MOOCs (massive open online courses) have been growing in popularity over the last few years. SAP has proudly announced that it has achieved 1,000,000 enrolments on its openSAP MOOC from more than 300,000 unique students across 180 different countries. Furthermore students have achieved an impressive completion rate across the courses of between 25% and 30%.
Three new courses for openSAP
The platform was launched in 2013 in conjunction with the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) and has been constantly evolving over the last three years. Professor Christoph Meinel, Scientific Institute Director and CEO of the Hasso Plattner Institute commented: “Working with openSAP to build new features based on their learners’ needs, together with our openHPI learners’ needs, we have developed amazing online learning experiences to bring classroom training to a global audience.”
The latest innovations involve the creating of three new courses
- Build Your Own SAP Fiori App in the Cloud – 2016 Edition – Last taught in 2015 it has been updated to include the latest US topics and tools for SAP Fiori, including SAP Fiori 2.0, SAP S/4HANA and SAP Splash studio. Access to the systems to complete the course can be accomplished through SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) free of charge.
- Sustainability Through Digital Transformation – Two podcasts for this popular course are already available to listen to including an introduction to the course and “The business of Climate Change”. The purpose of the course is to explain some of the challenges for business around sustainability and other topics such as the World Economic Forum in Davis and the UN conference on Climate change in Paris (COP21). While the podcasts will end in April, a course that dives deeper into the subjects will follow.
- Implementation Made Simple for SAP SuccessFactors Solutions – For those companies looking to deploy SAP SuccessFactors this will explain how to use the rapid-deployment solutions (RDS) available from SAP. It will be interesting to find out if the course covers Continuous Performance Management, functionality recently released by SAP which is not included in the course brief.
The new courses are all provided free of charge and consist of classroom lectures, weekly assignments, discussion forums for students and even final exams to obtain the certificate. In some ways that the courses are free of charge means that the SAP completion rates are even more impressive. For companies wishing to deploy, or update SAP software solutions they should that their HR functions are aware of the available courses and IT departments should consider accessing them.
openSAP doing better than some academic courses
Research has often showed that the distance learning method, pioneered by the Open University in the UK 45 years ago has a low completion rate for students. According to the SAP press release that completion rate is between 4% and 7% (based on a 2014 study by Harvard University).
In fact a later far wider study by a joint Harvard and MIT research team in 2015 revealed a completely different story. This survey reached 1,000,000 unique participants with 1,700,000 enrolments across 68 certificate granting courses. The success rate for the 57% of students who stated their desire to earn a certificate was nearly 25%, for the 43% who were unsure or didn’t intent to complete 8% ultimately did.
This does not belittle the achievement of openSAP as it still has a higher completion rate than many academic courses and the statistics available do not separate out those students who didn’t intend to completion the course from those who did. The Harvard/MIT report infers that 17.7% actually earned the certificate.
SAP is ahead of its competitors in this on line learning space. Few of their competitors offer anything similar on a free of charge basis. It enables SAP to gain skilled resources in the workplace that helps them to ensure loyalty and implementation expertise is readily available. It should be noted that while the courses are free of charge, access to systems to utilise the knowledge learnt and probably complete the assignments is not included.
There is no doubt that many of the course attendees will have earned themselves an increased salary having completed the course. SAP would also like to think that better trained customers are a driver for more product sales and that they contributed to its recently reported growth figures.
Professor Hasso Plattner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SAP SE commented: “I am enthusiastic about what the openSAP platform has provided to over 300,000 unique learners from more than 180 countries. We attribute the success of the platform to the fact that the courses are crafted specifically with the user in mind. Our courses are relevant to professionals’ careers and day to day tasks. Whether you are an SAP software user, employee, or just interested in digital technology, these courses are highly impactful.”