openHPI platform

Christian Willems Awarded “Learning Developer of The Year”

During a glittering gala evening at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London, Christian Willems, CTO of openHPI, was awarded Bronze as “Learning Developer of the Year”. The award represents the industry’s highest recognition for achievements in the field of learning technologies. The 45-member independent jury is made up of leading experts in learning and development.

Christian’s pioneering work has been decisive in shaping the MOOC platforms openHPI and openSAP. With enthusiasm and an abundance of good ideas, he leads a team of developers, PhD candidates, and students at the chair of Internet Technologies and Systems.

In recent years, Christian has developed a range of innovative features, which have not only advanced digital learning in the world of academics but also in that of business. “It is extremely helpful that we have a double perspective in our project – on the one hand we develop the platform itself, and on the other hand we are the openHPI course providers and can thus experience firsthand if something is not working optimally,” Christian said. At the same time, he underscores the team effort: “It is completely clear that this award goes to the entire team. Only with the bright minds here at HPI and our exciting innovation partners, such as openSAP, have we been able to come so far.”

We congratulate Christian on this amazing success and are very proud and happy to have him in our team!

Intrapreneurship MOOC in the Final Top 3

Fantastic news! Our course with the ironical title “Intrapreneurship – Make your Business great again” realized as part of the BizMOOC project made it in the Top 3 of the Teaching Innovation and Entrepreneurship Excellence Award at ECIE 2018 in Aveiro, Porto.

Out of 32 submission, 11 creative and high quality teaching approaches were selected for the Final round and invited to present their cases in Aveiro, Porto at the 13th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in front of an international jury. Chris (FH Joanneum) and Agnes (Cracow University of Economics) presented the MOOC on Intrapreneurship and even made it to the Top 3, where they got invited to do a second presentation to the whole conference audience before the conference closure. We feel extremely honored to became part of this exclusive circle.

Curious about this free online course?

By the way, if you are interested in the course, feel free to enroll and work through the material in self-study. The course was held in February / March 2018, but is still accessible on

Besides, we also presented the poster “Rescue through the back-door: Can MOOCs become a large-scale bottom-up innovation driver in companies?”, based on BizMOOC results.

First MOOC on Entrepreneurship starts on April 4 on openHPI

Why entrepreneurship?

On April 4th a 2-week workshop on Successful Business Creation in IT (in German) will start on openHPI, the educational Internet platform of the Hasso Plattner Institute. Manuel Effenberg, lecturer for IT Entrepreneurship at HPI, created the course and teaches it. In the course Effenberg and his team give an overview of all relevant aspects which must be considered when establishing an IT startup. You can enroll in the course here:

In the past, openHPI only offered courses  on IT which dealt with, for example, internetworking, different programming languages, or similar topics. In the trailer, Prof. Christoph Meinel, HPI Institute Director, explains how the idea for this program was born:

“The founding of many startups has been based on the HPI context. Just one example is Dubsmash, whose app is in first place in the Apple iTunes store in 78 countries.  HPI offers entrepreneurship courses to give its students the best possible preparation in founding their own startup after the completion of their studies. With this workshop we would like to give the broad public access to this knowledge.”

Import wooden sign with a street background

What awaits participants?

In this 2-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) all questions that entrepreneurs themselves ask will be addressed, for instance the design of the business model, product development and  financing possibilities. Course instructor Manuel Effenberg explains who he would like to reach with his course:

“All who are interested in entrepreneurship, and who may even already have their own business idea, are welcome to join the course and to share their experience with other participants.”

Anyone who already has his or her own business, or who would like to learn how to manage business processes, can look forward to our course Business Process and Decision Modeling, starting on April 11. For more information and registration please click here:

Anne Kayem: “…It was kind of an outer-body experience for me…”

Dear openHPI community,

A few days ago, the openHPI MOOC on Social Media – What No One Has Told You About Privacy came to an end. More than 4,000 participants joined the international learning community. Today, we asked the teacher Anne Kayem about her experience with giving a MOOC for the first time.


openHPI: What were your expectations before the course started? Were they fulfilled?

Anne Kayem: I was very excited to be teaching the course mainly because of the opportunity to reach a very large audience globally. It w

as also a thrill to teach a topic centered on my research interests, in a way that is accessible to people without a background in Computer Science. Some of the material was very difficult to simplify and required creative thinking about ways in which I could teach it. Yes, to a great extent my expectations did come true. The participants seemed to be as excited as I was about the course. Topics such as ‘Password Security’ and ‘Social Network Graph Anonymization,’ which I had anticipated would be difficult to grasp, generated lots of discussion. It was great to see the different answers, questions and comments.

openHPI: Did difficult aspects come up during the course?

Anne Kayem: The wording of some of the s

elf-test questions and assignment appears to have been a problem for some participants. However, I would say this is to be expected since English is not the first language for many of the course participants. I don’t think this was an obstacle though.

openHPI: Was it a big difference for you to give a course to an online community instead of teaching at university?

Anne Kayem: Yes. I wasn’t quite prepared for the effect of having to pre-record the videos and then watching them afterwards (during the editing process). In some ways it still feels a bit like an outer-body experience. The main difference that I noticed was the loss of the opportunity for real-time interactivity. This took a while for me to adjust to, as did  engaging naturally with the content of the lectures. In some ways it requires thinking a lot more about the participants, anticipating possible questions and structuring the presentation to provide answers concisely.

openHPI: Would you give another MOOC and if yes, what would you change next time?

Anne Kayem: Absolutely. I was excited to teach the course and enjoyed the experience. It is something I would be open to doing again. There is always room for change. I would break up the more difficult material into smaller lectures and support these lectures with a wider variety of self-test questions.

openHPI: In MINT subjects like Computer Science we often observe that only very few girls and women take part. What do you think is the reason for this and what would you like to say to those reading this?

