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edX Basics

How do I sign up to take a class?

Simply create an edX account (it's free) and then register for the course of your choice (also free). Follow the prompts on the edX website.

What does it cost to take a class? Is this really free?

EdX courses are free for everyone. All you need is an Internet connection.

What happens after I sign up for a course?

You will receive an activation email. Follow the prompts in that email to activate your account. You will need to log in each time you access your course(s). Once the course begins, it's time to hit the virtual books. You can access the lectures, homework, tutorials, etc., for each week, one week at a time.

Who can take an edX course?

You, your mom, your little brother, your grandfather -- anyone with Internet access can take an edX course. Free.

Are the courses only offered in English?

Some edX courses include a translation of the lecture in the text bar to the right of the video. Some have the specific option of requesting a course in other languages. Please check your course to determine foreign language options.

When will there be more courses on other subjects?

We are continually reviewing and creating courses to add to the edX platform. Please check the website for future course announcements. You can also "friend" edX on Facebook - you'll receive updates and announcements.

When does my course start and/or finish?

You can find the start and stop dates for each course on each course description page.

Is there a walk-through of a sample course session?

There are video introductions for every course that will give you a good sense of how the course works and what to expect.

I don't have the prerequisites for a course that I am interested in. Can I still take the course?

We do not check students for prerequisites, so you are allowed to attempt the course. However, if you do not know prerequisite subjects before taking a class, you will have to learn the prerequisite material on your own over the semester, which can be an extremely difficult task.

What happens if I have to quit a course? Are there any penalties? Will I be able to take another course in the future?

You may unregister from an edX course at anytime, there are absolutely no penalties associated with incomplete edX studies, and you may register for the same course (provided we are still offering it) at a later time.

The Classes

How much work will I have to do to pass my course?

The projected hours of study required for each course are described on the specific course description page.

What should I do before I take a course (prerequisites)?

Each course is different - some have prerequisites, and some don't. Take a look at your specific course's recommended prerequisites. If you do not have a particular prerequisite, you may still take the course.

What books should I read? (I am interested in reading materials before the class starts).

Take a look at the specific course prerequisites. All required academic materials will be provided during the course, within the browser. Some of the course descriptions may list additional resources. For supplemental reading material before or during the course, you can post a question on the course's Discussion Forum to ask your online coursemates for suggestions.

Can I download the book for my course?

EdX book content may only be viewed within the browser, and downloading it violates copyright laws. If you need or want a hard copy of the book, we recommend that you purchase a copy.

Can I take more than one course at a time?

You may take multiple edX courses, however we recommend checking the requirements on each course description page to determine your available study hours and the demands of the intended courses.

How do I log in to take an edX class?

Once you sign up for a course and activate your account, click on the "Log In" button on the edx.org home page. You will need to type in your email address and edX password each time you log in.

What time is the class?

EdX classes take place at your convenience. Prefer to sleep in and study late? No worries. Videos and problem sets are available 24 hours a day, which means you can watch video and complete work whenever you have spare time. You simply log in to your course via the Internet and work through the course material, one week at a time.

If I miss a week, how does this affect my grade?

It is certainly possible to pass an edX course if you miss a week; however, coursework is progressive, so you should review and study what you may have missed. You can check your progress dashboard in the course to see your course average along the way if you have any concerns.

How can I meet/find other students?

All edX courses have Discussion Forums where you can chat with and help each other within the framework of the Honor Code.

How can I talk to professors, fellows and teaching assistants?

The Discussion Forums are the best place to reach out to the edX teaching team for your class, and you don't have to wait in line or rearrange your schedule to fit your professor's - just post your questions. The response isn't always immediate, but it's usually pretty darned quick.

Getting help.

You have a vibrant, global community of fellow online learners available 24-7 to help with the course within the framework of the Honor Code, as well as support from the TAs who monitor the course. Take a look at the course's Discussion Forum where you can review questions, answers and comments from fellow online learners, as well as post a question.

Can I re-take a course?

Good news: there are unlimited "mulligans" in edX. You may re-take edX courses as often as you wish. Your performance in any particular offering of a course will not effect your standing in future offerings of any edX course, including future offerings of the same course.

Enrollment for a course that I am interested in is open, but the course has already started. Can I still enroll?

Yes, but you will not be able to turn in any assignments or exams that have already been due. If it is early in the course, you might still be able to earn enough points for a certificate, but you will have to check with the course in question in order to find out more.

