Student FAQ

Student FAQ

Our goal is to provide you great self-service tools that ensure your success. Still need help after reading these? Please submit a question through our contact us page or, if you are a current student, post your question(s) in your course discussion forum.

edX BASICS

Who can take an edX course? How do I sign up?

EdX courses are open to everyone. All you need is access to a computer with a current browser, an Internet connection, and, of course, a desire to learn.

To sign up, create an edX account and then register for the course of your choice. Choose Register Now to get started. Unless you choose a verified certificate, registration is free!

What browsers are supported for use with edX courses?

Our courseware works best with current versions of Chrome or Firefox or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

What if I have technical trouble with registration, login, or course access?

Many problems with registration, login, or access to edX courses are caused by browser issues. Here are some things to try:

- Switch to a current version of Chrome or Firefox

- Check you browser settings to ensure both JavaScript and cookies are enabled

- Clear your browser's cache

What does it cost to take a course? (It’s free!)

EdX courses are free for everyone. Some courses have a fee for verified certificates but are free to audit. Others offer a free honor code certificate to anyone who meets the completion requirements.

Are courses accessible to students with disabilities?

EdX strives to create an innovative online-learning platform that promotes accessibility for everyone, including students with disabilities. We are dedicated to improving the accessibility of the platform and welcome your comments or questions at accessibility@edx.org.

Are courses only offered in English?

Most edX courses are offered in English. Some courses are offered in other languages with English subtitles. A few are offered solely in other languages. More languages will be included in the future. Please check your course description page to determine which languages are offered.

I live somewhere that YouTube is not available. How can I watch the videos?

In locations where YouTube is restricted, edX videos may not be available for streaming. The video segments are frequently available for download, however. Click the “download here” link below each video segment to download the file for viewing.

Can I access edX courses on my smart phone or tablet computer?

At this time, edX does not fully support access with mobile devices. While many components of your courses will function, some may not.

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

EdX offers a fun demo course that walks you through how to navigate your course. Register for edXDemo101 and check it out!

I didn’t finish the Demo course, can I still start my other courses?

Yes! The Demo course was created to give you an overview of how edX courses work. It is not required.

What happens if I have to quit a course? Will I be able to take the same or another course in the future?

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

Note: If you registered and paid for a verified certificate, refunds are only available while verified registration is open your course. To request a refund, contact billing@edx.org and include your order number as well as the course you are dropping.

What is the edX honor code?

You’ll find the edX honor code here. Each course may also have specific agreements for student collaboration and discussion.

How can I help improve edX?

The edX platform has been specifically designed to not only teach, but also gather data about learning. EdX will use this data to find out how to improve education online and on-campus. Just by taking a course you are helping edX. Thank you!

Students, if you enjoyed your experience with edX, we encourage you to share your insights and enthusiasm with us and others (in-person and online.) You can share your student stories at http://edxstories.tumblr.com.

Developers, you can also help the project by contributing to our open source platform. Go to http://code.edx.org/ to learn more.

I love edX! How can I donate to the organization?

Thank you! Please visit our donate page. Any contribution is greatly appreciated.

THE COURSES

When does my course start and/or finish?

You can find the start date and course duration for each course on its course description page. If you are registered for a course, you’ll also see its start date on your dashboard. A course may start at any time throughout the day on its start date. If you find your course is not immediately available, please check back later in the day. Course timing is flexible. You do not need to log in exactly when the course begins.

How do I log in to take an edX course?

Once you sign up for a course and activate your account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org home page and type in your email address and edX password. This will take you to your dashboard, with access to each of your active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on your dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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

The projected hours of study required for each course are usually included on the course description page. If they are not listed, please check your syllabus or course discussion forum when your course begins.

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 on the course description page. If you do not meet a particular prerequisite, you may still take the course.

While it's not a prerequisite, edX offers a fun demo course that can help you learn how to navigate your course before it begins. Register for edXDemo101 and check it out!

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

All required academic materials will be provided during the course, within your browser. Some courses may list additional resources on their course description pages. For supplemental reading material during a course, post a question in the course discussion forum to ask your classmates and course staff for suggestions.

Can I download the book for my course?

Unless specifically noted in the course, edX book content may only be viewed within the browser; 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?

