EdX, the second largest MOOC provider in the world, has made a few of its courses available on Amazon, the largest internet-based retailer in the world.
At the time of writing this article, thirteen courses have been listed on Amazon.com by edX. The prices range from $49 to $499. The courses are a mixture: some are taught by universities (such as the University of Michigan and Tsinghua University), and others are taught by companies (like Microsoft and Linux Foundation).
Once you purchase a course on Amazon, you will receive a code that can be redeemed on edX.
A majority of the courses edX have listed on Amazon.com are normally free; you can access the content on edX for free. What you are actually paying for on Amazon is a verified certificate. But the descriptions on Amazon fail to communicate that the courses are, in fact, free to take.
Since only a few courses are listed, it seems like edX is only testing the waters so far. But the benefits for edX are pretty clear: it gets to distribute its courses to hundreds of millions of Amazon users, and so potentially increase its revenue.
From Amazon’s point of view, it seems to be slowly trying to build a storefront for online education, at least with its US site. Last year it announced a partnership with The Great Courses. With an add-on subscription to Amazon Prime, users can get access to The Great Courses’ “Signature Collection” via Amazon.
Currently, Amazon has over 7,000 “educational courses” that can be purchased on its site. You can find them here.
Below is a complete list of edX courses that can be purchased on Amazon, along with their prices (where known):
- Introduction to R, from Microsoft — $49
- Chinese Language: Learn Basic Mandarin — $49
- Learn Spanish: Basic Spanish for English Speakers, from Universitat Politecnica de Valencia — $49
- Programming with C#, from Microsoft — $90
- Conversational English Skills, from Tsinghua University — $49
- Essentials of Linux Systems Administration, from Linux Foundation — $499
- Introduction to Linux, from Linux Foundation — $99.99
- Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making, from University of Michigan — $49
- IELTS Academic Test Preparation, from University of Queensland — $99
- AP Macroeconomics Challenging Concepts, from Davidson College — $49
- World of Wine: From Grape to Glass, from University of Adelaide — currently unavailable
- The Road to Selective College Admissions, from St. Margaret’s Episcopal School — currently unavailable
- Introduction to Programming with Java, Part 1: Starting to Code in Java — currently unavailable