Some experts have questioned MOOCs’ effectiveness given their low student completion rates.
However, in edX MOOCs, the average completion rate among learners who sign up for a verified certificate is about 60 percent – 10 times higher than students taking the class for free, says Anant Agarwar, CEO at edX.
In other words, students have a greater incentive to learn and complete a MOOC when they sign up for a certificate and pay about $30 to $150 to verify their identity.
These types of credentials, along with digital badges, are mostly posted on learners’ LinkedIn profiles and used in job search processes, as a way to highlight specific skills and competencies gained from online classes.
Unlike the free certificates that the companies offered in the past, verification ensures the authenticity and value of the credential, Coursera and edX officials say. Coursera and edX have turned away from the concept of free certificates.