By now you might have heard about the launch of openSAP – a new open and free online course platform. This platform will offer free online learning opportunities. I was fortunate enough to be the instructor for the first course – Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA. To read a little of what others have already said about openSAP and this course I would suggest these two blogs –
However you might be wondering how this is different from previous online training offerings. Personally I’ve worked on lots of eLearning videos over the years, but this is something different than these traditional efforts.
First of all, this platform is modeled off a traditional university course, but brought to you online and at your own pace. However instead of dropping all the videos online at once; they will be released a few each week over 6 weeks’ time. This allows you to reserve a little time each day to watch lectures and work on exercises. However this timing also means that most people will be consuming the course material in a similar time window. The openSAP platform also includes a message board where attendees can come to ask questions and discuss what they have learned.
Of course there are often forums to ask questions around other eLearning tools, but because of the timing of openSAP, its far more likely to have large numbers of people working on the same topic at the same time. Therefore there is a much better chance to recreate the classroom collaborative feel of an in-person course.
Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA
For this first course, we actually started with material from an SAP internal two day class room training. We adjusted the format a little and added even more content to it. The result is a fairly deep and comprehensive look at the development activities involved in building SAP HANA Native Applications.
Behind the Scenes
Finally I wanted to give everyone a little behind the scenes look at the creation of this first course for the openSAP platform. It takes a pretty big team to put together a course of this size and ambition. Here is a picture of just part of the team involved.
We had copy editors, writers, video technicians, etc. It was definitely a team effort.
SAP went all out when it came to production values on this course. Normally we record eLearning videos using Camtasia running right from our desktop within our own workspace. For this course we did all the recordings in the professional production studio in Walldorf.
On the positive side, this means you high resolution content which is available in both streaming and downloadable versions. On the negative side, it means you get to see your instructor instead of just the usual voice over. 😉
Speaking of seeing the instructor, this also meant having to dress nicely. Not the usual t-shirt and jeans I wear when not presenting to customers. But we also had the problem that for technical reasons we were often recording course parts out of sequence. That meant that for continuity, I had to change shirts frequently throughout the day. I was carrying 3-4 shirts around in my laptop bag at any one time. The result was that we had to create a makeshift ironing board in the studio prep-room.
As you can probably tell, working to help create this first openSAP course was an incredibly rewarding experience. I hope that everyone who takes the course gets lots of good information and experience from it. This new platform and the subsequent courses which will be released on it, are an important move to spread knowledge about SAP technologies and products and I was proud to be a part of the launch.