A group of dedicated Potterheads created Hogwarts Is Here, an online version of the beloved magic academy where members can take courses just like Harry and the gang. And it’s no joke — these free courses include quizzes, essays and extra credit!
I signed myself up for a first-year Defense Against the Dark Arts course (DADA-101) just to see how it all works.
I was able to choose my character’s name, create a backstory and choose which house she represents. (I could have chosen any of the four houses for my Hogwarts Is Here persona, but I got sorted into Ravenclaw a long time ago on Pottermore, the official Harry Potter fan site. I’m sticking with it!)
Enrolling in a course was as simple as clicking on “Courses” at the top of the page, then scrolling through the offerings. I chose DADA-101, taught by a Professor Jericho Penrose, and went ahead with “Lesson 1: Introduction to Defense Against the Dark Arts.”
It’s pretty impressive! I feel like I’m back in college — the lesson includes a syllabus and explanation of the grading, and a chunk of reading to complete. Detailed descriptions of the lumos and nox charms completed the lesson.
Then it was time to take the quiz.
It was a real quiz. A few true-or-false questions, some multiple choice and even some short-answer questions. To be honest, I didn’t represent Ravenclaw very well. I’d skimmed the lesson material and totally blanked on a few of my answers. This professor plays for keeps!
Students who get good grades can compete to win the title of Head Boy or Head Girl. Or, if you have little interest in revisiting your school days, you can just create a character and explore the various roleplaying groups and forums that make up the rest of Hogwarts Is Here.
Phew — after that quiz disaster I’m ready for a butterbeer! See you at the Three Broomsticks.