Education award for Felienne Hermans’ online course

News - 19 January 2016 - Webredactie Communication

The online course Data Analysis: Take it to the MAX, devised by Felienne Hermans, has been given the Wharton-QS gold education award in the category Regional Award Europe: the prize for the best education innovation project entry in Europe. She will be presented with the award by Dean Rob Fastenau on 21 January, during a meeting of the TU Delft Extension School, which supports online education within the university. Felienne Hermans will also take the opportunity of the meeting to give a presentation about the course.


More than 500 universities and companies from 50 countries competed with each other for these ‘Oscars of higher education’, which are awarded in 22 categories. A panel of forty international experts in the field of higher education made the selection. The jury commented that the quality of the nominations seems to improve every year. Wharton-QS does not only give prizes for good online (or hybrid) courses, but also for apps, learning environments and other developments that support online education.

Demand from the labour market

The jury was enthusiastic about the Data Analysis course as a whole, and more specifically about the educational quality. The jury also thinks that the course is important because of the current demand from the labour market for people with knowledge and skills in the field of data analysis and working with (Excel) spreadsheets. Students who took part in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) were highly impressed with the content of the course and the way in which Felienne Hermans conveyed the information. 

Making data manageable

Data Analysis: Take it to the MAX is a free online course (Massive Open Online Course / MOOC), aimed at anyone who wants to get the most out of data and spreadsheets. The course teaches users how to organise large volumes of data into spreadsheets, and to analyse and visualise it. Those taking part are taught the latest techniques and best practices by means of video lectures and assignments based on practical situations.  

Throughout the world

The MOOC wants to help students, researchers and corporate staff throughout the world - including in countries where higher education is largely inaccessible - to make better use of the data at their disposal. Anyone can sign up for the MOOC, but experience of spreadsheets is recommended. 

Target groups

The course content is based on the subject that Felienne Hermans herself teaches to Master’s students at TU Delft, but with a new design. The MOOC is aimed at students in regular education: they attend online lectures so that they can study the subject in more depth during the regular lectures by means of discussions and assignments (‘flipping the classroom’). Felienne has expanded her MOOC into a complete series of three MOOCs, the last of which is in project form. This Data analysis Xseries (on the EdX platform) helps working professionals to develop into independent data analysts in tackling data-based organisational issues.  

Innovative education

The Wharton Awards are an initiative of QS (Quacquarelli Symonds, commonly known in the Netherlands for the QS ranking of universities) and the Wharton SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management. Lecturers from throughout the world were invited to describe and share their experiences with new methods of teaching, learning and conveying knowledge. The focus in education should shift from the transfer of knowledge via a lecturer to active learning on the part of the student, say the initiators. Technology is enabling us to tailor education to the style of learning of individual students. It is a subject that is currently receiving a lot of attention worldwide. Wharton and QS want to reward the most imaginative initiatives with a prize. 


Additional information 
Data Analysis: Take it to the MAX is one of 29 MOOCs run by TU Delft. The complete overview is shown here.   
For more information on the course, see the website of Innovative Pedagogical Approaches for Higher Education.   
Please visit this webpage to register for the MOOC.