What about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)?

We have prepared a basic introduction into MOOCs for you here .

Who can register for openHPI?

There are no access restrictions. Anyone can register independent of education level, grade average, age, nationality or company affiliation.

Does participating in openHPI courses cost any money?

No, the courses are offered entirely for free.

In what languages are the openHPI courses offered?

Courses are either offered in German or in English. You will find the appropriate information on the introductory pages of a course. For example, the course "In-Memory Data Management" conducted by Prof. Hasso Plattner is in English and the course "Internetworking mit TCP/IP" conducted by Prof. Christoph Meinel is held in German.

What kind of technical requirements do I have to fulfil for using openHPI?

Course participation is fully web-based. We recommend to keep your webbrowser updated to the latest version. In general, the installation of additional software is not necessary. However, in some courses this could exceptionally be the case and course participants are then informed about it. For a smooth access to our course videos you should be connected to a broadband internet connection. Our openHPI Android-App is available for free in the Google Play Store. The iOS App will be released in 2015.

Which kind of course formats are offered on openHPI? How long does a course take?

There are three different course formats on openHPI:

  • Regular courses last for seven weeks including the week of the final exam.
  • Hands-on courses last four weeks and focus on direct application of acquired competences (e.g. programming languages).
  • Workshops last weeks emphasizing a very specific topic (e.g. "Safe Email"). Work shop participants can acquire a graded Confirmation of Participation.

How is an openHPI course cycle organized?

Typically for MOOCs, courses on our openHPI learning platform come with a fix start and end date and follow a weekly interval. The whole learning material for a learning week - videos, accompanying literature, self tests and homework - are published on Saturdays prior a course week on openHPI. Course participants can access these learning materials and self tests at any time and suitable for them and as often as needed during this week and even after the course has finished. They do not need to sit at a fixed time in front of their screens. However, for all those collecting points for a Record of Achievement, they need to finish the graded weekly home work and exams. For these there are certain deadlines that need to be followed during an active course. Course participants are informed in good time about those deadline via course announcements.

How much time do I need to invest per week? How much work is involved?

The amount of work involved depends on one's prior knowledge and is estimated at 5-10 hours per week. This involves working with the videos and the course material provided, checking one's understanding of the curriculum with a self-test, completing the homework and actively participating in the discussion forums.

What kind of learning materials are provided?

As learning materials we usually provide short videos explaining the particular topic. Supplementary literature information can be integrated on the specific course pages or offered as PDF-downloads. If necessary, other learning materials can be offered as well. Besides, the learning experience can be enhanced by active participation in discussion fora, either posting your questions or answer and support other course participants.

Where can I find the course materials?

From the course list or your dashboard you reach the individual courses. There you will find the materials in the tab "Course Content". The contents are based as follows:

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  • On the left side is the course navigation - with this you can navigate through the course of weeks. Because the weeks of the course will be released on openHPI only gradually, all weeks aren't always active.
  • In the course navigation you can find in the active week (week 1 in the graph) also always some links for quick access
  • Above the actual learning content is the current weekly navigation, a series of symbols that indicate the type of learning units.
  • The active learning unit is marked by a red bar above the icon.
  • Already visited learning units have a light gray background and stand out from the non-visited from.
  • The title of a learning unit appears as a tooltip above the icon by remaining with the mouse over it.

What happens to the openHPI course material after the course is over?

After the end of a course, the course contents remain available on the network. It's only the record of achievement that can no longer be earned.

Please explain self tests and homework. What is the difference between these two?

  • Self tests are short muliple-choice quizzes which are directly linked to a video or a text. The purpose of a self test is to self-control the understanding of the just required knowledge. The self-tests can be repeated as often as desired and they do not count for the Record of Achievement.
  • Homework, in contrary, have to be finished by a certain fixed (usually weekly) deadline and are precondition for receiving a Record of Achievement.
  • Depending on a certain course structure, additional assigments can be part of a course week. These serve, for example, as practical and interactive tasks in which course participants can directly apply their required knowledge. These could be for example coding assignments which are embedded on openHPI via external tool. Points for the Record of Achievements can be collected as well by successfully finishing these assignments.

