The structure and method of presentation varies for different free online classes on the edX platform, but generally, a student creates an accounts using an email address and password, logs into a class site, accesses a syllabus and follows along with the class by watching instructional videos and reading content. While many of these classes are self-paced, others are live, meaning that students can also post comments and communicate with the instructor and other students on active discussion boards.
In some edX classes, students use digital tools to interact with learning materials. These features include game-like labs, class wikis and 24-hour access to the class.
A student can audit a free class without having to meet any assignment or participation requirements. However, students needing certification or documentation that the course was completed must pay a fee and may have other requirements such as assigned tasks with strict deadlines.
Students use edX classes to support learning in high school, earn college credit or build mastery in a certain field. The classes also offer students the opportunity to achieve personal learning goals or to advance career opportunities. Classes on the edX open access format include topics such as science, art and technology.