Is there an exam at the end?

Different courses have slightly different structures. Please check the course material description to see if there is a final exam or final project.

Will the same courses be offered again in the future?

Existing edX courses will be re-offered, and more courses added.

Certificates & Credits

Will I get a certificate for taking an edX course?

Online learners who receive a passing grade for a course will receive a certificate of mastery at the discretion of edX and the underlying X University that offered the course. For example, a certificate of mastery for MITx's 6.002x Circuits & Electronics will come from edX and MITx.

If you passed the course, your certificate of mastery will be delivered online through edx.org. So be sure to check your email in the weeks following the final grading - you will be able to download and print your certificate. Note: At this time, edX is holding certificates for learners connected with Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan pending confirmation that the issuance is in compliance with U.S. embargoes.

How are edX certificates delivered?

EdX certificates are delivered online through edx.org. So be sure to check your email in the weeks following the final grading - you will be able to download and print your certificate.

What is the difference between a proctored certificate and an honor code certificate?

A proctored certificate is given to students who take and pass an exam under proctored conditions. An honor-code certificate is given to students who have completed all of the necessary online coursework associated with a course and have signed the edX honor code .

Can I get both a proctored certificate and an honor code certificate?

Yes. The requirements for both certificates can be independently satisfied.

Will my grade be shown on my certificate?

No. Grades are not displayed on either honor code or proctored certificates.

How can I talk to professors, fellows and teaching assistants?

The Discussion Forums are the best place to reach out to the edX teaching team for your class, and you don't have to wait in line or rearrange your schedule to fit your professor's - just post your questions. The response isn't always immediate, but it's usually pretty darned quick.

The only certificates distributed with grades by edX were for the initial prototype course.

You may unregister from an edX course at anytime, there are absolutely no penalties associated with incomplete edX studies, and you may register for the same course (provided we are still offering it) at a later time.

Will my university accept my edX coursework for credit?

Each educational institution makes its own decision regarding whether to accept edX coursework for credit. Check with your university for its policy.

I lost my edX certificate - can you resend it to me?

Please log back in to your account to find certificates from the same profile page where they were originally posted. You will be able to re-print your certificate from there.

edX & Open Source

What's open source?

Open source is a philosophy that generally refers to making software freely available for use or modification as users see fit. In exchange for use of the software, users generally add their contributions to the software, making it a public collaboration. The edX platform will be made available as open source code in order to allow world talent to improve and share it on an ongoing basis.

When/how can I get the open-source platform technology?

We are still building the edX technology platform and will be making announcements in the future about its availability.

Other Help Questions - Account Questions

My username is taken.

Now's your chance to be creative: please try a different, more unique username - for example, try adding a random number to the end.

Why does my password show on my course login page?

Oops! This may be because of the way you created your account. For example, you may have mistakenly typed your password into the login box.

I am having login problems (password/email unrecognized).

Please check your browser's settings to make sure that you have the current version of Firefox or Chrome, and then try logging in again. If you find access impossible, you may simply create a new account using an alternate email address - the old, unused account will disappear later.

I did not receive an activation email.

If you did not receive an activation email it may be because:

  • There was a typo in your email address.
  • Your spam filter may have caught the activation email. Please check your spam folder.
  • You may be using an older browser. We recommend downloading the current version of Firefox or Chrome.
  • JavaScript is disabled in your browser. Please check your browser settings and confirm that JavaScript is enabled.

If you continue to have problems activating your account, we recommend that you try creating a new account. There is no need to do anything about the old account. If it is not activated through the link in the email, it will disappear later.

Can I delete my account?

There's no need to delete you account. An old, unused edX account with no course completions associated with it will disappear.

I made a mistake creating my username - how do I fix it?

In most cases it would simplest and fastest to create a new account. Your old unused account will vanish naturally. If you were not aware of your mistake until much later, you should send us a detailed change request and we will do our best to edit your username. Please bear in mind that usernames are unique, and the one you want may be taken.

I am experiencing problems with the display. E.g., There are tools missing from the course display, or I am unable to view video.

Please check your browser and settings. We recommend downloading the current version of Firefox or Chrome. Alternatively, you may re-register with a different email account. There is no need to delete the old account, as it will disappear if unused.

How can I help edX?

You may not realize it, but just by taking a course you are helping edX. That's because the edX platform has been specifically designed to not only teach, but also gather data about learning. EdX will utilize this data to find out how to improve education online and on-campus.