Not in the spirit of slow blogging, this is just a slow blogger, catching up on a presentation done back on July 12. When I was a kid blogger, I’d have it written before the end of the day. C’est la blog.

I do relish (possible pun warning) an opportunity to tap back into the work I did with the BCcampus H5P Kitchen project especially as I have hardly done much since the lights dimmed in the kitchen. But it was that work that led Anthony from OpenStax to reach out to me a few months ago. According to him, they are hearing of interest from the authors and likely paying attention to what Pressbooks and LibreTexts are “cooking” with offering H5P integration into open textbook authoring.

I was offered a chance to do an online presentation for the July 12-13 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Digital Learning Summit. I suggested a two part show, a bit of a talk/demonstration of H5P followed by a hands on workshop.

Then I had my smile on when the conference planners said they would ask for my slides in advance. “I don’t do slides!” and let them know instead they would get a web site.

I reached into my bag of tricks and repurposed what I did previously, in “presenting” H5P with H5P, and not only that, riffing/copying/sealing the Arley Cruthers approach of a “branching” presentation. This was not just yank some slides of the shelf and change the title slide, but a thorough refresh.

In sticking (like sticky dough) with the cooking metaphor, this was a “Tasting Tour”of H5P

I had a food metaphor dripping description that may have gotten smoothed down in the conference program, but I am staying with it.

Not to be confused with a brand name sauce, H5P exemplifies perhaps the best attributes of OER. As an open source platform independent tool, H5P produces web standard interactive content laced with attribution and open licenses, but also in a sharable form prime for reuse and remix. That’s all technically impressive, but for educators, the value it provides is the ability to embed in the context of learning managerial the kinds of practice activities that so effectively reinforce learning.

This opening session is part choose your own introduction adventure making use of the H5P Branching Scenario content type but also an opportunity to first sample hands on a wide buffet of H5P examples in the subject areas of interest to you. Once you have a taste of H5P…

You are invited to explore it on your own, just some highlights are spelled out below. The overall structure is not quite the “break the boat” level– the wide set of choices in the middle are the main branches, with a series of screens, interactions, or sometimes another level of options, before a branch that allows a viewer to go back to the main menu or exit stage left.

Overall picture of this branching presentation– this ain’t no slide deck@

In the part of the Alan trying to be too clever with the metaphor of presenting H5P with H5P, in the intro I reached for the old Palmolive laundry soap ads with “Madge” to show a bit of a Course Presentation with some interactive video and drag the words.

Madge, you are soaking in H5P, where I used an interactive video using one of the old TV commercials

New in this version, I tossed in a survey of sorts (in the Zoom based presentation I asked for responses in the chat) for everyone’s level of experience in H5P. For the 90+ or so in this session most were relatively new to it. I set up the questions as a branch:

Branching Question about experience/awareness of H5P

This may be clever or not, but all of these branches go to the main navigation screen (another set of branches, see below), but I just used the feedback options to suggest paths worth exploring.

A suggested guide for what comes next

And this all roads lead to these branches which is the main menu as it were for the “presentation”

Another big addition to this version was having more H5P “studios” to share– sites that offer a group of users an H5P creation platform, but also a public searchable interface for finding examples by discipline, content type, etc. Originally there was just the eCampusOntario H5P Studio, but now I could link to the LibreStudio and the H5P Catalogue site in India, as well as a demo version of the Learnful Studio (a demo version by Yasin Dahi, the genius behind eCampusOntario and LibreText’s studios). Yasin had set up access for followup workshop (thought we never got quite that far).

Also brand new was a buffet of new examples that came from a variety of colleagues in a discussion topic I ran in OEG Connect (that was called an H5P Food Truck, the metaphor never is too over baked).

Again like last time, all the references are provided on the presentation site in an H5P Accordion sitting below the main presentation.

I did not snag the chat, but it was very lively. A lot of the questions went down the usual path of asking about collecting data for assessment, which is understandable, but also not my focus. I am more interested in providing good quality practice activities that can let the learner determine their level of understanding, not report it back.

The other typical block with H5P is that authoring is now pretty easy to do, especially with the Lumi desktop tool but it does get more challenging to explain how you get what you made into a place you can use as a publishing source that can be embedded where you need it.

A recording of this session is available from OERTX.

And That Was Just the Tasting Tour

The second half of the show was a hands on workshop, again I remixed my one from the 2012 Arizona OER Workshop into a new updated version.

I knew and told the audience we would likely not cover it all, but the whole premise is that all the materials are there to come back to later. Again, my description was:

If the opening session made you hungry for more, we venture next into a direct experience remixing, editing, creating your own H5P content. Often these types of sessions expose you to the overwhelming array of content types — just grabbing a random tool from the kitchen drawer is no way to learn to cook. Like the cooking guide Salt, Fat, Acid, Heatperhaps there are basic elements of H5P cooking.

So we will start first with taking one of those samples from the tasting tour or one you can find from the shelf, then opening it up in the H5P authoring platform to modify and understand how it was made. Yes, remix is in the mix.

We will provide some suggestions for places you can publish and share what you made. Finally, with some first experiences in the H5P Kitchen, you ought to have everything you need to start creating your own dishes from scratch.

All of the activities here will be highly participatory, ideally fun, and all of the materials will be available so you can come back and cook at your own pace.

The first part if somewhat a follow or a little overlap from the tasting tour- before you start madly grabbing for tools, spend some time finding dishes that inspire you. Or You Don’t Start Cooking By Reaching into the Utensil Drawer.

The second introduces the Lumi tool and we encourage participants to download an existing H5P piece of content (either my skimpy demos or something they found earlier). Ir brings home the key feature of H5P content being remixable, hence Remixing from H5P Hors d’oeuvres.

The last part was meant to go beyond the simpler tools– Stepping Up to More Complex H5P Dishes and I had grand ambitions we would get to using the Learnful Studio demo, but alas, the clock went way too fast.

And yes, a recording of this session is also available from OERTX.

That Was That

I came, I presented, and left. It was a bit of parachuting presenting. But I always leave folks with materials I’d hope are usable later.

People are readily excited an interested in H5P, but it is a bit deceptive because it looks like something you can go get a demo, tinker with, and be off and running in an hour workshop.

But it’s an onion, you find more and more nuances the more you use it. Many of the key features are a few layers down. The feedback takes a while to learn to use effectively (and I am still on that learning curve).


I think it is maybe one of the best things out there in the OER land. It’s platform independent and it produces standalone web standard content. H5P has the ability to carry all of the key license data with it (if people enter all the metadata), and what it makes is eminently remixable.

Plus it just tastes good!

Thanks Anthony and the rest of the folks at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for inviting me to the Digital Learning Summit.

Featured Image: Foreground sign from Wallace Island Intersection flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license remixed by Alan Levine (me) to change text on signs and replace background with El Capitan, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas flickr photo by Ken Lund shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license yielding a remix license of …. CC BY-SA.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at 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. Sometimes a little wait makes the meal taste even better. Thanks for sharing this! I have some upcoming H5P workshops and this challenges me to change up what I’ve done before.

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