Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are teaming up to expand their online education programs -- and they're inviting other institutions to come on board.
Called edX, the $60 million joint venture builds on MIT's existing MITx platform that enables video lesson segments, embedded quizzes, immediate feedback, online laboratories and student-paced learning.
"EdX represents a unique opportunity to improve education on our own campuses through online learning, while simultaneously creating a bold new education path for millions of learners worldwide," said MIT president Susan Hockfield in a statement.
A first set of courses, taught by Harvard and MIT faculty, is to start in September this year, with the two Boston area universities offering "as broad an initial set of courses as possible."
In a joint statement, they proposed to share edX -- overseen by a non-profit organization led by Anant Agarwal, director of MIT's computer science lab -- with other schools and organizations.
"Because the learning technology will be available as open-source software, other universities will be able to help edX improve and add features to the technology," they said.
© 2012 AFP