• 01/13/2016

TUM to introduce Massive Open Online Courses for future Master’s students from around the world

Preparing for a Master’s degree with MOOCs

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is introducing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to help prospective international students prepare for a Master’s degree at TUM. MOOCs for Masters will be designed so that participants can test their knowledge before applying for their preferred Master’s course and close knowledge gaps they may have. Two years ago, TUM became one of the first German universities to introduce its own MOOCs, which have already been completed by over 100,000 participants in around 160 countries.

Shooting for the trauma surgery MOOC
Shooting for the trauma surgery MOOC: The online courses give exciting insights into research. (Photo: Heddergott / TUM)

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offer participants from all over the world free access to tuition from outstanding academics. TUM’s popular MOOCs consist of several individual units, incorporating a number of video elements, each lasting a few minutes. Participants can also complete interactive tasks, access additional learning materials and discuss topics in online forums. They can then take an exam at the end of each course.  

TUM is now expanding its offering by producing an initial new series of up to ten MOOCs, each designed as preparation for a specific Master’s program (although they are not mandatory for applicants). The MOOCs will give participants the opportunity to test their knowledge and if necessary close any significant gaps before they apply for their preferred course. They will also get a good idea of what the study program will entail.

Another step on the path to internationalizing TUM

The MOOCs for Masters are set to go online during this year. They are primarily aimed at prospective international students, who will be coming to TUM from countries with different qualification and education systems. However, the online courses will also be open to any other participants.

“The MOOCs we plan to introduce are ideal preparatory courses offering high-quality teaching through a globally accessible platform,” says Prof. Gerhard Müller, Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “Both TUM and course participants will benefit from this new offering. Prospective Master’s students can upskill before submitting their application and our lecturers can get an idea of the applicants’ level of knowledge before the start of the semester. Therefore, the new MOOCs mark a further step on the path to internationalizing TUM.”  

Video tuition at home followed by discussion in the lecture theater

TUM is using digital technology to enhance the learning experience on campus, too. Prof. Martin Kleinsteuber is just one lecturer who is incorporating MOOC elements into traditional courses. As part of his “inverted classroom” approach, students familiarize themselves with course contents at home by watching videos created for the “Introduction to Computer Vision” MOOC. Prof. Kleinsteuber can then use the lecture time to discuss the content in greater detail – which produces longer-lasting learning results according to the students themselves.

“We are continuously developing our e-learning strategy at TUM. Increased digitization is enabling new formats, which are making the learning process both more enjoyable and more effective,” says Hans Pongratz, Senior Vice President for IT Systems and Services (CIO). “MOOCs allow us to offer innovative learning experiences, with blended learning providing an excellent combination of e-learning and sit-in lectures.”

More information:

Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

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