Download John Maeda on Design, Business, and Inclusion - Lynda
Millions of people from all corners of our planet use MooCs. These courses offer educational access to a large number of individuals who would otherwise not be able to participate because of geographic location, formal prerequisites, and financial hardship.
MooC is short for massive open online course. In layman’s terms, it is a course of study made available over the Internet to a large number of people. Some of the most common online course companies competing for this new educational business include Udemy vs. EDx vs. Coursera.
MooCs typically have specific start and end dates. Scholars watch video lectures online, complete the assignments, and receive it back graded immediately most of the time. With the rise of globalization and technology, the accessibility to higher education has increased dramatically.
MooCs are usually free, and the courses offered online are often from some of the most prestigious universities like Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. Every year MooCs become more popular.There are more available courses and the quality of online education increases. MooCs are characterized by massiveness, openness, and connectivity. They use strategies similar to social networking, connecting the masses with the benefits of learning.
MooCs allow participants to pursue their interest and continue their professional development. One of the most amazing things about MooCs is they offer lifelong learning experiences and educational opportunities for underprivileged populations.
Let’s compare the four most popular MooC websites: Udemy vs. EDx vs. Coursera
Udemy is a fantastic place to take courses and learn new skills. The cool, and sometimes not-so-cool, thing about Udemy is that anyone can create a course. You do not have to be an expert to publish a course. Therefore, you have to be choosy in which course you enroll in. The good thing is you can quickly determine which courses are good and which are best left untaken. Use the course ratings to your advantage — if it has five stars, then it is probably an excellent course. If there are a lot of students enrolled in one particular course, it’s been successful in the past.
Watch the intro and the preview lessons to see if you like how the lessons are presented, if the course fits your learning style, and if you like how the teacher explains things. Some of the better courses on Udemy are expensive, but there is a way to get a big discount. Subscribing to Udemy, you will get emails about all their discounts, from $10 to $1000 deals. You can search for discount on Facebook groups, and you can even reach out to the author and, ask if they would give you a discount on the course.
One of the best features of Udemy is the variety of instructors, and if you do not like the course, you can get a full refund. When comparing between Udemy vs. EDx vs. Coursera, the ability to get a full refund is appealing. Some instructors are creative and have high-quality content, giving you a top-notch experience.
Edx has a broad range of higher education courses with many falling in the sciences. One crucial feature is their self-paced and timed classes. Meaning, if you are busy all the time, you can go through these courses at your pace. The classes usually range between four and twelve weeks, and each course has its video transcript. EDx uses cool tools like videos and gamified labs and other things like 3D virtual molecule builder. The platform is open source, which enables developers to build and share assessment modules.
EdX students can earn proof of enrollment or Honor Code Certificates for free, but the student will not receive the credentials like a diploma.
EdX was founded in 2012 at MIT and Harvard. This platform has no tuition, and it has classes from the most prestigious institutions like Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, and Boston University. EdX currently enrolls several million students. The company is a nonprofit, but it uses the contribution to provide quality education to everyone. The funds go to the class creation and improving EdX.
There are two types of certificates at EdX. Verified Certificates confirm your identity through a photo and ID, and the Honor Code Certificate only confirms your completion of the course. Honor Code Certificates are free and Verified Certificates start at around $50. You can also earn university credit. University credit matters, and it can change how you get a degree or a promotion. It pushes EdX in the comparison of Udemy vs. EDx vs. Coursera. EdX and its partners offer a low-risk and a good way to earn credit and a college degree, but be sure to confirm your school of choice will accept the credit.
Coursera has the largest variety of courses. They also provide the freest or low-cost options, including offering financial aid. They have self-paced courses, courses on-demand, and timed classes. The classes usually range between four and twelve weeks. Most of the courses on Coursera are free, and some require a small fee to participate in certificate programs and specializations, or a sequence of classes that include a capstone project. These certificates can also be shared on LinkedIn.
Stanford professors Daphne Koller and Andrew NG founded Coursera in the spring of 2012, with the vision of providing universal access to high-quality education. In a short period, Coursera gained thousands of courses from many top-notch universities and organizations like MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) and Princeton University. Access to such high quality education changes lives and is an important consideration in the decision of Udemy vs. EDx vs. Coursera.
One of Coursera’s unique offerings is the peer assessments. Studies have shown that learning is highest from peer review and add nuance to computer-scored tests. You can expect short lectures and interactive quizzes, allowing you time to engage with instructors and peers.
Udacity has a vast range of classes, especially in programming and computer science. Their paid programs include coaching, feedback, and verified certificates. Udacity partners with universities to create courses that are credited and also has programs called nano degrees. These nano degree courses are made toward the employment needs of their corporate partners like Google, Facebook, AT&T, and others.
Udacity has a relatively small catalog of courses more like vocational training than university-style classes. The course content in Udacity courses is free but to get a verified certificate you have to pay, and the prices are usually higher than those of Coursera and EdX.
Udacity also offers self-paced courses and timed programs (or nano degrees). In the free classes, you do not have a sense of community or personalized feedback, but in the nano degree, everything is included from feedback, coaches, to a verified certificate.
Compared to the other MooCs, Udacity has the smallest number of courses and this little variety is the biggest con. The nano degrees in Udacity are great and offer a lot, but other than that Udacity is inferior to EdX, Coursera, and Udemy.
MooCs are changing the way we access education. Twenty years ago to gain a degree or course credits, you had to pay the fees and fit your schedule around the school. Today, all you need are a laptop, Internet connection, and the desire to learn. There are options for the individual who wants to further their education, take vocational training courses, or gain a certification in a field of interest.
Udemy, EDx, Coursera, and Udacity each have their pluses and minuses, providing the consumer with choices that best suit their lifestyle, schedule, and budget. Check out each of them and see which one works best for you!