Perhaps you have previously heard of edX and Coursera, right? Yes? No?
edX and Coursera are two MOOC “Massive online learning course” websites, what’s a MOOC? Call it a platform for learning, get graded and perhaps if you do well you’ll get a certificate. A certificate has a nice weight on CV, guys…
Not so fast, hold it just there. “Certificate” … is not free, right? Until 3 months ago, they were FREE. But now, not every course offers a FREE CERTIFICATE.
Back then, it was possible to audit (see tutors tutoring by video, having handouts) the course and even possible to access to graded materials (you have to submit your responses before a deadline). If you pass the exams and homeworks (get a score of 50% at least for some courses, others may demand more than 50%), you’ll be offered a valid “certificate of honor” or a “certificate of accomplishment” (edX, Coursera respectively) but if you pay more you’ll get a “verified certificate” and respectively a “certificate with signature”.
edX and Coursera still offer the opportunity to see videos, but accessing graded materials (aka homeworks and exams) is no longer granted by Coursera. and as simple as nothing: You are forced to not to answer anything on Coursera therefore you’ll get nothing. EdX on the other hands offer you everything but at the end you’ll only get a compliment about finishing a course and no certificate.
This is both good and bad, the good thing, as a Tunisian where quality learning is almost non-existent, learning from edX and Coursera was the only reason I’m into education, but I get my motivation to learn from ‘seeing a possible certificate in the horizon‘ (in other words, expecting it after hard work). Now certificates are gone, and so 50% of my motivation. EdX and Coursera played a very great role in my life, not only they offered me great education, complimented my engineering studies and also offered me opportunities to see how people are taught in Harvard and MIT (for instance). I saw many people in the forums it was a great experience for me!
Now, if you think of it again, Honor means you’ll get for instance, an MITx certificate for free, and guess what… not everybody is doing a hard work and some are even cheating. This is bad, if a word gets out about how people got MITx certificates (for instance) without shredding their souls and they present themselves at work or at universities as an MITian (for instance). Here is it …. MIT’s name will be at stakes! And that’s what it did happen: Quality loss in graduated people while the quality was boosted in courses. The only solution is to make the courses only accessible to those who deserve it :”money”.
Here we go again.
Nonetheless, edX was the one who shaped me (along Coursera) as I am today. I’m pretty grateful for what they have done. The other part was shaped by my National School of Engineers of Sfax. Thank you very much guys, I hope I do well.