursera offers the vast majority of its courses as audit materials. This means students are allowed to view the course materials for free. With this, you can consume materials without any pay. The cost usually applies only to certification upon completion.
Other study categories on Coursera, like specialization and degree programs, come at a minimal cost. Specializations are valued at an average of $50 monthly.
The cost, therefore, depends on how long it takes you to complete the coursework. Coursera online degrees go to the tone of tens of thousands of dollars. Though costly, these are relatively cheaper than equivalent university degree programs.
All edX courses are listed for free. This is primarily because the online learning platform is a non-profit funded by private investors. And more interestingly, the peer-review here is more developed. Discussion forums, graded work, and In-person meets are exploited.
The cost implications for edX courses are for grading, tax levies, and certification. The MicroMasters program that explores different university degree courses is another area that isn’t free.
In all, edX is again the winner between the duo when it comes to pricing course offerings. Although, Coursera is also cheap given the quality of work they put out.
EdX vs Coursera: EdX does a better job.
The choice of courses offered also points to the type of instructors on the site. And as well indicates which form of certification or accreditation is to be expected. Academics would most likely take classes that are field specializations. Whereas experienced field experts better take courses having to do with business skills.
For courses that teach skills, an accredited certificate would do the trick. Likewise, courses more academic in nature would likely come with degree-formatted awards. On a general note, the experience is the primary determinant for selecting course tutors.
What differentiates the edX from Coursera in terms of facilitators is their sources. That is to say, which universities do the majority of lectures come from.
Coursera lectures are mostly professors from universities like Stanford, Princeton, Illinois, Michigan, UC San Diego, among other reputable institutions. Other experienced experts are associated with top companies in relevant industries.
edX is a joint effort of Harvard and MIT. This indicates tenured professors give the vast majority of lectures here from the highly reputable institutions. Professors take other classes, not in this category, from other renowned institutions.
Unlike most online learning sites with quick course options, edX and Coursera courses are quite vast and comprehensive. These usually can’t be completed in a hurry. Taking a course on either platform ought to be considered as a part-time university study.
Coursera courses take an average of ten hours to complete. You would most likely have to spread this over days or sometimes weeks due to the advanced coursework done here.
Even more demanding are graded programs like specializations and online degrees. These would take months of devoted study, including a series of project work.
For edX, the story is about the same. Courses are directly formatted to be gone through in weeks. The hours of lectures are split into actionable study packs and spread over days. Even though some course materials can be exhausted in less time, the stipulated period is often relevant.
These courses are so mostly because they are curriculum-based and academicals. The nature of the lectures is technical and requires study to perform optimally. However, if push comes to shove, Coursera is more preferable for a shorter learning duration.
The reward for the study is certification. And not only that, but it also serves as proof of knowledge, which makes them applicable to CVs and resumes.
Talking about the weight of courses on your credential list, individual online courses might not seem as attractive as degree programs. This means more developed programs like specializations, the XSeries program, and the likes, are better choices for the sake of better accreditation.
Certificates awarded on edX are in categories. First off are the free certificates called “Honor Code Certificates.” These are more like proof of enrollment and are not usually personalized.
The more validated certificates on edX are paid. These would carry your name and photograph as is more presentable. These usually cost less than $100. The most advanced form of certificates on edX are the degrees and MicroMasters. These are well recognized and are even accepted by some universities.
On the other hand, no Coursera certificate is given for free. They usually come with a fee. These certificates are cost based on the course complexity and the university issuing it. This means that you get a university accredited certification for any course on here.
Looking at both forms of certification, edX, and Coursera award quality pieces for their courses. Professionally speaking, it is more favorable to go for Coursera courses. In contrast, edX certificates do better in the academic world.
Coursera vs EdX: EdX has a better reputation.
Our Side-by-Side Comparison
Support and Community