In a joint venture MIT and Harvard University plan to develop online courses for the general public. The content shall be developed in a project called edX. The two universities intent do offer online content in different disciplines. Candidates who successfully finish the courses will receive a certification, however, not an academic degree. Academic degrees still can only be made locally. Also students from the two universities still have to visit the locally offered lessons and cannot take advantage of the pure virtual content.
Both universities see the edX project as a basis for the development of an open source LMS called MITx . This platform shall offer tools for collaborative learning, virtual labs, and a direct feedback for learning progress. Both universities expect that also other universities will take advantage of this platform and develop open content.