In this free online course, you’ll learn the key concepts of object-oriented programming (OOP) as well as fundamental programming techniques. You’ll apply your newly acquired knowledge by implementing hands-on programming exercises in the Java programming language. The course will be completed by an exercise to model a small, object-oriented, real-world scenario. After completing this course, you’ll be able to model and implement small programs in Java and apply OOP best practices.
June 13, 2018 - July 26, 2018
Language: English

Course information


Course Summary

In this course, you’ll learn the key concepts of object-oriented programming (OOP) as well as fundamental programming techniques. A key concept of OOP is to distribute tasks between several suitable components. Each of these components has its own state and behavior and can communicate with other components. You’ll apply your newly acquired knowledge by implementing hands-on programming exercises in the Java programming language. The course will be completed by an exercise in which you’ll model a small, object-oriented, real-world scenario.

For a better understanding, the programming exercises are combined with a detective story. Help Duke to solve his mysterious new case!

After completing this course, you’ll be able to model and implement small programs in Java and apply OOP best practices.

Course Characteristics

  • Starting from: June 13, 2018, 09:00 UTC (What does this mean?)
  • Duration: 6 weeks (including the “Outro” week*)
  • Effort: ~6 hours per week
    • Depending on your level of knowledge, this time may vary
    • If you participate in the bonus assessment, you may need additional time
  • Assignments: Hands-on programming exercises, quizzes, weekly exams, final exam
  • Bonus points: Hands-on modeling in a team (Team Peer Assessment)
  • Course language: English
  • (How is an openSAP course structured?)

Learning Outcomes

Java Basics

  • Get started with a Java program (Main method, Hello World)
  • Read and understand Java Syntax
  • Know and apply basic programming constructs in Java (variables and types)

OOP Basics

  • Basics of UML class diagrams
  • Create classes based on UML diagrams
  • Know and understand terminology of object-oriented programming (class, object, instance)
  • Create classes including methods and attributes

OOP Advanced Topics

  • Know and understand terminology of object-oriented programming (instance, inheritance, composition)
  • Classes and subclasses
  • Polymorphism: overriding (and overwriting) methods

Java Advanced Topics

  • Know and apply further programming constructs in Java (conditions and loops)
  • Understand and apply statements, assignments, operators
  • Implement inheritance relationships in Java
  • Implement aggregations in Java
  • Java collections
  • Error handling

Modeling Basics

  • Inheritance, aggregation, association

IDE Basics

  • Eclipse, Compiler, Interpreter
  • Improving code quality
  • Version Control

Course Content

  • Introduction: Programming Basics
  • Week 1: Java Classes and Objects
  • Week 2: Further Programming Concepts
  • Week 3: Object-Oriented Programming
  • Week 4: Modeling
  • Week 5: Advanced Programming Concepts
  • Week 6: Final Exam
  • *Outro: Introduction to a Java IDE and Outlook

How to Gain Points for a Record of Achievement

You can achieve a total of 200 points in this course.
50% of the points will be achieved by solving interactive programming exercises.
You do not need to install any software to work on these exercises, all you need is a modern browser (preferably Firefox, Chrome, or Safari).
The other half of the points will be earned by solving 5 weekly assignments (25% total) and taking the final exam (25%).

The weekly assignments and final exam consist of multiple choice and multiple answer tests and debugging exercises.
In the debugging exercises, we will provide a piece of code and you have to find the hidden bugs.

We will have weekly assignments in weeks 1 to 5. The learning content of these weeks will also be part of the final exam.
There will be no weekly assignments in the Intro, Outro, and Excursus in week 2.
These three sections will also not be part of the final exam.

In week 4, we will offer a team-based modeling exercise. This exercise will be peer graded.
The available bonus points correspond to the weekly assignment points of one and a half weeks.

Course Requirements

To participate in this course, all you need is to be interested in programming. You’ll also need a computer with Internet access and a modern browser.

Previous experience in programming will be helpful but is not necessarily required.

Previous Version of This Course

The previous version of this course (in German) is available here (on openHPI):

Objektorientierte Programmierung in Java (March 27 through May 14, 2017)

Course contents


  • Intro:

    General introduction to programming and some basic Java syntax. Information about the course and the platform.
  • Week 1:

    Classes and objects. Variables, attributes, and methods. Boolean logic and control structures.
  • Week 2:

    Arrays and loops. Method signatures, scope, constructors. Exceptions and null. Overloading.
  • Excursus Memory Management:

    References. Pass-by-value, pass-by-reference, garbage collection.
  • Week 3:

    Access control, encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, abstract classes and interfaces.
  • Week 4:

    Object-oriented modeling. CRC-cards. Introduction to UML. Class and instance relationships: Inheritance, implementation, association, aggregation, composition.
  • Week 5:

    Object data types and collections.
  • Outro:

    Brief introduction to integrated development environments (IDEs) and version control.

Enroll me for this course


If you would like to enroll for this course, there are no formal prerequisites or limitations. The course is free and open for everyone. Just register for an account on openSAP and go for the course!

Enroll me now

Learners enrolled: 16405

Certificate Requirements


  • A record of achievement is issued to those who have earned more than 50% of the maximum number of points for the sum of all graded assignments. Find out more in the certificate guidelines.
  • A confirmation of participation is issued to those who have completed at least 50% of the course material. Find out more in the certificate guidelines.

This course is offered by


Christiane Hagedorn (openHPI Team)

Christiane Hagedorn did both her bachelor's and master's degree in Media Informatics at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. Now she is a PhD candidate at the Hasso Plattner Institute and explores the potential of game-based learning in e-learning contexts.

In her leisure time, Christiane is singing in a choir, playing the drums, travelling the world and recently evolved a great passion for playing foosball. She also loves playing digital and non-digital games, which is one of the reasons for chosing her research topic. In the past, she worked on several game projects in different ways. In addition, she wants to become a professor and has a great passion for teaching.

Ann Katrin Kuessner (openHPI Team)

Ann Katrin Kuessner graduated with a Bachelor of IT-Systems Engineering at the Hasso Plattner Institute and is currently pursuing her masters. She worked as a software engineer for openWHO.org, the sister platform of openHPI and openSAP and will intern this summer at Google as a Product Manager.

In her free-time, you can mostly find her outside doing sports, preferably in the mountains. Additionally, she works voluntarily as a ski instructor for her skiing club and gives workshops and supervises camps for STEM topics.

Thomas Staubitz (openHPI Team)

Thomas Staubitz is a research associate and Ph.D. candidate at the Internet Technologies and Systems group of Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel at the Hasso Plattner Institute at the University of Potsdam. His general research topics are in the area of eLearning and MOOCs. A particular focus is on collaboration and interaction among course participants and assessment strategies beyond multiple-choice quizzes.

Ralf Teusner (openHPI Team)

Ralf Teusner is a Research Assistant at the Enterprise Platform and Integration Concepts research group of Professor Dr. h.c. Hasso Plattner, located at the Hasso Plattner Institute at the University of Potsdam. His research area is centered around eLearning and MOOCs. Especially the adoption of programming languages and concepts as well as the potential and influence of social interaction are in his focus.

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