edX vs Coursera – Which One Is a Better Choice for You?
edX and Coursera are both among the most prestigious online learning platforms available today. But, deciding which is the right platform for you may be challenging. You may be asking, What’s the difference between them? Does their pricing differ a lot? Which one offers a more extensive course library?, or Which offers the best value for money?. No worries. We are here to help you by providing you with this in-depth and comprehensive comparison of these two most prominent and most reputable online learning platforms – edX vs Coursera.
Just read on to find out the details.
Great variety of topics, programs, online degrees, and accreditation – all reasons why edX is one of the most popular online learning platforms. They have a big learning community and experienced instructors you can learn a lot from.
Coursera is one of the best online learning platforms with 77 million students, more than 5100 accredited and certified courses, and top quality instructors. The platform has many pricing options depending on the type of course you want to take including special discount promotions.
edX vs Coursera: Functionality and Interface
There’s no doubt that one of the key factors influencing your decision is the ease of use and navigation. Therefore, we’ll tackle the functionality and interface in this first section. So, let’s begin!
edX makes an excellent first impression. Both the user interface and navigation are pretty amazing. The overall design is like one of some of the most prestigious university websites. The front page is neat and simple, offering only the information needed without any trivia or pop-ups.
Similarly, Coursera has a pretty straightforward overall design. It doesn’t include any unnecessary pop-ups or banners. But, it features information like the 200+ partner institutions and universities Coursera cooperates with, the different learning options it offers, its benefits, user reviews, etc. Unfortunately, all of this is included on the homepage and can sometimes overwhelm users with too much information.
Another critical thing to look at is the registration process, i.e., how simple it is to open an account with these platforms.
To register at edX, you simply have to click on the ‘Sign Up’ button in the top right corner and then click on ‘Create an Account.’ Now, you should enter your personal information like full name, email address, username, password, and country. Once you receive a confirmation email, you’re ready to go. And, of course, you can choose to sign up via Microsoft, Google, or Facebook.
Logically, opening an account with Coursera is pretty similar to the registration process at edX. You just have to click on the ‘Join for Free’ button in the top right corner and add your full name, email address and create a password. After that, wait for a confirmation email, and you can start exploring. And, as at edX, you can also register with your Facebook or Apple account.
Ease of Use
When it comes to edX, you can easily navigate around the platform. In other words, you can navigate directly to the Courses, Programs and Degrees, Schools and Partners, and edX for Business pages right from the navigation bar. There’s also a search bar where you can enter keywords and get relevant results for your search.
Coursera has an equally easy-to-navigate around the platform. You can explore and browse all subjects from the drop-down menu in the top left corner or find your career and learn about what Coursera offers for both students and enterprises from the navigation bar. All in all, the platform is simple to use.
Conclusion: Although they are both easy to navigate and are pretty straightforward when it comes to opening an account with them, the point for this category goes to edX as it has a slightly cleaner design.
edX vs Coursera Features: Full Comparison
In this section, we're comparing the main features of edX and Coursera, side by side. The table gives the reader a good idea of what each of the platforms offers to their customers. This is perfect opportunity to look over what the platforms offer and how that fits your needs or criteria.
Note: If any of the rows has exclamation point (!) it means that the factor is not applicable.
|Platform||For Business||Certification||Course Previews||24/7 Support||Free Courses||Free Trial||Mobile App||Offline Use||Promotions||Refunds|
edX vs Coursera: Courses
Although functionality and ease of use play an important role in choosing an online learning provider, the decision eventually comes down to which platform offers the courses that suit your interests and needs. Hence, let’s have a closer look at the courses and learning options edX and Coursera offer.
Free and Paid Courses
Both edX and Coursera offer users courses free of charge. edX provides most of its courses for free, meaning that users can choose the free learning option offered – Audit the Course. This option allows access to the same courses that also come as a paid option. However, access to all the learning materials, graded assignments, or verified certificates isn’t included unless users pay for the course.
Yet, once they decide to pay, users are provided with a great range of learning options to choose from, including the Verified Track, Master’s Degree, MicroMasters, Micro Bachelors, Professional Certificate Programs, and the Global Freshman Academy.
Like edX, Coursera has the ‘Audit for free’ option, which allows access to a great selection of courses (almost 2,000) and their course material for no cost. Still, quizzes, peer-graded assignments, certificates, or college credit, aren’t included. And, of course, the platform offers an excellent variety of paid learning options, including Courses, Specialization Programs, MasterTrack Certificates, Online Degrees, and Professional Certificate Courses.
edX currently offers over 3,600 courses and over 300 programs from 160+ world’s best organizations and universities. Its filtering system is quite helpful for finding the option you are looking for as you can select Subject, Program, Partner, Level, Language, and Availability. Plus, you can get first-hand information from the user reviews at the bottom of the course pages. But, these are sometimes limited and don’t provide a well-rounded review.
