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Frequently Asked Questions

The Course

What time is it?

In order to coordinate with your peers from around the world, this course uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The current time is shown here and you can use this site to convert to your own time zone.

How do I pass this class? How do grades work?

In this course, we have shifted the emphasis away from grades. What’s important is the effort you put in and the experiences you have. This especially means engaging with the community of your peers, and working on personally meaningful projects. These things don’t lend themselves to automated evaluation, but benefit greatly from discussion and reflection. For this reason, the course has you focus on peer evaluation and the honor system to earn your certificate.

At the end of each week’s content, there will be a completion checklist for you to keep track of activities and assignments completed. The more you do, the more you will get out of the course, but you should also feel free to tailor your experience in the course to your own interests and goals.

When are assignments due?

Each assignment will list an 'expected' due date in its description - usually a week after its assignment.  However, the assignments in the course won't close until after the course is over - you can turn in your assignments, and review your peer's assignments, up till the last day of the course.

However, we strongly encourage students to turn in their work within a week of its assignment, and ask for peer reviews to be completed within about four days of the 'expected' due date.

When does the course end?

11.126x officially ends on December 10th, 2014, but some course materials will still be available after that date.

Where should I go if I have questions?

  • If you have technical questions about the edX platform, try using the "Help" tab in the upper left corner of every page.
  • If you don't find your answer there, or if you find bugs or issues with the forums site, please post your question in the Technical Help thread in the forums.
  • If you have non-technical questions, we encourage you to post them in the appropriate discussion on the forums.
  • Or, if all else fails, you can email the 11.126x staff at 11.126x@edtechx.org. We'll do our best to help you out, though we can't guarantee a timely reply given the massive nature of this course.

Using edX

What kind of certificates are there for this course? Do I have to pay?

There are two options for taking this course. The first option, auditing, allows you full access to all the courseware and resources and by choosing this option you can earn an Honor Code Certificate. The second option, earning a Verified Certificate, requires a fee but provides an authentic identification-verified certificate that you can use for job applications, school applications, etc. If you want to upgrade to a Verified Certificate, navigate to your personal dashboard and click on the option to “Challenge Yourself” underneath the listing of this course. Please note that if you choose the Verified Certificate, you must do so before the end of week 1 of the course.

Can I take the courses now and decide to get an XSeries certificate later?

Unfortunately this is not an option. We understand that it would be nice to take the EdTechX courses first and decide about the series certificate later. But EdX asks that students sign up for the verified certificate for each course no later than the end of week 1 of that course, so there is no way to retroactively obtain an XSeries certificate. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause!

How do I use the peer assessment tool?

For most of the assignments, you will submit a report on your workthrough the peer assessment tool.

Complete your assignment according to the prompt instructions. If the assignment calls for a document or video to be submitted, you will upload the relevant file to a reputable filehosting site and then paste the URL into the submission box. For help with filesharing sites, look here.

After you submit your assignment, you need to provide feedback to at least three of your classmates before you can see feedback on your own assignment. Comment according to the rubric. Remember, since grades don’t actually mean anything in this course, feedback is extremely valuable.

For other questions on the edX platform, take a look at the edX Student FAQ.

How do I use the Course Forums?

The Official Course Forums are open to everyone in the course and follow the course (organized by week and activities for that week).

So, in a specific week, there are places for you and your classmates to talk about the assignments, activities and readings for that week. As well, there is a general discussion forum for each week where you can talk more broadly about the concepts covered in that section of the course.

How do I make a post?

First, determine the subject of your post.

Does it pertain to a specific assignment, activity, or reading? If so, navigate your way to the specific forum for that topic. For example, if I wanted feedback on my idea for Assignment 1.2, I’d go to the Week 1 Forum Folder, and then look below for the Assignment 1.2 forum.

Otherwise, is it relevant to topics discussed in a certain week of the course? Then, you would find your way to that week’s forum folder and post in that week’s general discussion forum.

To make a post once you’re in the right forum, either click the blue New Topic button or scroll down to the bottom of the page and submit your post there.

How do I find other people?

If you already know someone’s username, you can click on the button labelled “Members” in the top menu bar and then search the name.

Otherwise, you can join groups to find people of similar interests and friend request them.

How do I have a private conversation?

In order to private message someone, first navigate to their profile page (through your friends list or the members page), and then click the private message button to the right of their avatar.

You will have the option to add additional recipients for your message on the next page and enter in a subject and message body.

You are also able to publicly message/mention someone by clicking the public message button next to the private message button or by writing “@” followed by their username in your status update box (found under the activity tab in your profile).

How do I use Groups?

A group is a collection of people with some shared interest. There could be groups of similar professions, interests, geographic area, or even zodiac sign.

Each group has their own personal forum where you can have discussions with your group members. For example, you could have an Educational Games group where in the group forum there was a thread for discussing ideas for educational games that people have enjoyed.

Gameblox

About Gameblox

11.126x uses the early access version of Gameblox, a new blocks based programming language that makes it easier to create games.  Since Gameblox is under active development by the MIT STEP Lab, we will be fixing bugs and adding features as the course goes on.   We strongly recommend you use Google Chrome when using Gameblox.  Experience with Scratch or AppInventor will be useful, although Gameblox is its own unique environment.   Gameblox is on a seperate site from edX; links in the course will allow you to access the site, and log you in automatically using your edX user name and email.  You will not be able to access the site unless you are logged in through the course.  

Getting Help With Gameblox

In the forums, there is a Gameblox section, dedicated to supporting Gameblox users.  There, you can find basic information about Gameblox, technical support, a place to show off work, as well as a place to report bugs and problems.  While there are course TAs dedicated to providing support for Gameblox, we encourage students to offer their own solutions and advice to each other as you learn the Gameblox system.