By Ansonlobo CC-BY-SA 4.0
While creating a revision tutorial for my students a few months ago, I coincidentally stumbled over a function that allowed me to add quizzing elements to the presentation I was making. The thrill of potentially asking my students to come up with their own questions to make the embedded video portion more engaging got soon dimmed by the realization that I wouldn’t be able to export any interactive elements into the virtual space all students had equal access to. SCORM package incompatibility is what it’s called in technical speak. Sounds pretty scary to the uninitiated and is one of reasons why I really dislike singular-space proprietary software that holds content in solitary confinement within either a single platforms or tool.
You might now understand why my first reaction to H5P was one of surprise added with a big slap of suspicion. The first place I read about it was this interview in opensource.com¹, in which the interviewee claimed to have created this open tool to “guarantee […] that creatives own their own content and are not locked into the fate and licensing regime of a specific tool.” Not quite convinced at that point, I was still curious enough to go and find out more. What I discovered then intrigued me.
Not only is this software ‘platform-agnostic’, but also open and free for anyone to use. Moreover, the content you create can easily be rendered by alternative tools if need be or wanted. To top it off, H5P is very well something for the flock of the faint of heart among the users of educational technology. You are truly only few clicks away from creating any one of the altogether 26 self-contained HTML5 interactive content types below. Always wanted to create THAT appealing timeline, THAT inspiring video presentation, THAT teasing audio recording activity or THAT sleek interactive quiz?
Believe you me, you can now save yourself a few trips (and expenditures on your way) through cyberspace, nor will you need to read a lengthy expert manual to start creating.
However, be aware that the software needs YOU in order to invigorate your instruction! Besides all that ease in use, no ready-made content will suddenly appear before you, neither does the tool come with prepackaged ideas how you can engage your students in ways that fit their needs and simultaneously match your requirements for your course. “The new learning is ancient”, as Kathi Inman Berens² puts it, and with this concise statement she very accurately captures the need for you create that space, in which your students can interact and thereby stimulate their individual learning.
H5P content types are indeed multi-functional and I like how Dr. Robert O’Toole³ describes this versatility with an image of the culinary kind, when he calls them “wrappers for ‘open educational resources'”, with the help of which a set of generic resources can be utilized to create custom-tailored teaching materials, “the more complex composite types of” which […] have great potential […] for building immersive learning experiences – more coherent, flowing and hence immersive than we can easily achieve with conventional” […] learning management systems. The home-made potpourri of resources accessible on Toole’s website (inspireslearning.com) is a great start for those among you who wish to see some sample content types in (inter)action.
Are you ready to peek beyond those high paywall fortresses that dot the “almost medieval world”¹ of interactivity? If you do, you’ll find refreshing open waters to tread.
You might want to refer to the tutorials for authors for more inspiration. Happy H5Ping!
¹An Interview with Svein-Tore Griff With and Don Watkins (November, 2016). H5P: A CMS plugin for creating HTML5 interactive content. Retrieved from opensource.com.
²Inman Berens, K. (2012). The New Learning is Ancient. What Can’t Be Digitized. Retrieved from Kati Inman Berens. New Media Curios
³O’Toole, R. (July, 2016). Evaluating H5P interactive online learning content creation. Retrieved from www.inspireslearning.com
Malamed, C. Creating Interactive Content With H5P. (An Interview withTimothy Lim, Core Developer for H5P, about the project) Retrieved from The ELearningCoach
‘Knowledge Sharing’ By Ansonlobo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Knowledge-sharing.jpg)], via Wikimedia Commons