Please find additional explanations about offered homework, assignments, their deadline and significance for the Record of Achievement on the respective course pages.

What is a peer assessment and how does it work?

A peer assessment is a special type of assignment which can be used in some courses and for some topics, for which automatic grading is not possible or for which it makes sense to reflect about ones peers' work as part of the learning process. You find more information about peer assessment here.

How do I use the course forum and what is the difference between questions and discussions?

The course forum is an important feature of openHPI which allows you to interact with your fellow students. Interacting within your learning community is not only about communication, but also contributes actively to your learning process. Information about how to use the forum you can find on the forum rules page.

Is it possible to get a record of achievement at openHPI?

Yes, after successful completion of an openHPI course you can receive a graded record of achievement from the Hasso Plattner Institute. Successful participation means that you earn at least 50% of the sum of maximum possible points for homework and final exam. The final exam will weigh 50%. The record of achievement will be issued in the name you used to register at open HPI.

We will be glad to issue a confirmation of participation in a course to those who have completed at least 50% of the course material.

Can I discontinue my participation in an openHPI course whenever I want?

Yes, discontinuation of a course is possible at any time. You can unsubscribe from a course by using on the course detail page the button "En-unroll". But this is not essential.

Can I still register at openHPI if a course has already started?

As a rule, course registration should take place before a course has begun - or least in the first week of the course. Starting a course late means it becomes increasingly difficult to earn the number of points necessary for a graded record of achievement. The requirements to obtain a confirmation of participation can also no longer be fulfilled if a course is first joined when it is nearing its end. You can, however, sign up for a course at any time and receive access to all material. After a course is over it is no longer possible to obtain a record of achievement for completion of the relevant material.

I have problems with the registration or activation of my openHPI account. Who can help me?

To finish your registration on openHPI, you will receive an e-mail in which you will be prompted to confirm that you are the owner of the email address. Once you receive this email, please click on the link in this email to verify your email address.

If you don't receive a confirmation email, please check your spam folder. You can request a new confirmation E-mail logging in with your access data previously selected. As long as your account is not confirmed, a message appears with a link to request a new confirmation email.

If your account is already confirmed but you can not log in, please make sure you have JavaScript enabled and accept cookies from our site. If it still does not work, please use the "Reset Password" function in the log in form.

Please click on the Helpdesk button on the right hand side of your browser window and describe your problem. Alternatively, contact us per email at: openhpi-register@hpi.uni-potsdam.de. We will be glad to assist you.

I can't participate in the whole course because I'm on vacation. Can I still earn a record of achievement?

Unfortunately, we can't extend the deadlines for homework completion. If you're not able to turn in the homework within the course week, you will need to earn more points in the following weeks to reach the total number of points necessary for a successful course outcome.

I just want to get familiar with some of the material, but not earn a record of achievement. Is this allowed?

You can participate in the areas of the course based on your own interests and possibilities. There is no obligation to complete the homework and earn a record of achievement. But, we do welcome every active contribution to the discussion forums.

I have forgotten my password. How can I reset it?

In the login-form you will find on the bottom the password entry field as a small link: Forgot your password? (see chart below).

This will take you to another form where you must enter the email address that you used for your registration at openHPI:
Passwort-Reset A

After submitting the form, you will receive an e-mail address. This mail contains a link that takes you to the actual password reset. After clicking the link you have to enter your new password and confirm it. Now you can log in !

Password-Reset B

How can I contact the openHPI-Team?

If you didn't find any answers to your questions on our website and in the FAQs please contact us via the orange Helpdesk button on the right side of your sceen. If you have any questions regarding the course content, please visit the course forum and ask your questions.


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