FIU Online’s Insider Instructor Webinar series explores relevant instructional strategies and effective uses of technology for the online environment. In “Has Your Content Gone Stale? H5P Can Help!,” Associate Director of Learning Technology and Honors College Faculty Fellow Maikel Right (formerly Alendy) discussed how leverage H5P to create more engaging content. In this article, we summarize how to put to use H5P, a remarkable tool for customized learning.
Instant Replay: Has Your Content Gone Stale? H5P Can Help!
The field of Educational Technology (EdTech) is booming and at FIU, we are investing in tools that will allow us to create meaningful learning experiences for our students. H5P is a robust tool that is manageable and intuitive, can be used across disciplines, and integrates with Canvas. Faculty can use H5P to easily design interactive, customized learning experiences and assignments.
What Makes H5P Remarkable?
H5P is an interactive assignment authoring tool. In e-learning (hybrid, fully online, and all courses that rely on electronic resources), an authoring tool is a software program that enables users to create learning content, lessons, and courses using text, media, and interactions. H5P is highly customizable. Professors can decide what is most relevant while creating learning materials and experiences that are specific to their course content.
The best part of creating customized learning content with H5P is that the resulting activities and assignments will be engaging. When students are engaged, they are more satisfied with the class and more motivated to work harder. This results in higher grades, better instructional feedback, and greater retention rates for the university.
In an online course, the way to engage students is through the learning material. Right notes:
“Many of us, when we think of student engagement, we think of the classroom. In the classroom, your personality, what you do, and how you speak is the way you drive most student engagement. But in a fully asynchronous online course, the learning material is the most powerful tool that you can deploy in order to facilitate student engagement.”
Having multiple, adaptive, personalized learning experiences creates a learning environment that is fun and impactful. When students have access to these experiences, they are much more likely to remember what they learned and apply their knowledge in different contexts.
H5P Activities: Customized Learning
The H5P website has a page entitled “Examples and Downloads,” showcasing different content types and examples of how they can be used. Also, they offer information on whether each of their activities is accessible, so instructors can be mindful of the needs of their students when designing learning materials.
H5P is free to use for FIU instructors, though they must request advance access to the site. Instructors should contact their FIU Online instructional designer to get started.
Right gave attendees a cursory walk-through of H5P activities, highlighting his favorites and even sharing ideas on how to use certain activities.
- “Image Juxtaposition” allows students to use a slider to see changes in an image. This tool has been used with remarkable success in epidemiology and political science courses.
- “Arithmetic quiz” is great for classes that require calculation, so it can be used for chemistry or dimensional analysis. The activity gives students instant feedback and by allowing them to challenge themselves, it incentivizes them to practice until they master a skill.
- The crossword puzzle gamifies learning. The professor sets clues and students are then tasked with finding the words to solve the puzzle. Perhaps the clues can be symptoms of illnesses and the solutions are the diagnoses.
- The dictation tool allows professors to upload an audio file and students then have to transcribe what they hear. This would be a great activity for language courses.
- The Essay feature is great for English courses because it gives students instant feedback on a short-written response. It checks their response and gives them comments like “you should have mentioned this character.”
- “Find the hotspot” shows students an image and allows them to click on various parts of the image as a response to a question. Faculty in environmental science can use this to quiz students on the layers of the Earth, for example.
One of H5P’s best features is the activities that can be embedded into Canvas. “Image Juxtaposition” can be used to build an activity on racial zoning. After being embedded into a Canvas discussion, students can write about the changes they noticed. Because H5P integrates with Canvas, it communicates with the gradebook. This allows instructors to easily check if a student has mastered a skill.
Learn How to build an H5P Customized Learning Activity
Right built an H5P activity live to demonstrate that the editor is “consistent, standardized, and intuitive.” Building an H5P activity is easy and quick. Instructors do not have to go through the process alone. Members of the Learning Design and Innovation team at FIU Online have mastered H5P and they can help instructors build the learning experience that will be most relevant and impactful in their course. This ensures successful deployment of the tool on the very first experience with it.
As instructors build their H5P artifact, they can play around with several options. They can add score ranges, give feedback, enable a “retry,” apply penalties, decide how many points the assignment is worth, and even choose which score gets sent to Canvas—the first, last, or best attempt. Professors can build an assignment that works both for their learners and for them.
Action Q&A and Closing Remarks
One of the faculty members in attendance expressed a concern. She has been trying to implement technology in her courses, but her students do not appreciate it. She says the “new generation” does not like technology and prefers simplicity. Right responds that indeed there is a difference between Millennials and Gen Z, citing an article he co-authored. Gen Z, unlike Millennials who seem to follow technology for its novelty, does not respond in the same way. “But what they respond to is genuine, authentic connection,” Right says. Our current generation of students will not enjoy technology being used just for the sake of using it, but “with good feedback, with a consistent, positive experience, and intentional design, students are going to embrace and celebrate this type of technology.”
Right ends with a quote by Professor Hal Mehta: “Engagement is a precondition for learning. No learning happens until students agree to become engaged with the material.” H5P is a tool to build engaging materials, so it is a tool that can revolutionize learning.
Future Instructor Webinars
Be on the lookout for FIU Online’s future webinars on instructional strategies and effective ways to use technology in your online classroom. If you have any ideas for future webinar topics, we’d love to hear them. Contact Christina Schettini (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share your topic ideas.
In the meantime, enjoy reading some of our other instructor webinar instant replay articles.