MIT, together with Harvard University, announced an exciting joint effort called edX. The partnership will produce free, online education for anyone who wants it. Both universities put up a total of $60 million towards the non-profit organization that will be overseeing this groundbreaking program. EdX will serve to both enhance the education of registered students of both campuses, as well as offer free educational programs to those who are looking to further themselves academically.

The edX website will be jointly hosted by each university initiative, MITx and Harvardx, and it will be an open-source platform that will offer complete access to courses offered to enrolled students of both MIT and Harvard. The goal is that other universities will add content as the initiative gains momentum. The online learning platform will be much more than just simple videos for the user to watch, it will be a self-paced learning experience complete with online discussion groups, collaborative projects, online labs and even student assessment.

EdX will be available to anyone who wants to be a part of this program and it is completely free. All you need is a stable Internet connection and a willingness to learn. Those behind the initiative are also carefully considering the potential of offering credentials and certificates to those who have mastered the subject material. Certificates will not be issued under either the Harvard or MIT name, and full time students of either university will not be able to take the online courses offered by edX for credit.

While the announcement is haled with excitement and a slew of eager learners already flooding the edX Facebook page asking where to sign up, the first courses won’t be available until the fall of 2012. To learn more about this exciting endeavor, visit the edX website.