Coursera, on the other hand, offers a slightly more extensive course library – over 7,000 courses, specialization, and degree programs from 200+ top universities. Once you have chosen your preferred subject, you can take advantage of the helpful filtering system to get specific results by selecting Level, Duration, Language, Skills, Partner, or Learning Product. And, the user reviews are well displayed with ratings and an option to Filter by with All Learners, All Stars, and Sort by.
Conclusion: Choosing which one gets the point for this category is quite challenging. Both edX and Coursera offer thousands of free courses, as well as a fantastic range of learning options. However, due to the slightly more significant number of courses and the filter system option included in the Review section, the point has to go to Coursera.
edX vs Coursera Stats Comparison
In this section, we're comparing edX and Coursera stats.
edX vs Coursera: Course Quality and Instructors
In general, course quality and students’ learning success depend on the instructor’s passion and knowledge of the subject being taught.
At edX, courses are led by an instructor from one of its partnered institutions and universities like Harvard, Berkeley, and MIT. In other words, courses are taught by some of the world’s experts in their field. You can learn about the instructors’ experience and areas of expertise in the ‘Meet your instructors’ section on the course page.
Coursera courses are also taught by well-known instructors from the most prestigious universities and companies such as Stanford University, Duke University, Google, and IBM. You can check out the instructor’s bio and prior experience, as well as rating, from the course page. In addition, each course is created alongside the institution partnered, which ensures top quality. What’s more, Coursera uses Beta testers to review and check course quality before opening a course to the public.
Conclusion: Given the fact that both edX and Coursera have partnered with numerous world-class universities and institutions, their course quality is at a remarkably high level. Still, as Coursera has a strict testing process before starting a new course, the point for this category goes to Coursera.
edX vs Coursera: Online Courses Categories
Now that you are familiar with the learning options and course quality provided at both edX and Coursera, it’s time we talk about the categories and subjects they cover.
Starting with edX, it appears that the platform offers more broad subjects with a special focus on selecting courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. That said, edX courses categories include:
- Art & Culture
- Biology & Life sciences
- Business & Management
- Computer science
- Data analysis & Statistics
- Economics & Finance
- Education & Teacher training
- Energy & Earth sciences
- Environmental studies
- Food & nutrition
- Health & safety
- Plus more
On the other hand, Coursera offers a smaller number of categories, but they are all then divided into dozens of subcategories. The 11 main categories, including:
- Data Science
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Language Learning
- Personal Development
- Physical Science and Engineering
- Social Sciences
- Arts and Humanities
- Math and Logic
Conclusion: This was an easy round. As it covers a greater number of subjects, our point for this category has to go to edX.
edX vs Coursera: Certification
Both edX and Coursera are some of the few online learning platforms that provide accredited certificates to users that have successfully completed one of their courses or programs.
edX offers two types of certificates – Honor Code Certificate, which you can earn for free and Verified Certificate, which costs about $50 and sometimes more, depending on the course. The verified one includes a photo and ID of the student, the course name, the instructor’s signature, and the logo of the partner institution.
Coursera has a similar certification system. In other words, once a student finishes a course, the platform provides an accredited certification that includes the name of the course, a verification URL, learner’s identity confirmation statement, the instructor’s signature, and the logo of the institution offering the course. Still, if you choose to audit the course, you won’t receive a certificate of completion unless you upgrade to a paid option.
Conclusion: Once again, an easy round. Since both edX and Coursera provide officially accredited certificates, they will get a point each.
edX vs Coursera: Languages Available
Here’s an essential factor to consider, especially if you aren’t a native speaker or fluent in English because most online learning platforms provide courses only in English.
Unfortunately, edX is also among those who mainly provide courses in English. However, there are some courses, yet a limited number, offered in other languages like Chinese, Spanish, and French, with English subtitles available.
On the contrary, Coursera courses have a wide range of languages available, including Chinese (Traditional), Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, French, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), German, English, and more. In addition, the majority of lessons have an interactive transcript to follow along with during the class, also available on the mobile app.
