Oracle MOOC: FAQ

Version 10
Visibility: Open to anyone

    • What is the format of the course? What is a Massive Open Online Course?
      A Massive Open Online Course(MOOC) is very different from a traditional classroom course. First, there is no set classroom time. The components of a MOOC are a set of pre-recorded "lecture" materials, self-guided homework assignments, and some type of assessment, like a quiz. This means you can take the class anytime, anywhere.
      A traditional classroom has 10 to 20 students. A typical MOOC has hundreds, sometimes thousands of students. In order to make the most of your experience taking a MOOC, we encourage you to reach out to your peers (and instructors) in the forum, and, if you like, through in-person meet-ups.


    • When will the course run again?

    At this point, we are not planning to schedule the course as a MOOC again. However, we have made the materials available publicly as a self-paced course. Click here to access the current materials. Please do use the forum to ask questions of the course. The only thing we are not supporting in the self-paced course are the quizzes.

    • What is the development environment for the course?

    The Java ME 8 SDK is designed for a Windows platform only (we tested and developed on Windows 7). The integrated development environment (IDE) is NetBeans. We will be working with the General Availability (RR) release. See this blog entry for more information.


    • Will I get something at the end of the course?
      Yes - based on successful completion of the quizzes (70% score or greater) offered each week, you will receive an award of course completion.



    • What score is required on the quizzes to get the course completion award?
      We are really looking for completion of all the quizzes - the score for successful completion of the course is 70%.

    • Are the lectures available as printed materials?
      At this time we do not have printed materials of the lectures for this course. However, you can download the transcript (caption text) from the YouTube. See this post for details.

    • What are the prerequisites for the course?
      General knowledge and some experience with Java SE programming is recommended. You don't need to be an expert, but we start with the assumption that you are familiar with the core API and have a good grasp on object-oriented programming in Java. If you are a little rusty, that's ok - the Java tutorials will definitely help.

    • How was the course designed? Who is is for?
      The course was designed to provide an introduction to programming Java ME Embedded using the Raspberry Pi as the development platform. The goal was to write a course for Java programmers who may not have experience working with electronics. This means that we can introduce a programmer to writing code that actually turns on and LED, and returns the current location from a working GPS chip! It is really exciting to plug some wires into a breadboard and make these little devices work. We felt that by introducing Java programmers to embedded we could share that excitement with a lot more people.

    • How difficult is the course?
      This course is challenging, but not difficult. We purposefully wrote the homework so there would be more than one solution - in fact, we are sure that we will see some really innovative applications using the same hardware.

    • Is the course graded? What are the quizzes for?
      We realized that having hundreds of people submitting their homework for grading would simply not scale. So the quizzes are based on the outcomes of the homework, and are designed to help us evaluate how well you are grasping the material and applying it to code.

    • How much time will I need to spend per week?
      We estimate that the average person will spend between 4 and 6 hours each week. This includes watching the video lectures, creating and testing solutions for the homework, taking the quizzes and interacting with peers.

    • Where can I buy the hardware - Adafruit is out of stock on the kits
      Adafruit has had trouble keeping the parts in stock and will not kit partial orders. One option is to buy the following as individual parts:
    • Raspberry Pi Model B 512M - there a lot of possible sources:
    • The Adafruit Pi Starter pack - this is usually in stock
      • A close alternative is the CanaKit, but this includes a Pi
    • UK/Europe students: Proto-pic Oracle: Java Embedded Applications pack (without a Raspberry Pi)
    • Adafruit Ultimate GPS Breakout - unfortunately, manufactured by Adafruit
      • However, also sold on Amazon
      • Search Ebay as well
    • BMP180 Barometric Pressure/Temperature Sensor
      • This part is also available from SparkFun just be sure to also order a set of breakaway headers
      • This part is also sold by a number of Chinese and Taiwanese companies on EBay for Arduino - however, I'm not sure of the quality.
    • OPTIONAL: Wifi Dongle - if you can't get this part, you can use a standard ethernet cable

    • How do I change my forum username?

    See this post for step-by-step instructions.


    • I still have questions. Who do I ask?
      The forum is an excellent source of technical questions (once the course starts). If you have a question about something else, please send us an e-mail: