I want to participate in a course. What do I need to do?
It's simple! Choose a course and enroll:
- Pick a topic you'd like to learn about or gain new skills in.
To help you select the right course, visit the course details page, where you'll find information about the course – a content overview, teaser video, required prior knowledge, learning objectives, course duration and length, course language and possible subtitles, and offered performance records available for this course.
- Once you have chosen a course, you can enroll in it by clicking on the "Enroll me for this course" button. The selected course may be in a different status:
- Upcoming courses: The course will start soon. At the moment, you cannot see any course content yet. As soon as the course starts, you will be informed via email¹. From the moment the course starts, you can access the materials directly online and work on them in your web browser.
- Current courses: The course is currently running. New content will be released weekly during the course. You will receive regular email updates about the start of a new course week and upcoming course deadlines¹. We recommend that you follow the given weekly structure and regularly discuss with your fellow learners in the course forum, as this will help you to complete the course successfully. At the end of each course week, most courses have a weekly exam you must complete by the deadline if you want to receive a Record of Achievement. You can download your performance records once you have achieved all requirements for them and they have been unlocked at the end of the course.
- Self-paced courses: The course has already been run. You can complete the course independently at your own pace, and all study materials have been unlocked. However, all exam deadlines have already passed, so you will not be able to take graded exams. Therefore, you will not be able to receive a Record of Achievement unless the course offers course reactivation and you book it.
¹ Note: Make sure you have "Receive announcements for courses you are enrolled to" enabled in the Notifications so that you receive email notifications of new course content.
What do I need to know about the general course structure?
openHPI courses have a structure of 2- to 6-week learning units.
Each course starts with a short video introduction.
In each course week, various learning materials are provided – starting with learning videos, self-tests, and (small) graded or ungraded exercises up to final exams:
- In a few short videos, the instructors give an overview, convey theoretical knowledge and demonstrate exemplary use cases.
- Self-tests are integrated into each learning unit and contain comprehension questions from the preceding videos. Learners receive direct feedback and can retake the unassessed self-tests as often as they like.
- Interactive exercises and Programming tasks promote the transfer of theoretical knowledge and concept learning to the training of concrete skills.
- Peer assessment tasks allow for open-ended questions and hands-on exercises. The other participants carry out the assessment based on predefined evaluation criteria. Peer assessment on openHPI can be structured individually or as teamwork.
- The exchange in the course forum or within smaller online learning groups also supports the learning process: Even if the lecturer can't communicate individually with each learner due to the vast number of participants typical of MOOCs, another course member will likely know the answer to the questions. Conversely, it also promotes one's understanding when one changes perspective and explains something to others.
- All those who wish to earn a Record of Achievement will also work on a Homework each week and take a Final Exam.
The knowledge of the weekly modules builds on each other.
Where can I find help?
Here you can find a detailed list of frequently asked questions.
If our FAQ does not help, we also explain there how to contact us for further assistance.
One step back: what is openHPI?
openHPI is the MOOC platform of the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI). MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses - are one of the most innovative forms of learning. Our topics range from IT security and programming workshops for beginners to more complex database technologies for advanced learners. Thus, we represent those areas that also belong to the proven expertise of the Hasso Plattner Institute. We continuously produce new courses, among others, those that build on previous courses.
- suitable for a large number of people
- open and thus unrestricted in terms of participation
- online and thus flexibly accessible from anywhere
- structured or organized learning.
Our courses therefore offer:
- A large learning community with different skills, where learners can support each other.
- A free participation without prerequisites and an interactive, virtual learning community. Thus, learning is shared and collaborative.
- Complete flexibility with materials being accessible from any device with Internet access.
- Freely accessible knowledge acquisition, which our students also receive. Knowledge is acquired independently through learning videos, interactive self-testing, tutorials, practical exercises, and homework.
The whole process is also vividly demonstrated in our animated introductory video.
What is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)?
Massive Open Online Courses represent a young paradigm of e-learning within the higher education sector, which has become more and more popular and widespread since 2011. For a better understanding of the term MOOC we would like to start with spelling out this acronym.
||Potentially thousands or even tens of thousands of people participate, which means a highly scalable mode of teaching from the viewpoint of an instructor. There is a huge diversity with respect to geographical, cultural or biographical background among participants, which results in multiple perspectives and ideas within the learning community.