Anne Kayem: Oh, yes, you are talking about a very important point: the gender sensitivity could be better in our technical environment. It begins with the language we use, the role models we see in certain professions and the way we are brought up from a very early age. Girls playing with dolls and following creative hobbies and boys doing all that technical stuff like programming and so on. In my opinion girls and women would be much more attracted by Computer Science and motivated to learn a MINT subject if it were presented differently in terms of gender sensitivity. This is my call to everyone listening: “Think of female computer scientists like Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and Fran Allen, and know that the road to doing better than them begins with just one step forward. Try one of the next MOOCs and you will see that you will learn quickly. The nice part is that you can take advantage of being anonymous to ask lots of questions without the fear of being judged”.

openHPI: Thank you very much for the interview.

Course on Internet Security starts on February 8


Dear Friends of openHPI,

The wait is over. Next week, the completely updated course “Security in the Internet” with be starting on openHPI. In this course, being held in German, Prof. Meinel will teach the basics of internet security over 6 weeks and show how cyber criminals can take advantages of weaknesses in a system. You can enroll in the course here.

A specific topic is dealt with each week with the aim of giving internet users an overview of the technical principles of the internet. Participants gain an understanding of why it is essential for users to protect themselves actively.

In the first week the focus is on security problems and security goals. In the second week we will look at passwords and digital identities, focusing on their usefulness and protective measures against theft.

Prof. Meinel will take a closer look at different types of malware (worms, Trojans, botnets, viruses) in the third week. In the second half of the course we will learn about data transfer protection via the internet. In week five we will be introduced to the world of cryptography. Finally, participants will receive further information on how to protect their digital  alter ego, private wireless networks and mobile devices.

Did you already participate in our last course on internet security in 2014 and do you now wonder if it is worth doing again? Our answer is “YES”! We got a lot of constructive feedback on our last course and have included many of these ideas in the planning and the conception of our new course. This time we want to discuss particular topics that everyone – certainly you, too –has to cope with in daily life, e.g., apps, health tracker, and smart home.

We look forward to having you with us and hearing from you!

Best wishes

The openHPI team


Online Security Technology background

New Feature: Quiz Recap

We are happy to announce a new exciting feature for openHPI today: the Quiz Recap! The Quiz Recap allows you to practice the course content with random self test questions and suggests videos which might be interesting for your to revise. You can access the Quiz Recap via a new tab in the course navigation menu.

Quiz Recap Start Screen

Learners can practice random sets of questions from their courses. Questions with one correct answer are indicated by a radio button. Those with multiple correct answers are indicated by a checkbox. Questions will be evaluated right away so you get instant feedback. The end of the quiz will suggest some videos they may want to revise.

A look ahead – and back!

The year is already on the road and spring just begins – and more exciting courses are waiting for you in 2015!

Automated Visual Software Analytics has just begun, two Java Courses run in April/May and from summer on we will offer once more our successful classes Web Technologies, In-Memory Data Management and Semantic Web. Interested? – Browse the course catalogue!

Beside creating new courses we constantly work on the development of the openHPI platform, to facilitate the best possible learning experience. Our learners are important experts in this process since they know best about what works best and what needs to be improved. – Here you can participate in our latest user experience survey, in which we also want to learn about what you think about certain optional features.

This is also a good moment to look back and present some course statistics for 2014 (and early 2015): For the seven offered courses we counted (and still count) 50,496 enrollments in total. Among those, 9,577 learners showed up continuously and could successfully finish the class with a Record of Achievement – Congratulations! Especially our German-taught courses had a success ratio of about 30%. This finding is unusual for MOOCs as many enrolled users typically just check out some of the learning resources. That’s fine and you can even still enroll in all past openHPI courses and study at your own pace. But, of course, we are happy to see that so many participants were actively engaged and made it to the end successfully.

Course Title Language Enrollments at course end (total) Record of Achievement* Record of Achievement %
Sichere E-Mail (09-02 – 06-03-2015) German 5,733 (5,846) 1,462 25.50%
Sicherheit im Internet (27-10 – 22-12-2014) German 10,582 (11,284) 3,631 34.31%
Spielend Programmieren Lernen (22-09 – 20-10-2014) German 7,382 (9,195) 2,516 34.08%
In-Memory Data Management (01-09 – 03-11-2014) English 8,966 (9,819) 1,030 11.49%
Semantic Web Technologies (26-05 – 27-07-2014) English 4,603 (5,851) 448 9.73%
Internetworking with TCP/IP (31-03 – 23-05-2014) English 4,975 (6,531) 834 16.76%
Parallel Programming Concepts (02-02 – 28-03-2014) English 6,462 (7,816) 1,118 17.30%

* On openHPI participants get a Record of Achievement) if they achieve in total at least 50% of the maximum points by submitting weekly homework and participating in the exam.

openSAP wins together with openHPI the Brandon Hall GOLD Award

We are very delighted to announce that openSAP in successful partnership with openHPI received the GOLD Brandon Hall Excellence Award 2014 in the category Best Extended Enterprise Learning Program!

Now entering its 20th year, the Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards Program is the most prestigious awards program in the industry.

The winners are listed at

Brandon Hall Best Extended Enterprise Learning Program

We would like to express our sincere THANKS to YOU, our extensively studying course participants, and all brilliant instructors & experts who made this success happen together with us.

About openHPI

openHPI is the educational Internet platform of the German Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam. On openHPI you take part in a worldwide social learning network based on interactive online courses covering different subjects in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

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