With college tuition rising and more and more students taking online courses, it only made sense that the more renowned schools would give the people what they want. MIT has partnered with Harvard to bring us edX, a "campus-based education" that is completely online. Last year MIT offered up free online classes (MITx) for those who wanted to expand their knowledge, and the faculty over at Harvard took notice.
Both prestigious institutions thought it beneficial to combine forces and create edX which provides interested users online classes (again for free) that feature video lessons, embedded quizzes and online laboratories. Those ‘super-interested’ individuals may be eligible for certificates of mastery in certain subjects. EdX is also a research tool for the combined faculty of both colleges in gaining valuable feedback data on how students learn which will improve existing classroom curricula and laboratory exercises through interaction of new technology.
The edX platform is open-source, through which other institutions and schools can contribute their material for offering additional courses as well as being an instruction tool. As it stands now only material from MITx and Harvardx will be available when online classes start this fall (2012), but that could change by the end of the school year.