My first foray working with H5P to create interactive video. I’ve used other applications (PlayPosit, Articulate360, Captivate), but I find that H5P does most of what I want easily and, considering the plugin is free, affordably.

If you’re wondering about the video itself, it’s a shortened version of the one I linked in When Done Is Better Than Perfect. I wanted to test out how H5P would work with changing some of the “Your Turn” reflective breaks in the video.

It won’t quite do what I want for all situations, as it doesn’t have (that I can tell) an option for learners to write brief answers. Only multiple choice/ fill-in-the-blanks type (quantitative) options are available for input. But it does have some neat features with the multiple choice, such as a message for the “correct” answer, which I repurposed to provide suggestions (see “Evaluating Your Lesson’s Purpose” at 2:00). 

That being said, H5P offers a lot of options overall. I’ve only worked with the video interactivity, and for that, I was generally pleased. Adding bookmarks was a breeze. Inserting hyperlinks could be done in a few clicks. Even better, each option had a tutorial link in the tool dialog box. I only needed to refer to the tutorial once, but it was great to have the resource hyperlinked and ready for me if I had questions..

H5P Pros

For the most part, the interface is intuitive and quite easy to use. Definite positives include:

  • ease of adding bookmarks (chapters) to a video
  • ability to overlay images
  • ease of adding URLs or hotspots
  • several options for users to check/ test their knowledge
  • cost—it’s a free plugin that works with many CMS installations

H5P Cons

The limitations I’ve noticed (but I have only just started playing with the technology):

  • large videos may hang indefinitely while uploading (this might be a constraint of my CMS). I ended up using a YouTube video instead.
  • there’s no way for learners to include even brief responses; any input on the user’s part is strictly defined
  • time stamps are only to the second, not milliseconds, which can be irritating if the video is very tightly sequenced
  • if you want to use it in a commercial LMS like Blackboard or Canvas, you’ll need both institutional permissions and an enterprise license 

Overall Rating: Try It Out! 

I definitely want to play with H5P more. It only took a few minutes for me to be comfortable with the interface and work on developing interactivity. If you are comfortable tinkering with tech, it’s definitely worth the time to take a test drive. 

I’ll be doing some troubleshooting to find out if there are any workarounds for some of the limitations I’ve encountered. If you have any insights, feel free to let me know.

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When I was in graduate school, I often heard the axiom “the best dissertation is a done dissertation.”

As a pragmatic individual, I acknowledged the wisdom and practicality of that statement. As a detail-oriented perfectionist, I didn’t want to do anything but the absolute best.

I’m still a detail-oriented perfectionist, but I have learned to better balance my perfectionism with pragmatism. That means that I do my best, acknowledging that

  • Time is a finite resource,
  • Complications will arise, and yet
  • Deadlines must be met.

I was reflecting upon this as I was preparing a module introduction for a class that I am teaching. It was a presentation on presentations (very meta). My perfectionism was at extreme levels because the presentation was for a graduate course for future professionals, and I believed that the presentation had to be a perfect model of the genre.

I storyboarded. I began shooting footage (of myself, which is not my happy place). I did screen captures of processes to include. I designed a theme.

Then life intervened. Although the wildfires on the West Coast were nearly 1,000 miles away, the sun in Lubbock started taking on an ominous red halo. Soon after, the air quality went from “Good” to  “Poor,” to “Unhealthy,” coming dangerously close to “Hazardous.” 

What does that have to do with video production? A lot more than you might think.

The air quality affected my voice to the extent that there was a marked difference between earlier voiceovers and more recent ones. And no amount of allergy meds and eye drops would make me look less itchy and red.

But deadlines had to be met. So I revised my original presentation plan drastically, which meant I couldn’t do the “live” presentation with the eye contact and body language that I had wanted to use as part of my communication strategy. I also had to accept that I couldn’t re-record every voice over for consistency. 

The video is in no way perfect, but it is done. And a done presentation is a better resource for my students than no presentation.

Perhaps that’s a more important lesson for my students than any of the concepts I covered.

In any case, if you are curious, the video, with all of its imperfections, is linked below. The presentation is for experienced presenters who know the general best practices, such as limiting slide text, using only appropriate and necessary graphics, and pacing. For this learner population, I framed the discussion as a learner-centered approach that influences technology and design choices, including guidance for designing for accessibility.