I tried Harvard Online course and got certified

As the lockdown begins, most of us have to stay at home with nothing to do. Well some of us actually have something to do, but even if you work from home, you still have more free time than you used to. Unless you are frontline workers, the way we participate in stopping the spread of the virus is by staying at home. I’m not a frontline worker, so I do have to stay at home, with not many things to do. I started to google on all sorts of different things I could do online, and that’s when I found the Harvard Online course.

Harvard Online course is actually quite famous and well known for many people. It is an online course provided by Harvard University to learn literally many things. There are many options in which courses you would like to take. From Medicine to Law, from Computer Science to Politics, from Spanish to Arabic, there are many options on what type of courses, you would like to learn. The courses are quite specific, which I think is good. And it’s not just Harvard University, there are many other prestigious universities, such as Brown University, MIT, basically all the Ivy League universities, UC Berkeley, Boston University, and many more. All of these courses I found on a platform called edX.

EdX is only one of the most well-known platforms for online courses. I did my research before I decided to take the course on the platform. Many other platforms provide similar services, such as Coursera, Udemy, Future Learn, Skillshare, etc. I decided to choose EdX because it was more ‘academics’ than the others in my opinion. Nothing shady though, all of the online course platforms are legitimate and good for people that would like to learn new skills. But for me, I was looking for academic courses rather than skills development courses. Coursera was one that I considered the most other than EdX, but in the end, I decided to go with EdX.

EdX was created by MIT and Harvard University to provide online courses for basically anyone that has access to the internet. Although it was created by MIT and Harvard, EdX provides courses from many other prestigious universities. Most, if not all, of the online courses, are free. However, if you would like to take the certification program, you need to pay for it. The price range usually between $30 to $300. There are many courses with different subjects and topics you could learn from it. If you are someone like me, someone that has many interests, I found the platform was fascinating. Imagine finding a platform when you can learn Computer Science with Law at the same time. Honestly, I was very impressed by the platform.

After scrolling down all of the courses, I took me literally a week before I make a decision on which course I want to get certified on. Many topics interest me, at one point I was going to take a course on Bitcoin, then I change my mind to Cyber Security, then to Spanish, Philosophy, and many more. In the end, I decided to take a course on ‘Lesson From Ebola: Preventing the Next Pandemic’. I mean, if anything this is the best time to learn about the course. We are in the middle of coronavirus pandemic, and I think there is so much more to learn on the previous pandemic, which was Ebola. Besides, I graduated in International Politics and Law, may as well take something related to my degree. As I took the certification program I had to pay about $40 on the course.

I took the course and it lasts about four weeks. The course that I took was from Harvard, and honestly, it was very well organized. I was impressed by the course structure and contents. I’m a visual and auditory learner, so I enjoy learning by watching videos instead of reading tons of materials. This course really suits me because the course contains lots of videos related to the material, and it was presented very clear and coherent. At the end of every week, there was a test I need to take. In order to get a certification, I need to pass all tests and get a mark above 80. It was quite challenging and entertaining, to be honest. As long as you follow the course properly, you can pass the test. There were also discussion questions at the end of the test, where you answers certain questions for discussions. In this forum, you can see other people’s answers and opinions on the topic. So it feels like a discussion in the classroom, only this one is online.

At the end of the week, I took the final test and had an overall mark of 91. After I verified my ID (passport) and my photo, my account was verified. With this, by the time I finish the course and get an overall mark over 80, I was given the certificate. It was nothing fancy or anything, but it was a proper certificate (I’ll show you down below). The certificate was given online so you can save it through digital format, which I find more convenient. Overall, it was a great experience, and personally, I think it’s worth the money. I can use the certificate on my CV and LinkedIn, so I think it’s quite useful. But more importantly, I actually enjoy doing the course.

If you have free time and enjoy learning new things, I think you should give it a try. I honestly think the certification worth the money. But if you don’t want to spend any money, you still can take most of the course for free. In the end, ‘learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere’.

“learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere

Author: Valentina Laura

A dreamer & a lover.

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