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- edX is an educational non-profit founded by Harvard and MIT that offers 3,000+ Massive Open Online Courses, many of which come from leading universities.
- The site enrolls over 25 million people from countries around the world — below find the most popular courses by enrollment.
- Read more: Contact tracers will account for thousands of new jobs in the coming weeks and months, and this free online course from Johns Hopkins teaches people how to succeed in the role in just 6 hours
edX, an educational non-profit founded by Harvard and MIT, has reportedly enrolled over 25 million learners in every country in the world, according to the company.
The non-profit partners with more than 90 of the world’s top universities, non-profits, NGOs, and corporations to remove barriers to education and make skill-building more accessible.
Below, find the six courses that the company says are the most popular on the site as of September 2020 — though, edX founder and CEO Anant Agarwal told Business Insider they’re pretty much always in the top 10.
Agarwal also says that the pandemic caused the biggest relative interest increase in healthcare courses and personal happiness as well as religion courses such as those on Christianity and Buddhism, though these latter topics are not part of the most popular list — for now, anyway.
Currently, edX offers about 3,000 courses which, unsurprisingly for a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider, are technically free, but require a low $50-$100 fee for the “verified certificate” version of the class that includes one upon completion, as well as graded homework during the course and unlimited course access.
You can find a demo version of an edX course here, but popular courses typically take anywhere from six to 14 weeks to complete and are often self-paced.
They include weekly modules with pre-recorded videos that you may watch on a schedule or at your own pace, supplemental readings, quizzes or other assessments, homework, and student discussion forums where you can interact as much or as little as you like.
These are the six courses with the highest enrollment numbers on edX.
In this introductory computer science course, students learn “how to think algorithmically and solve programming problems efficiently” using concepts like abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development.
Students will develop and present a final programming project to their peers.
Time commitment: Altogether, the program should take 12 weeks.
Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python – MITx
This course is part one of an introduction to computational thinking, programming, and computer and data science.
Without any prior experience in computer science or programming, you should be able to exit both with an understanding of how to think computationally and write programs to tackle problems.
The class focuses on breadth rather than depth. You’ll learn about Python, simple algorithms, testing and debugging, data structures, and get an informal introduction to algorithm complexity.
Time commitment: This course should take nine weeks to complete.
Introduction to Linux – LinuxFoundationX
If you’ve never learned Linux, this course offered by The Linux Foundation is a good place to start. It’s taught by Jerry Cooperstein, The Linux Foundation’s Director of Training.
Students will gain a flexible knowledge of Linux using both the graphical interface and command line. They will come away from the course comfortable with the tools and techniques most commonly used by Linux system administrators and end users in their day-to-day work.
Time commitment: This course should take 14 weeks to complete.
Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel – Microsoft
This Microsoft Excel course helps you master advanced tools for analyzing and visualizing data. Students will learn how to import data from different sources, create mashups between data sources, and prepare data for analysis.
Students will also explore how business calculations can be expressed using the DAX calculation engine and see how the data can be visualized and shared to the Power BI cloud service, among other things.
This course does come with system requirements, like Windows operating system: Windows 7 or later. You can find them here.
If this course is too advanced, or you’re focused on mastering pivot tables, pivot charts, slicers, and dashboards, you may want to check out DAT205x: Introduction to Data Analysis using Excel.
Time commitment: This course should take six weeks to complete if you’re spending two to four hours on it — and it’ll be retired at the end of October, so only enroll if you’re able to finish the coursework in time.
IELTS Academic Test Preparation – UQx
This course prepares students for IELTS, the world’s most popular English language test, used to test the proficiency of students applying for higher education in an English-speaking country.
Students will have immediate access to over 80 hours of interactive practice materials in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It was designed by English teaching professionals at The University of Queensland, and the verified enrollment feature just includes extra study materials.
Time commitment: This course should take eight weeks to complete, but by virtue of it being self-paced, students can take every unit or simply select the areas they need practice in before the tests.
English Grammar and Style – UQx
This course is for those who want to go knee-deep in the English language style and grammar. Students will sharpen reading, writing, and editing skills by examining grammatical principles, word usage, writing style, sentence and paragraph structure, and punctuation.
The course materials include video clips of interviews with respected grammarians, as well as mini lectures, readings, quizzes, writing activities and assignments, and opportunities to have discussions with peers and assess their work.
For this reason, this course is instructor-led on a course schedule rather than self-paced.
Time commitment: This course should take eight weeks to complete.
Check out our other related edX content
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- This free online Harvard course on family engagement in education has enrolled more than 100,000 people as millions of students turn to remote learning
- 11 of the best Yale classes you can take online for free — including the most popular course in the university’s history
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