September 2022
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H5P AUTHORING OPTIONS

John Allan, New Language Solutions, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

As the pandemic approached and lingered, teaching moved to fully online emergency remote teaching (Hodges, Moore, Lockee, Trust, & Bond, 2020). Educators desperately searched for digital resources that could support teaching and learning. It became immediately evident that there was no turn-key solution for language instructors, who required customized content for their unique virtual classroom demographics. Instructional developers and designers were sought to create online learning events. However, there was a shortage of skilled practitioners and budgets for materials development. In order to create customized learning objects, instructors were left to their own devices.

The Internet was a hive of activity with practitioners sharing expertise through webinars, online How To guides, instructional videos, meetups, social media sharing, blogs, digital newsletters, online events and even the corporate sector offering discounts and free subscriptions to educators. Online apps such as Quizlet, Kahoot, Quizziz and Padlet satisfied some of the requirements, but an open and inexpensive Swiss Army knife solution was needed to allow language teachers to integrate their pedagogical knowledge and skills with technology to enhance language teaching and learning. (Healey, 2011). Educational authoring tools such as Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline had the necessary features but they were prohibitively expensive and had long learning curves. H5P, a contemporary, open-source online eLearning authoring tool was a realistic and timely option that allowed instructors to create active learning events.

H5P offers more than forty different tools that can be mashed up into different configurations using H5P power tools: Interactive Video, Course Presentation, Interactive Book, Question Set, and column, to create limitless learning possibilities. Since then, H5P has become a catchword for developing online learning activities in the TESOL community. It has been used as a practical means of integrating interactive, self-assessing, and media-rich learning objects into online courses. Many instructors quickly learned that even though H5P presents a relatively intuitive authoring method, the number of tools and associated options made this process challenging. The H5P open site, h5p.org, offers exemplars, step by step tutorials and descriptions of H5P tools to assist instructors to create their own H5P content.

In the spirit of sharing that characterized the initial phase of the pandemic, H5P learning objects became available through open community repositories such as Tutela.ca and the ecampusontario H5P Studio. H5P learning objects can be repurposed. This makes H5Ps efficiency enhancers as downloading an H5P and making customizations saves development time and energy.

H5P Exemplars

Language teachers can use H5P in countless ways. Of course, the content is the most important part of a learning activity. If it is well planned and mapped to expected outcomes, the H5P technology only serves to enrich the learning event through additional engagement, repetition and interaction. H5P learning objects can be made to meet the following goals:

  1. provide activity repetition opportunities by allowing users to retry the activity, instant feedback, hints and opportunities to view the correct responses
  2. enhance an existing activity by adding media (audio, video, animation) activities
  3. create more than forty learning activity types which can be further combined using the Course Presenter, Columns and Interactive Book tools
  4. track learner activity, grades while embedded into institutional learning management system


These are a few that I have created to different purposes over the past free year. These are modest that instructors can create on their own. Anyone can click on the Reuse button under each of these to download them. They can be used as they are or customized for a different purpose or audience.


H5P Editing Options

H5P is an open-source tool with a sister commercial enterprise. As these have matured, so have the authoring options available. It is important to understand these before choosing an H5P authoring system. Currently there are four: H5P.org, H5P.com, Lumi education online, Lumi education desktop and LMS integration.

H5P.org

This is the H5P original open editor and resources site. It allows educators to access a few H5P tools without cost. This service offers the advantages of publishing H5P learning objects online and foregoing an LMS. However, no grades and student tracking are recorded. Recently more tools are back as well as the most recent releases to try out so, it is still a useful site for hands-on training. This site is very significant as it houses core information about H5P including working and downloadable examples, documentation and tutorials.

H5P.com

H5P’s corporate services offer hosting options, complete and current web editing configuration and tools, integration of current editing H5P tools with a variety of hosts such as D2L and publishing of H5P learning objects. Please check with H5P.com for current licensing plans.

LMS Integration

H5P integrates with Moodle, D2L, Canvas, and Blackboard learning management systems. Some of the integrations are plug-ins and others are embedded into the LMS’s core, such as Moodle. LMS’s integration of H5P offers comprehensive H5P editing within the Moodle LMS. Moodle administrators must be attentive with upgrades to ensure all of the H5P tools are present and current. H5P activity and grades are tracked and recorded in logs, reports and the grade book. Learning objects can be published and shared throughout the LMS.

Lumi Desktop

The Lumi Education H5P desktop editor allows educators to access current H5P tools without cost. Since Lumi Desktop is an app that is installed on a device or laptop, it allows H5P editing without signing in to an LMS. H5Ps can be created, edited and published directly on the desktop. This is the only way that H5Ps can be edited offline. While editing, the developer can quickly switch to preview and then jump back to editing mode. Another interesting Lumi feature is the export utility. Lumi allows teachers to export their H5P learning objects to HTML folders and SCORM 1.2 formats. These can be shared and viewed on any browser for student interaction. However, grades or tracking will not be recorded using this method. Saved H5Ps can be placed within an LMS course as with the other editors to take advantage of the feedback and recording that LMS offer. Lumi also offers this service on their website. It operates similar to H5P.org, but offers most the H5P tools with the ability to host your learning objects online.

Lumi Online

The free Lumi Education H5P online editor also allows educators to access current H5P tools. As well, the Lumi online resource allows H5P editing without signing in to an institutional LMS, which is similar to H5P.com and H5P.org. While editing, the developer can quickly toggle between preview and editing modes. Lumi online allows teachers to host their H5P learning objects on the Lumi education through a generated web link. These links can be shared and viewed on any browser for student access and interaction. Grades or tracking will not be recorded unless the H5Plearning objects are within an LMS.

Final thoughts

H5P learning objects can be created by instructional developers or teachers to produce customized learning events. There are five editing options. No matter which one is chosen, recycling existing H5Ps from your peers or a digital repository is to start editing with H5P. After a few projects, editing becomes instinctive.

References

Allan, John. (2022). Making an H5P question set using Lumi. TinyURL.com - shorten that long URL into a tiny URL. Retrieved September 19, 2022, from https://tinyurl.com/4rzr3y6m

Catalogue of H5P Content | eCampusOntario H5P Studio. (2022.). Retrieved September 19, 2022, from https://h5pstudio.ecampusontario.ca

H5P Examples & downloads. Front page. (n.d.). Retrieved September 19, 2022, from https://h5p.org/content-types-and-applications

Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., & Bond, A. (2020). The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. EduCAUSE Review. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/3/the-difference-between-emergency-remote-teaching-and-online-learning

Lumi Education. Jan Philip Schellenberg und Sebastian Rettig, & Kit, M. U. I. (2022.). Lumi. Retrieved September 19, 2022, from https://lumi.education/

Healey, D. (2011). TESOL technology standards: Description, implementation, integration. Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.


John is an instructional designer, teacher mentor and language instructor. He holds an M.Ed. in Distance Education, an M.Sc. in CALL, a B.Ed. in TESL, a Ministry of Education B.Ed. and a B.A. in history. He is currently working on the nationwide Avenue.ca project in Canada.

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