Last month I officially finished my free HarvardX course on edX. It’s been a few years now since I finished grad school and I just wanted to see how it felt to be in class again. Someone told me about the free classes that was going on during this time, and I thought why not try it out. I have the time for one class. I went in not knowing what to expect. It’s free to take the class, but I decided to pay the $139 for a verified certificate. I found a coupon code, so I paid about $116 for it. The course I chose was Exercising Leadership: Foundational Principles. I chose this course because I thought it would be useful and the duration of the course was only 4 weeks. Of course, you didn’t have to complete it in 4 weeks. They give you 6 to 7 months to complete 4 modules (well it’s more like 5 counting the intro module). It’s definitely possible to finish it in 4 weeks or even 2 weeks for people who have the time. I took a lot of breaks, but I completed 1 to 2 modules in a day. So, if you wanted to, you could complete the whole thing in a week.
I thought that this class was perfect for people who just want to get their feet wet first. When I chose this course, I thought that maybe this could be useful to fill in a time-gap on my resume. I also thought that learning about leadership or anything in the business field is always a plus. Even though I took a lot of week breaks in between, I can really say that I enjoyed the class. My favorite parts of the course were learning about informal and formal authority and identifying adaptive challenges and technical problems. I also learned a few new things that I didn’t learn from my previous business courses. I always say it’s best to take a class that interest you so that it’s likely that you will not only finish the class but enjoy it. You speak a lot about your past experiences, so if you have ever held a leadership position then this class will be a breeze for you.
Was this class easy? Yes. On a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the easiest and 5 being the hardest) it was about a 1.5. The only part that I felt was a little challenge was one of the sections in Module 3. Everything else was fairly easy. I completed the course at 100 percent, which is great but if I could change one thing it would be a better grading system. If I didn’t pay anything then I wouldn’t mind it, but I was kind of hoping for feedback. The true or false questions were the only assignments that I felt was actually being graded. The short answers and case studies could’ve been a toss-up. It was more like a participation grade. I think with this kind of set-up there should be more true or false questions and multiple-choice questions so we can get a clear right or wrong grade solution. Other than that, I think the class is still amazing and you will walk away with knowledge on the subject and possibly a different perspective.
Would I take another class? Yes, I think I would. I love learning, and I realized that self-paced courses take away so much stress. I was always so stressed in college, especially when I had multiple classes at once and deadlines on the same day. It felt good to just do the work when you felt like it. It wasn’t overwhelming. It was just fun. So, I would definitely take another class again, but I am not sure if I would pay to have a certificate added this time. It depends if this one helps my resume. I guess time will tell. I would recommend this course to anyone who has the free time to expand their knowledge when it comes to leadership. I feel that so many managers, directors and supervisors could learn a little more about informal authority these days. Hopefully this class will help people create more of a peaceful and fair work environment. 😉
Did you take a free class during the pandemic? What class did you take, and what was your experience? Let me know in the comment section below!