January 21, 2022

MOOCs: EdX To Charge Students for Optional ID-Verified Certificates

From The Harvard Crimson:

EdX will now offer its students the option of paying a fee to receive an ID-verified “certificate of achievement” for completing an online course, marking the first time the 17-month-old virtual education nonprofit will monetize its free content.

“Think of it as a premium model,” EdX President Anant Agarwal said of the new initiative Tuesday at an appearance at a Graduate School of Education-sponsored forum.


Students registering for any of the three participating courses are now able to choose from among three possible tracks. They may audit the course for free without the expectation of any certificate, sign up for a free certificate, or pay a fee to receive an ID-verified certificate upon successful completion of class requirements.

Paid certificates cost $25 for Stat2x: “Introduction to Statistics,” $50 for CS169x: “Software as a Service,” and $100 for 6x: “Circuits and Electronics.”


Another potential revenue-generator, Agarwal said, could be licensing of what he termed “new age textbooks”—digital course materials that could be purchased and used by other instructors.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.