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SAP launches mostly-free online courseware

No mention of cheap beer in software giant's offer to 'go back to university'

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Massive Online Open Courses, aka MOOCs, are flavour of the month thanks to the huge numbers of students signing up for courses offered by some of the world's most prestigious universities.

Little wonder then that one of the world's more prestigious software vendors, SAP, has clambered aboard the bandwagon with a very MOOC-like free education effort.

Open.SAP.com, for that is the name and address of the effort, bills itself as offering the chance to “go back to university to learn more about topics that are key to success in the SAP ecosystem, and combine your studies with your busy work schedule.”

Sadly that offer doesn't include cheap beer, sleeping until noon or ridiculously long holidays. Instead, students get the chance to spend four to five hours for six weeks on an “Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA”, as the first unit is titled.

SAP's not being entirely altruistic, explaining that while “Registration, learning content, and the final exam are free of charge … to fully benefit from the course, you can access a fee-based system environment to develop your own code.”

Over 20,000 students have enrolled in the course at the time of writing. They can expect a weekly video lesson and “multiple-answer assignment”. A final exam uses the same format.

Students who get more than half of questions right in all assignments and the final test win a “Record of Achievements” that will live at students' openSAP page.

If you're thinking you might do this with some mates in the office, the student code below makes it plain SAP is taking this pretty seriously:

  • I will not share my access to openSAP with another person.
  • I will work on weekly assignments and exams on my own without the help of another person.
  • I will not publish course materials, made available through openSAP, in any way on other sites.
  • I will not make available solutions to weekly assignments and exams in any way to other learners on openSAP.
  • I will not publish on openSAP any material unrelated to the objectives of a social learning platform.

That last point is open to all sorts of interpretations. Here's ours: this is a good way to learn SAP, but nothing like going back to university. ®

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