Yes! You may take multiple edX courses. We recommend checking the requirements on each course description page to balance your available study hours and the demands of the intended courses.

What time is the class?

EdX courses take place at your convenience. Lectures and assignments are available 24 hours a day, which means you can watch videos and complete work whenever you have time. Simply log in to your course and work through the course material. While assignments and exams often have due dates, these are designed to offer enough lead time that you can easily schedule your work.

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

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. Also, assignments and exams may not be submitted after their due dates. Check your course syllabus for important dates and times.

I missed a deadline; can I get an extension?

We are not able to offer individual extensions as course schedules are fixed and there is no way to change the dates of assignments or exams for one student. Most courses allow students to drop two weeks worth of homework or lab exercises from the final course grade. See your course's grading policy for details.

My course deadlines are in UTC, what’s that?

UTC refers to Universal Coordinated Time. To find the current time in UTC and convert it to your local time, check World Time Server or other Internet time services.

What if I have a question or concern regarding course grading?

All questions regarding grading and course content are best addressed in your course discussion forum. It is there that course staff can directly read and respond to your query.
Note: Most edX courses post their grading policy in the course syllabus. Both the syllabus and the discussion forum are available once your class has begun.

How can I meet/find other students?

All edX courses have discussion forums where you can chat with and help other students within the framework of the honor code. Additionally, there are edX Meetups throughout the world. Check out  our Global Community Meetup. You can also “like” edXonline on Facebook, add us a circle on Google+, or follow us on Twitter.

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

The discussion forum is the best place to reach out to the edX teaching team for your class; just post your questions. We do our best to respond as promptly as possible.

How do I get help and support regarding my course?

You have global community of classmates you can engage with questions (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 students, as well as post a question.

Can I re-take a course?

Yes! You may re-take edX courses as often as you wish and you will have the opportunity to earn a certificate each time. Each offering of a course is assessed independently.

Will the same courses be offered again in the future?

Most edX courses will be re-offered and more courses added on a regular basis. If you are registered on edx.org you’ll receive email updates regarding new and re-offered courses.

A course that I am interested has already started. Can I still enroll?

Yes, but you will not be able to turn in any assignments or exams that are past due. If it is early in the course, you might still be able to complete enough assignments and exams to earn a certificate. Check the course syllabus and grading policy in order to find out more.

What is an archived/past course?

Many of edX’s past courses are available as archives. These courses can only be audited and some features, such as the discussion forums, may not be available. No certificates are available for archived courses.

CERTIFICATES & CREDITS

What types of certificates does edX offer?

EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses. Honor code certificates are available in others. XSeries certificates are earned by successfully completing a series of courses that make up an XSeries.

I am not interested in a verified or XSeries certificate. Can I still audit a course?

Yes. All edX courses can be audited for free. If you audit a verified certificate course and pass, you will not receive a verified certificate, but you can participate in any or all activities and exams. Want proof of participation? Simply print your progress chart (located inside each course you take).

How do I audit a course?

Register for the course on our website. For most courses (all courses except verified certificate courses) you do not need to specify an audit track. You will have access to videos, lectures, readings, etc., and can participate as much, or as little, as you like. There is no penalty for registering for an edX course and not completing the assignments or exams.

What is an honor code certificate of achievement?

An honor code certificate of achievement certifies that you have successfully completed a course, but does not verify your identity. Honor code certificates are currently free. View a sample honor code certificate.

What is a verified certificate of achievement?

A verified certificate of achievement shows that you have successfully completed your edX course and verifies your identity through your photo and ID. Verified certificates are available for a fee that varies by course. Check your individual course details for more information. View a sample verified certificate.

Which courses offer verified certificates?

What is an XSeries certificate of achievement?

Some schools offer an XSeries certificate of achievement when you complete and pass a series of courses in a specific subject. The requirements vary for each institution, but generally you must take and pass a series of courses as outlined by the school and receive a verified certificate in those courses.

What XSeries are offered?

Check our XSeries page to see current and planned offerings.

Why should I sign up for the verified certificate?

If you plan to use your course for job applications, promotions, or school applications, you may prefer to have a verified certificate. It’s also a great way to give yourself an incentive to complete the course and celebrate your success. 

The money you provide to edX as part of the verified certificate process goes toward paying for courses and improving edX. So while there is a minimum fee for a course, you can help support edX and other students by choosing to pay more for the course.

