The Institute launched http://www.openhpi.de in September 2012 with a course conducted by HPI founder Prof. Hasso Plattner in English. A total of 13,000 enrolled in the course on the new In-Memory database technology. 2,132 participants received a certificate upon successfully passing the final exam at the end of October. The second online course, taught by HPI director Prof. Christoph Meinel, was offered in German and covered the technological functionality of the Internet. There were 10,000 who signed up for the course. At the beginning of the year, 1,662 participants received a certificate attesting to their successful completion.
openHPI: Modeled on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)
The new Internet educational platform http://www.openhpi.de at Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering at the University of Potsdam (HPI) offers free, open-access online courses to many participants. Course content focuses on issues concerning information technology and computer science. openHPI follows the model of "Massive Open Online Courses" as they 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 http://www.openhpi.de follow a fixed two month time frame. 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 exchange experience with other participants as well as with course supervisors. Here, they can also clarify questions and discuss further topics. The participants themselves decide 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 they can refer to in the forum. Other learners then have the chance to make a comment, discuss or expand on what has been said.
In this way, learners, teachers and content become linked with each other in a social learning network.