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New MOOCs for prospective students and working professionals

Online courses provide a trial look inside master's degree programs

Students with notebooks
Online learning for free at every place around the world - MOOCs make it possible. (Image: A. Heddergott / TUM)

Campus news

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is launching two new formats of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The "MOOCs for Masters" provide support to those applying for master's degree programs. MOOCs in the "edX Professional Certificate Program" offer targeted continuing education for working professionals. The English-language online courses are accessible worldwide at no charge.

Does this degree program offer the content that I want to study? Can I handle the learning level involved? Graduates with bachelor's degrees can select from a wide range of possibilities when considering applying for a master's degree program. Since many master's degrees are more than just the continuation of a bachelor's curriculum, but rather are often interdisciplinary, it's not always easy for applicants to find their bearings, especially for those potentially interested from other countries.

This is why TUM is now offering English-language online courses that provide an advance look inside master's degree programs. The content of the "MOOCs for Masters" consists of topics that are dealt with in the initial phase of the master's degree programs. The participants can thus check to see if they have properly assessed the topic and their own skills. They can also ask lecturers for their opinions and for suggestions on other possibilities in preparation for a degree program.

"Software Engineering Essentials" begins today

The first MOOC in the series begins today: "Software Engineering Essentials“, which handles several master's degree programs in Informatics. MOOCs preparing students for the master's degree programs Ergonomics – Human Factors Engineering, Land Management and Land Tenure, for several programs in the area of mathematics and information technology as well as an English language course are all currently in planning. 

The MOOCs are available not only to potential TUM students, but to anyone interested. TUM is offering them via the edX platform, a non-profit organization founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Learn quality management online

The three-part MOOC series "Six Sigma and Lean: Quantitative Tools for Quality and Productivity" has been designed for working professionals. Participants learn the methods involved in quality management that companies use to analyze production processes and to increase productivity. The first part "Six Sigma: Define and Measure" begins on June 1.

The MOOC is the first contribution of TUM to the "Professional Certificate Program" on the edX platform, aimed at continuing education relating to a specific profession. Those who complete the "Six Sigma and Lean" series can earn an internationally renowned certificate from the TUM Executive Education Center.

Turning the world of the classic seminar upside down

MOOCs consist of a number of individual units employing various video elements, each lasting only a few minutes. Participants can also solve interactive assignments, access additional learning materials and interact with one another in online forums. At the end of the course they can complete a test in order to earn a certificate.

With its MOOCs, which are oriented to the academic level of master's degree programs, TUM has already provided no-cost education to more than 145,000 people in approximately 160 countries. The video elements also enrich teaching in the conventional degree programs. For example, lecturers can use individual elements from the online courses to convert classic on-location lessons requiring attendance to the "Inverted Classroom" principle: The students use the videos to teach themselves basic skills independently at home. Seminars can then be used for further discussion and adding detail to the topics.

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