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07.10.2013

Potsdam. The latest free, open online course at the German Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) provides participants with an in-depth understanding of business process modeling. The course, starting October 28 on the interactive Internet educational platform openHPI.de, will be taught by Prof. Mathias Weske, who heads the HPI research group Business Process Technology. In the six-week online course, domain experts, business administration experts, IT professionals and students alike will learn that business processes can only be successfully implemented when there is a common understanding of the workflow process involved. Online registration for the course, which is taught in English, is already open at: http://openhpi.de/course/bpm2013.

“Representational process modeling is a great help in improving the communication between all the parties involved,” said Weske. Misunderstandings can be identified and resolved earlier. To establish a shared language for business processes, the openHPI course will teach the fundamentals of process modeling based on the modeling language BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation).

With this language as a foundation, course participants learn concepts and their exact meaning plus the necessary guidelines for modeling business processes. Also introduced are verification methods that serve to reveal any defects in process models. Moreover, data in business processes and process choreographies are examined, i.e., cross-company processes.

"We often encounter business processes that are poorly designed, in other words: the right hand doesn‘t know what the left hand is doing,“ said the HPI scientist. Process models help to prevent these situations. Weske has made more than 100 contributions to scientific conference proceedings, professional journals and numerous scientific books. His book “Business Process Management: Concepts, Languages, Architectures," which has recently been released in its second printing, reflects the content of the current course.

Participation in the course is free. There are no pre-requisites. Those participants who complete the course successfully are eligible to receive a certificate from Hasso Plattner Institute. OpenHPI courses - as so-called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) - are embedded in an interactive learning network. This means that participants are able to exchange content-related experience with Prof. Weske, his scientific staff and other users. The new course offers a total of more than 30 learning videos from Weske, comprehensive topic-based material to deepen the subject, as well as online tests for self-monitoring learning progress and an online final exam.

In this video Prof. Weske explains the content of his openHPI course: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYcvuR1jhzU.

openHPI: modeled on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

The Internet learning platform www.openhpi.de at Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) offers free, open-access online courses for all who are interested anywhere in the world. In the meantime, more than 50, 000 on-line learners have registered from more than 114 countries. There are no requirements to participate. Unique worldwide, the courses concentrating on information technology and computer science are taught both in German and English. 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. They can also clarify questions here 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 then be addressed in the forum. Other learners 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 450 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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