I have an oft-expressed aversion to presenting with slides, especially when presenting about the web…

It seems really counterproductive to do slide decks when sharing about the deeply interactive space of H5P. When I was asked to do a 20-25 minute talk on H5P for the Midwestern Higher Education Compact this idea went off in my primal brain.

Inspired by the Branching Scenario keynote done by Arley Cruthers for the Studio 20 conference, my idea was to steal her idea. What better way to show H5P than presenting in it?

This seemed like a good idea, but as I plunged into building it Monday I started asking myself, WTF AM I DOING?” I maybe spent more time than necessary remixing Palmolive Madge “H5P? You are soaking into it” and my Inception mashup for “content types within content types”

I once did an H5P Branching Scenario that was so large I thought it would break the boat. This one was not quite as complex but… woah, here I am talking about it, first let’s share it. START WITH THE EFFING DEMO used to my my conference chant.

You can see it in a page I hoisted for it at the H5P Kitchen but that thing about H5P is I can embed it right here, right?

So I did start on paper…

A sketch of my planning doc, hand written, on a piece of paper. Sorry, there are too many words to cram in here.

By mid afternoon panic time yesterday, when I had really only built the intro and the first branch, I had to re-assess, and simplified a few things.

Here is the full picture of it in H5P, not too complex…

A flow chrat of blue and black boxes that is the map of the H5P Branching scenario.

As usual when one goes deep in H5P I run into weird things. Often the text box editor would collapse to 0 height. Saving and re-editing cleared that. Also, for some long content types like the Accordion, the field for enter a URL seems to fly off towards the middle if the layout, not the current screen. Then there was my mistake like I would click the Proceed to Save button and forget in WordPress to Update (in H5P there is no incremental saving like WordPress does- my recommendation is to save frequently).

It was… okay, in many places I was just entering text and external links and heck, it ended up looking like… slides. But th Structure does allow me to share much more than I showed.

I do love doing H5P and want to encourage others to take it on, as it truly is something that has open and sharing and media attribution baked into it. And I also miss hanging out at the H5P Kitchen.

For the full effect, visit the presentation (I added an Accordion with reference links).


Featured Image:  Wallace Island Intersection flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license remixed by Alan Levine to change text on signs.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Hey Alan,
    Thanks for sharing this presentation, it was so much fun clicking through and getting questions answered in the order I chose as a viewer. As I read the post and started clicking through, it reminded me of the rationale behind the interactive video presentation I made last spring for CAUCE, and then POW! I saw the presentation was included. Always appreciate the shout outs.
    I’ve been working with branching a little more lately, and I have to admit I’m starting to default to post-its and paper as well to do the mapping. Another ID, Christy Tucker, does loads of scenario based learning design and her go to tool is Twine for building prototypes and mapping, so I think I’m going to try that out next time I need to get to branching H5P types.
    One thing I absolutely loved was how you included the “branch back” option. I am definitely going to borrow that once I figure out which levers to pull to make it happen.

    1. Thanks JR… this one was done a bit in haste, but if anything matters in designing these it is making it as simple as possible, which does not mean it cannot be a complex experience. Offering routes back was needed because some of the after choice paths had several steps, or even being down a second branch layer. I really like the back navigation option, that helps much.

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