While my stint for BCcampus operating the H5P Kitchen has passed, I am still very interested in H5P as an open education platform.

I did a short open discussion (aka free form) this week for Simon Fraser University, and spied a new H5P project over at MERLOT and was interested to see an H5P Studio like platform based in India. And just to play, I keep spying the progress bar at the H5P OER Hub (surprise! still at 98%). But I have been seeing signs of broader interest in the platform. More cooks in many kitchens is a good thing.

But back to that SFU demo, I relied and shared from the link collection I had insight (or bad vision) as previously written as H5Ping With H5P, in a way, Syndication. It was there that I had noted what is obvious now- the H5P Accordian I published at the H5P Kitchen (at bottom of demo) as a link collection did something nifty.

When embedded from the H5P Kitchen and used in a site posted at the University of North Florida, I could update their version instantly by adding to my original source. My test was adding a link to the UNF site under Learning How to Do H5P

and letting them know via a tweet, like “here is some free candy” (?)

So as I update my link collection, theirs stays in sync. On reflection this is less syndication (a one time copy) and more like transclusion (a word for hard core wiki fans).

And I begin to think what if we thought of H5P content sources as places to publish not only neat widget type gizmos, but content that could change over time? And embedded copy is always updated (and yes, in danger should I decided to ever delete the original) (but note- I am not a Deleter).

And this gets me thinking so what is missing in H5P, some means of knowing when an item was published, but ever more, a versioning history. Perhaps in most cases, versions do not matter. These are grab and go?

But let’s say instead of embedding, I download the H5P source from say my colleagues at UNF, and publish a new version. Does it track a history? What if UNF updates their original?

So what if there was an extra button that provided info about the H5P item? Details like its content type, when published, maybe a version history?

For now, as I doubt anyone will take on this idea because I am talking about an interest that maybe 0.5% of the people using H5P might want, I am playing with a means to enter changes. Within the overall H5P metadata, there is a field I never looked at labeled “Change Log”.

Changelog entry in h5P meta data. Two entries are there reflecting new content added on different dates.

It is described as “Some licenses require that changes made to the original work, or derivatives are logged and displayed. You may log your changes here for licensing reasons or just to allow yourself and others to keep track of the changes made to this content. (my emphasis)

This pretty much does what I ask, and it offers a means to easily timestamp it. It’s not quite versioning, but hey. I would dream of something that when I download an H5P file from elsewhere and open it up to modify, it might automatically enter a change log that reflects this, perhaps even crediting the source (?).

This is how it appears for my Accordion, it is listed on the “Rights of Use” (which it really is not), and as you can see, the updates show up in the UNF version:

It ends up being something only someone with a minor obsession in providing a history might do, plus in my experience, like 80% of the H5P you find out there has zero metadata entered (you will know its missing if there is no Rights of Use button).

Oh well, a transcluder can dream, right? These small discoveries still energize me.


Andy Rush has made me adjust my low estimate of those who might care about H5P versioning, thanks Andy!

Image Credit: A screenshot of my H5P Editor for the Resource Accordion and another of where it appears on the UNF site are inserted over laptop screens in my own image, Computer Transfusion flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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An early 90s builder of web stuff 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. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. Alan, you’re reading my mind now. As you made the modifications for us UNF folks in said accordion, I immediately thought “what about a changelog field in the metadata?” Does that mean I push the interest up to 0.6% ? or to 6.0% ? I’ll keep pushing.

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