What the Heck is H5P?

H5P is a fantastic tool which works with Moodle. It’s described as a plugin which “makes it easy to create, share and reuse HTML5 content and applications.” For those of you baffled by that jargon. Here is the simple version. As an educator H5P is a tool which allows you to make games, quizzes, interactive video and interactive image activities with ease. One great feature is that it all works on mobile devices. You’ll know from some of my other posts that I’m all for trying to find interesting and valuable things to do with smartphones and tablets but this will work great on a desktop PC as well. Even better, thanks to MIT it’s free to use.

Anyone who has tried to make an activity on Moodle (or the DLE as it’s called in the world of Military Educators) will know that it can be time-consuming and frustrating. H5P not only makes it easier to make resources, but it also makes it possible for you to make many more activities than you would normally be able to produce on Moodle.

Image-Based Activity

Above you can see a quick activity I made, which in keeping with my last blog, features my branch cap-badge. By clicking on this interactive image you can learn a bit about its component parts. The Torch, Crown, and Scroll. It’s simple to use, it’s interactive, and it will work on a Mobile device. I’ve incorporated basic elements of interaction here,  you just tap and read. But the platform is capable of much more. You can add feedback, alter the pass mark, or have a penalty for making an incorrect selection if you tap the wrong element. It’s very flexible and crucially very easy to set up.

Blended Learning – Interactive Video Content

There are lots of options available when using H5P. One that I think could be particularly useful as a technology-enabled blended learning tool is the interactive video feature. Below you can see a video. I’ve sourced the content from YouTube and then added interactive elements to it but you can create and upload your own video content if you prefer. Throughout the video, there are questions which are used to check and confirm understanding. Again, this is simple. but you can do much more with it. I would urge people to give this a try.

This could be used as a piece of formative assessment during a subordinate development lesson. Alternatively, you could set this as an activity prior to the lesson and then get students to back brief other members of their syndicate about what they have learned.

This resource is again quite simple and only took around 5 minutes to make. However, despite the simplicity of this resource, the variety of interactive elements you can add to a video like this is large; I’ve only used 3 kinds of interaction. But you can choose between 17 elements to add. I would be really interested to see what other people could come up with using this tool. I will certainly be using it in future.

What else?

There are currently four different categories of resource you can make. Games, Multimedia, Questions and Social Media. with a total of 39 different kinds of activity. The variety really is impressive. Not all will have an obvious use in Military Education, but plenty will. I’m particularity interested to see if the recording tools could be used as a way of getting students to make mini-podcasts, or if the mark the words game could be used as part of DW summative assessment. I’m definitely going to be using these on the next course I teach as if nothing else, it will stop me having to rely on Quizlet or another 3rd party tools for games and activities in the classroom.

Lowing Barriers For Teachers

This new plugin looks like a great opportunity for anyone working in education. Teacher training might talk about blended-learning, but it does little to arm you with the technical skills to deliver the technology part of that blend. Anything that lowers the barrier to making online activities and content has to be positive for teachers. I hope some other people give it a try. If you do please let me know how you and your students got on with it on twitter.

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