Conclusion: Clearly, Coursera wins this point as the platform offers courses in a decent number of languages, apart from English.
edX vs Coursera: Customer Support
In case of issues or doubts when learning online, who do you ask for help? The platform’s support team, of course. Customer support is another key factor to analyze as problems sometimes arise, and users should get the best help possible. So, here we go.
edX offers a very well-organized Help Center covering numerous topics and FAQs. Yet, if you don’t find what you need there, you can submit a support request on the Contact Us page by entering the course name, subject, and specific details. Then, someone from the edX support team will get back to you.
Similarly, Coursera also offers a Help Center covering many topics and a Contact Us page that should help answer any doubts or questions you have. Furthermore, the platform provides a live chat along as you are logged in, which is a pretty impressive feature and quite helpful, especially if you are looking for something specific.
Conclusion: Even though both platforms provide strong customer support, the point for this category has to go to Coursera due to the live chat support they offer.
Which One Is Best for Business: edX or Coursera?
With a remarkable 90% of companies and organizations now using online learning to train employees, both edX and Coursera follow the highly-sought trend. That said, apart from offering individual training, these platforms provide learning solutions for businesses.
With edX for Business, companies can upskill employees completely online by gaining access to more than 1,200 self-paced courses and programs in the most in-demand topics. Two separate plans are available on the edX for Business platform, including:
- for Groups (for teams or smaller organizations with 30 learners or more) – $349 per student, per year
- for Enterprise (for large organizations) – custom pricing depending on the number of learners
In addition, all learning solutions are curated for each business and team separately. And, thanks to the well-organized administration and learner dashboards, you can get insight into learner progress and take advantage of the services available to close any skill gaps.
That being said, Coursera also offers two different plans for businesses:
- Coursera for Teams (for teams or smaller organizations) – $399 per user, per year
- Coursera for Enterprise (for larger organizations) – custom pricing depending on the company’s size and training needs.
Both of these plans provide exceptional corporate training by allowing access to over 4,000 courses, measurement and tracking, program management tools, and priority access to technical support. The Enterprise plan also includes features like industry skill insights and benchmarking, customer success managers, API integrations, and LMS integrations.
Conclusion: Both platforms have similar e-learning business plans. While edX focuses on providing personalized solutions, Coursera offers numerous helpful features. So, this round has to be a draw.
edX vs Coursera: Pricing Plans
Ultimately, it all comes down to whether or not you can afford the platform’s courses, of course, if you decide that you want to receive a certificate of completion and upgrade your resume.
With that in mind, if you choose to pursue the Verified track at edX, you will have to pay between $50 and $300 to enroll in a single course, $10,000 to $25,000 in a Master’s Degree program, $600 to $1,500 in a MicroMasters program, $500 to $1,500 in a MicroBachelors program, $150 to $1,500 in a Professional Certificate program, and $200 a credit at the Global Freshman Academy.
Coursera also offers a great variety of courses with different pricing based on the course or program chosen. In short, individual courses cost $29 to $99, specialization programs cost $39 to $89 per month, MasterTrack certificate programs cost from $2,000 and up, whereas online degrees cost from $15,000 to $42,000. But, that’s not all! Coursera Plus is the yearly subscription plan offered by Coursera. This pricing model allows students unlimited access to 3,000+ courses, specializations, and professional certificates, for $399 a year or $59 a month.
Also worth mentioning, both edX and Coursera offer a money-back guarantee.
For instance, if you’ve purchased a course and for whatever reason you don’t want to take the course, edX has a generous 14-day refund policy. You just have to unenroll from the course within two weeks of your purchase or after your course starts – whichever comes later. Then, you just have to look on your dashboard and click ‘Unenroll’ on the specific course. The refund will be processed immediately, and you can get your money back within 5-10 days.
And, as there are so many different payment and learning options, Coursera’s refund policy differs too. That said, the Individual courses, Specialization programs, Coursera Plus, and Coursera for Team offer a 14-day refund policy. But, on the other side, there’s no refund option available with the month-to-month subscription model. Also, if you’ve purchased a Degree or MasterTrack program, the university offering the course decides on the refund policy.
To request a refund at Coursera, open your My Purchases page, find the course or subscription you want to refund, and click on Get Refund. That’s it.
Conclusion: This was a close one, but as there are different payment options at Coursera, both pay-per-course and subscription plans, our point has to go to Coursera.
Briefly put, both edX and Coursera are among the best and most reputable options when it comes to MOOC providers and online learning platforms in general. They both provide a diverse range of courses and pricing plans. And both of them have partnered with some of the world’s best universities and corporations.
In other words, you cannot really go wrong with either one. However, it is actually up to your personal preferences and learning objectives, and which one has the type of courses and topics you are looking for.
That said, we hope you will find this in-depth comparison of edX and Coursera helpful when making your decision.