Course cycle at openHPI

The usual course duration of openHPI online course depends on the course format. Currently there are three different course formats:

  • full course: it takes 6 weeks plus an extra week for the final exam.
  • hands-on: 4-week course which emphasizes (e.g. Java programming course in April/May 2015)
  • workshop: it takes only 2 weeks and concentrates on a certain concept or enables the participants to learn a specific skill (e.g. "Sichere E-Mail" in February 2015)

The following demonstrates the ideal schedule of a weekly clyle of a 6+1 week course.

All times are communicated in UTC-time.

Monday (week n)
09:00 Hrs   Publishing of course material of week n
            incl. weekly assignment(s)
            Publishing of final exam (only week 6)

09:00 Hrs   Announcement for course start (only week 1)

22:00 Hrs   Deadline assignments of week n
            Deadline of final exam

Tuesday (week n)
14:00 Hrs   Publishing of sample solution of weekly assignment
            for week n-1
14:00 Hrs   (only finaly exam week)
            Publishing of sample solutions of final exam

Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday (week n)
(optional)  Publishing of additional videos such as tutorials, videos,-answers to forum threads

Montag – Freitag (During working Hours)
09:00 Hrs   Monitoring  of discussion forum
18:00 Hrs   Support via Helpdesk and E-Mail messages

Experience from course supervision & suggestions

Publishing of course materials: It has proven beneficial to publish the course materials already on Saturday prior a learning week. (09:00 Hrs). (except the first course week). This allows participants more freedom in their time management without splitting the learning community too much.

Deadline of weekly assignments: To put the deadline of weekly assignments on a Sunday night is not very much desired. Course participants are greatly inclined to hand in weekly assignments last minute. As the teaching team is in general not available for trouble shooting in forum and Helpdesk they can only answer to individual requests (technical or content related) only after the deadline has passed. Therefore, the deadline was changed to Monday night, 22:00 Hrs UTC. 

Publishing of exam results and sample solution: We suggest to publish the sample solution on the afternoon at 14:00 Hrs UTC. This allows enough time for adaptations such as Regrading. On the openHPI platform there is a functionality (Remarks to questions and answers) and the sample solution should be created using this functionality. The publishing time of this sample solution can be communicated on the platform. The publishing of the sample solution takes place automatically. By this it is ensured, that only those participants are able to see their solutions, who have handed in a solution for the weekly assignment.

Announcement of the upcoming course week / important deadlines: Each Friday course participants receive a course announcement which gives a short outlook to the contents of the upcoming course week as well as the next upcoming deadlines. Among those are for example the deadline for the weekly assignment and exams, the deadline for the publishing of the upcoming week’s course materials and sample solutions. Further, important discussions and questions from the helpdesk can be responded to as well. Improvements and extension of the platform need to be communicated as needed by the platform core team via Global Announcements or Blog Posts.

Individual extension of deadlines: Some participants will always demand extensions of deadlines for weekly assignments and final exams. But these cannot be granted out of technical and organisational reasons. Technically, a quiz can only be blocked or released for ALL participants. Organizationally an individual extension of a deadline AFTER the sample solutions have been published, is not very fair anymore towards the learning community.

Kick-off Meeting

Contact: Christian Willems, Thomas Staubitz, Susanne Tannert

Meeting content:

  • Introduction to the functionalities of the platform
  • Discussing the coordination of global announcements for course start as well as the accompanying communicative measures while course is running
  • Explanation and introduction to the Helpdesk ticket system (OTRS)
  • Q & A