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||Everybody can participate as long as he or she has a sufficient internet connection and a valid e-mail address. There are no formal or institutional access hurdles. Participation in the course is free.
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||Participation is conducted completely online and so is the course maintenance by the teaching staff. Modern web technologies enable access to multimedia learning resources, working on tasks to apply one's knowledge and interaction between participants within a virtual learning community. All these features are browser based without the need to install multiple applications on one's local machine.
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||Some structural elements from the traditional education setting are preserved, other aspects differ completely: In most MOOCs there is an official starting and closing date and typically a new chapter is released each week. This provides some structure to ensure all learners are on the same page. In sharp contrast to the traditional lecture setting, within a specific week learners are free to choose when (in the morning, late at night?) and where (at the breakfast table, while commuting to work, or in the library?) they spend their time to browse the learning resources and work on tasks. They communicate asynchronously with the other participants to discuss the content and help each other with open questions. Curriculum design emphasizes breaking down each chapter into smaller chunks of information about specific concepts. Participants receive instant and automated feedback about one's knowledge acquisition.
To sum it up, Massive Open Online Courses
are a low-threshold (since web based and without any access hurdles) and flexible (learning independently from time and location) mode of learning within the higher education or vocational training sector - and an excellent opportunity for lifelong learners.
In contrast to more traditional modes of e-learning, which in essence have often been used simply for distributing text based learning materials, a MOOC emphasizes usage of multimedia resources like videos, animations and info graphics, enables quizzes for instant feedback and allows interaction within a diverse global learning community.
Just going online is not a sufficient criterion for high quality teaching and learning. But designing a MOOC within an integrated online platform allows to bring up the fundamental question about what a good learning experience consists in and to carefully examine the learning process.
Short historical overview of MOOCs
The genesis of MOOCs partly roots in the Open Course Ware movement.
In the late 90ies some universities like the MIT and Carnegie Mellon in the US and the University of Tübingen in Germany began to provide recordings of some lectures online. In essence, the open course ware movement with its mission of opening up higher education to the general public was much about giving free access to already existing learning resources.
The openHPI project at Hasso Plattner Institute also roots in our tele-TASK project, which is an integrated system to easily record a lecturer's talk alongside the accompanying presentation slides. Since then, almost all lectures and talks with visiting scholars at Hasso Plattner Institute have been digitized.
A MOOC is more than just providing learning resources
Will it be possible to enrich learning resources with other didactic features such as providing practical tasks to apply one's knowledge and giving instant feedback about one's learning process, as well as fostering interaction of learners within a virtual community? This question was asked around 2010 by Sebastian Thrun, in those days professor for computer science at Stanford University. He began to offer a course about artificial intelligence online and resonance was positive in that an incredible high number of around 160,000 learners from around the world joined this class, some of them participating actively and some at least checking out some parts of it. Since then, Thrun concentrated on providing more courses which not only transfer learning resources from the classroom, but structure curriculum and design content explicitly for the online medium. With the work by Thrun and other scholars, the MOOC was born.
In 2012, other teachers and institutions began to offer Massive Open Online Courses about higher education content as well, and different platforms have evolved building a new e-learning ecosystem. Those initiatives often came from universities in the US, but also Germany was very early part of the movement. The first MOOC on openHPI ran in the summer of 2012.
Do other platforms use the openHPI MOOC software?
While our own IT-related courses are offered here on openHPI, our self-developed platform is also used for other MOOC offerings:
- On openSAP, there are online courses on various topics in the area of professional development provided by SAP.
- The WHO offers training on health topics on OpenWHO.
- The AI Campus offers courses around the topic of AI.
- LERNEN.cloud]13 offers educators, students, and their parents tips on how to get started quickly with the dBildungscloud.
- The eGov-Campus offers educational programs at the university level on the topics of e-government and administrative IT.
- With mooc.house, HPI offers other interested institutions the opportunity to run their own courses without having to operate their own platform.
If your company is interested in offering courses on mooc.house or its own platform, contact us for more information.
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