MOOCs & openHPI

What is a MOOC

MOOCs - massive open online courses - provide a very recent format of online learning, that combine video lectures, interactive self-tests, homeworks with a social learning forum. Traditional open online learning offerings from universities consist in collections of resources that self-paced learners download and access individually. In contrast, a MOOC is a learning event that takes place for the duration of several weeks, where each week deals with a specific topic and learners collaboratively work through the material, test their knowledge, create new knowledge through their discussions and are granted a certificate upon successful completion.


openHPI is a platform for delivering MOOCs. It was design by the team of Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel on the basis of CANVAS and presents

  • lectures recorded with the tele-TASK system and delivered through the tele-TASK video player,
  • self-tests, homework and exams that are automatically evaluted 
  • tools for tracking the learning progress of the users, and
  • forums and virtual learning groups.

openHPI offers introductory courses on fundamental aspects of information technology as well as advanced courses on current innovations in computer science research in German and English.

openHPI's first generation

openHPI’s first generation has hosted successfully three MOOCs with ten thousands of lerners:

Designing a New openHPI Platform

The openHPI team of the chair of Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel is currently designing a new platform based on a service-oriented architecture that allows a more flexible integration with

  • content production workflows, like the one established for the tele-TASK portal,
  • learning tools and virtual laboratories, like the virtual tele-LAB for Internet Security, and
  • personal learning environments (e-portfolio systems) and social networks.

Our main research questions

In the research around openHPI the team is focused on the following research questions:

  • Learning gamificationHow can learners’ motivation be increased through functionality and design principles borrowed from games,
  • Learning analytics: How can teaching be improved by analyzing learners’ behavior in the online environment,
  • Design of novel learning servicesHow can learning be delivered into the heterogeneous contexts where learners live and work.
  •  Design of virtual learning laboratoriesHow can environments where learners interact with virtual IT systems made scalable for massive participation.

Designer and Developoer Team of openHPI

  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel (head)
  • Christian Willems
  • Jan Renz
  • Thomas Staubitz
  • Haojin Yang
  • Xiaoyin Che

Accompanying scientific research

Other Links to

... our Research
              Security Tech - Knowledge Tech - Design Thinking - former
... our Teaching
              Tele-Lectures - MOOCs - Labs - Systems 
... our Publications
              Books - Journals - Conference-Papers - Patents
... our Annual Reports


Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel und Team
Hasso-Plattner-Institut für Softwaresystemtechnik
Prof.-Dr.-Helmert-Str. 2-3
D-14482 Potsdam, Germany
Tel: +49(0)331/5509-222
Fax: +49(0)331/5509-325