How does verification work?

When you register for a course that offers a verified certificate you will be asked to submit your photo and a photo of an official ID through the use of a webcam. As your course progresses, you may be asked to re-verify your identity. It’s as simple as that.

Is my verification information secure?

We encrypt your photos and send them to our secure authorization service for review. We use the highest levels of security and ensure that the images are appropriately stored for processing.

I originally signed up to audit a course. How can I upgrade to the verified certificate track?

You can upgrade to a verified certificate as long as verified certificate registration is open for your course. Simply click the “challenge yourself” button seen on your dashboard.

Can I get a refund if I change my mind?

Yes, you have until verified registration ends for your course, a minimum of two weeks from the course start date, to upgrade or downgrade your selected choice. You can get a full refund up until then. After verified registration closes, we can no longer provide a refund.

Want a refund or have issues with billing? Contact us at billing@edx.org. Please include your order number in all refund requests. Please do not include your credit card information.

How much will the XSeries cost?

Please see the XSeries page for details regarding your chosen series.

Do I have to take all of the courses in an XSeries at once?

No. You can take them at your pace when they are offered.

I don’t have a webcam for ID verification. What should I do?

If you want to work towards getting a verified certificate, you will need to submit your photo from a computer with a webcam, but you can always take your course from any computer.

How do I pay for a verified certificate?

You can pay with a globally recognized major credit or debit card. Simply follow the easy sign-up prompts when you register. At this time, we cannot accept PayPal, bank transfers, or other forms of payment.

The course I’ve signed up for does not have a verified certificate option -- why not?

Not all courses offer a verified certificate.  Instead, you can receive an honor code certificate if your course does not have a verified option. Some experimental courses may only allow you to audit.

Will my certificate include a grade and/or number of credit hours?

Not currently, but we may consider including that in the future for verified certificates.

Can I get a transcript of my verified courses?

Since edX courses are not credit bearing, we do not offer transcripts.

What if something (like illness or computer problems) prevents me from passing my course?

You can unenroll from any edX course at any time. If you’ve already paid for a verified certificate and are prevented from finishing the course, you have until verified registration closes, a minimum of two weeks from the course start date, to get a full refund. After that, we can no longer provide a refund.

Can I get a paper copy of my certificate?

EdX does not send individual printed copies of certificates. You can, however, print out your PDF copy.

Will my university accept my edX coursework for credit?

Each educational institution makes its own decision regarding credit. Check with your university for its policy.

Please note: EdX does not currently offer transcripts or proof of registration for the purpose of obtaining credit.

Will the associated X University grant credit for my course?

X Universities do not offer formal academic credit for edX coursework and do not certify that MOOC students have met the same requirements as matriculated students taking the original course on which the MOOC is based.

How are certificates determined?

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

How are edX certificates delivered?

EdX certificates are delivered online through edx.org. Once course grades are finalized, if you earned a certificate you will see it available for download on your dashboard.

Why did I not receive my certificate?

Certificates are usually delivered within two weeks of when the course closes. If you did not receive one in this time and are certain that you completed the requirements, please check your dashboard. The certificate will display with your course.

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

Please log back in to your account and dashboard. You will be able to view and download your certificate from there.

OTHER HELP QUESTIONS - ACCOUNT QUESTIONS

What if my username is taken?

Please try a different username - for example, try adding a random number to the end.

What if I am having login problems (password/email unrecognized)?

Please make sure that you have a current version of Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer with cookies and JavaScript enabled. Also, try clearing your browser’s cache.

What if I forget my password?

You’ll find a “Forgot password?” link under the Password field on the Login screen. Click this link and enter your email address. We’ll send a message that will allow you to reset your password.

What if I did not receive an activation email or password reset?

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

  • There was a typo in your email address.

  • Your spam filter may have caught the 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.

  • You have not successfully registered an account on edx.org. Please try registering again with the same email address. (If an account already exists, you'll see an error regarding a duplicate email address.)

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 your account. An old, unused edX account with no course completions associated with it will disappear.

What if I have 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 - JavaScript must be enabled. We recommend downloading and using the current version of either Firefox or Chrome.

What is my question isn’t answered here?

Please contact us! We’ll do our best to help.