Potsdam. 16,000 Internet users from around the world have taken part in the recently concluded online course by Prof. Hasso Plattner on www.openHPI.de, the interactive educational platform. Of these, 4,800 were in the group of active users, meaning they participated in the homework or discussion forum. 2,400 received a certificate, thereby confirming their successful completion of the course. The co-founder and chairman of the SAP supervisory board, and founder of the Hasso Plattner Institute, had led participants through the new in-memory data management technology in the course he taught in English. The in-memory data management researched at HP and developed with SAP enables a flexible evaluation of huge amounts of data at lightning speed – something which would have previously required hours or even days.

“The strong participation, and especially the interaction among the students, has shown me once again that Massive Open Online Courses are breaking new ground,” said Plattner. The interactive learning offer combined with a lively exchange of knowledge on a social platform has been very well-received. “Enthusiasm for the subject of in-memory data management has been reflected in the 16,000 plus openHPI participants who took part each time in the two courses held within 13 months of each other. The global interest in the new In-Memory Database Technology has impressed me very much,” said the HPI founder.

Plattner’s recent online course - which will remain accessible on openHPI - was the updated and enhanced version of the course he gave last year when the Internet educational platform was launched on September 3, 2012. Special attention was now devoted to achieving shorter response times to complex evaluations with the possibility of numerous, simultaneous user queries. There was also a new option for instantaneous analyses, as demonstrated on retail sales data. Overall the new course offered 36 instructional videos from Plattner, comprehensive reading material for an intensive study of the material, online tests to self-check learning progress, homework and an online final exam.

Next openHPI online course starts on Monday

Participation in the open online courses on information technology is free. There are no pre-requisites. OpenHPI courses - as so-called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) - are embedded in an interactive learning network. This means that participants are able to discuss the content with the professors, their scientific staff and other users. It is possible to join the next course by registering online at http://openhpi.de/course/bpm2013, when starting on Monday, October 28th openHPI participants will gain an in-depth understanding of business process modeling.

openHPI: modeled on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

The Internet learning platform www.openhpi.de at Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) offers five free, open-access online courses per year to all who are interested anywhere in the world. Approximately 53, 000 on-line learners from over 114 countries have already registered at openHPI. There are no requirements to participate. Unique worldwide, the courses concentrating on information technology and computer science are taught in both in German and English. There are already six courses available in the archive mode. openHPI follows the model of “Massive Open Online Courses,” which were first  offered at Stanford University and then later at other elite universities in the United States.

In contrast to “traditional” lecture portals, courses at www.openhpi.de follow a fixed six-week schedule. A course is composed of a defined range of offers such as teaching videos, self-tests, regular homework and exam questions. These offers are combined with a social platform where participants can interact with fellow learners and course supervisors. Here they can also clarify questions and expand on the topics. The participants decide themselves on the nature and scope of their activities. They can make their own contributions to the course, for example in blog posts or tweets, which can be addressed in the forum. Other learners then have the chance to comment on, discuss or develop further what has been said. Consequently, learners, teachers and content become linked in a social learning network.  

Profile of Hasso Plattner Institute

The Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering GmbH (HPI) in Potsdam is Germany’s university excellence center for IT Systems Engineering. It is the only university institution in Germany offering the bachelor and master program in “IT Systems Engineering” – a practical and engineering-oriented study program in computer science, in which 470 students are presently enrolled. The HPI School of Design Thinking is Europe’s first innovation school and modeled on the Stanford d.school. It offers yearly 240 places for a supplementary study. There are a total of ten HPI professors and over 50 guest professors, lecturers and contracted teachers at the Institute. HPI carries out research noted for its high standard of excellence in its nine topic areas, as well as at the HPI Research School for PhD candidates, with its further research branches in Cape Town, Haifa and Nanjing. HPI teaching and research focus on the foundation and application of large-scale, highly complex and interconnected IT systems. The development and exploration of user-driven innovations for all sectors of life is an additional area of importance. HPI always earns the highest positions in the CHE university ranking.

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