Interactive content can be a game-changer (quite literally) when it comes to eLearning engagement. But what’s the best way to embed interactivity in an LMS? Enter: H5P.
What is H5P?
What does H5P mean?
H5P, short for Html-5-Package, is a plugin tool that helps produce and run interactive content and interactive video within your LMS, or other kinds of eLearning browser.
Used by more than 17,000 websites, the whole idea behind the H5P platform is to make creating and sharing any kind of html5 content as easy and seamless as possible—all you need is an up to date web browser and an LMS with a (free) H5P plugin.
For eLearning professionals working with a CMS or LMS, H5P is the kind of tool that’s functioning best when you don’t notice it—acting in the background as a quiet hero making learning content richer, more seamless, and more mobile-friendly.
You’re most likely to find H5P at work in helping to provide learners with interactive videos, presentations, games, quizzes, surveys, etc.
In one quick look, H5P is:
- open source
- free to use
- html5 compatible
- Responsive and accessible
If you’re in the middle of developing H5P content right now, our webinar on Creating Effective Learning Videos in 7 Easy Steps has some great inspiration on how to improve your eLearning activities.
What’s different here?
What makes H5P worth your time is the way it allows eLearning programs to make the most of html5.
Html5 is, predictably, the fifth version of HyperText Markup Language—this is the basic and pretty much universal code that underlies web pages. HTML rivals other tools like Flash and Silverlight, which are all designed to enable effects and multimedia within your browser (think: animation, music, and movies). Basically, html5 is the technical recipe behind your interactive content.
The great thing about having interactive content in your eLearning toolkit is that it opens up new possibilities for learners and instructors. For learners working through courses at their own pace, interactive video helps to replicate the live learning experience, reducing the risk of scroll fatigue.
For non-linear courses using microlearning or adaptive learning, interactive content often becomes a foundational aspect—offering learners the chance to personalize their experience.
H5P for Moodle
To begin creating interactive content Moodle LMS, you’ll need to install the H5P plugin. Here are the basics:
Log in to your Moodle LMS as an administrator.
Go to Site Administration - Plugins, then choose Install plugins from the plugins directory.
Once the plugin has been installed, you’re ready to create H5P activities.
Navigate to the relevant course and choose Add an activity or resource.
(Here’s a full walkthrough of how to set up H5P for Moodle.)
H5P is arguably at its best when included within an all-in-one Learning Management System. LMS integrations unite all aspects of an eLearning portfolio for an optimized, consistent experience that eliminates administrative headaches.
Revenue solutions like Lambda Learn encompass eCommerce, analytics reporting, and an LMS—H5P content included. This gives learners the benefits of browsing, buying, and training, all in one place.
Even without a specialized app or plugin, H5P can be integrated into any platform that supports embedded content. But if you’re running Moodle LMS (or other LMSs supporting LTI standard) all you need to do is enable the plugin, and start sharing!
Usage stats: a graph showing the number of sites using the H5P plugin for Moodle. Total sites: 12048 (Source: moodle.org/plugins).
What can you do with H5P in your Learning Management System?
There are three main areas of benefit relevant to learning activities that come with the integration of H5P. Check out the first of our two-part webinar on How to Easily Create Interactive Content in Your LMS for some examples of activities that can be created with H5P.
When you’re working with html5 content, it’s possible to build in video-game design principles into your learning. These might not appear as a literal game to be played (although they can). Instead, H5P can help introduce subtle game mechanics, which tap into the activity and reward centres of learners’ brains—great for upping engagement in problem-solving or competitive tasks.
- Instant feedback. Animated content produces live responses to signal learner success, through rewards like badges, points, and fun animations. This is also a good technique for giving learners time to correct errors, or run scenarios multiple times.
Here’s a Lambda Solutions resource for those interested in How To Benefit From Game-Based Learning and Gamification in eLearning.
- eLearning games. If you’re looking to bring more traditional learning games into your Learning Management System, you can use H5P to develop activities such as memory games, with multiple stages and levels.
More content from Lambda’s eLearning experts on 4 Ways to Use Gamification to Measure Engagement.
It’s easy to level-up your questionnaires, quizzes, and info-heavy resources with H5P, turning a static piece of content into a personalized, reactive tool.
Take the most static, dry pieces of content you have—a long text document, for example. By enabling the edit option in Moodle LMS (with the H5P plugin installed), you can quickly add interactivity.
Simply select the most relevant content type, such as Fill in the blanks, where learners complete missing words in a text. Or Essay, where instructors can give instant feedback by defining a set of keywords that trigger individual responses when present (or not) in submitted answers. Configure the settings to work for your learners, paste in or upload your content, and you’re good to go!
The H5P Core team has been working with universities to improve the accessibility features of their tool. As a foundational aspect of H5P, all content has permission options that allow downloads, shares, and embeds. Accessibility perks include:
- For the more tech-minded, you can now add your own in-line code to H5P content (great for those using H5P to teach programming).
- H5P has functionality in over fifteen languages.
- Content is shareable on all compatible browsers (which includes all of the major web browsers).
In the ‘Fill in the Blanks’ content type, learners fill in the missing words in a text. The learner is shown a solution after filling in all the missing words, or after each word, depending on settings (Source: H5P).
What are the results?
What the studies say
A 2014 study in Higher Education journal looked at how introducing interactive eLearning into a traditional classroom-based course affected teaching, learning and the accommodation of student diversity.
The study found that, that more interactive eLearning activities were (e.g. multiple choice quizzes and graphing questions), the more effective those activities became in improving perceived student performance.
In a 2015 review by the University of North Texas on how gamification affects engagement and motivation, it was found that effective content design requires an in-depth understanding of game mechanics. Done well, however, gamification allows learners to develop a strong learner identity, to collaborate and compete with others, and to receive recognition for their progress.
If that’s enough evidence to convince you to get started, here’s the second part of our webinar on How to Easily Create Interactive Content in Your LMS 2.0.
Results on perceived performance improvements from a gamified multiple choice quiz implemented in three undergraduate IT-related courses (Source: Cheong et al. (2013), Quick Quiz: A Gamified Approach for Enhancing Learning).
Interactive content and engagement
Beyond the studies, there are numerous case studies from across industries showing how interactive content can boost engagement. You need only look at the explosion in the past decade of interactive quizzes from online media outlets. (Read: Buzzfeed. i.e. What kind of dog are you?)
eLearning professionals building H5P content might benefit from looking at how marketers and advertisers are handling interactivity. According to Keith Bendes from Forbes Magazine and tech marketing company Float Hybrid, the best interactive content creation follows a five-step structure:
- Identify consumers’ buyer journey to find the best content placement.
- Create profiles of your consumers to help build interactive quizzes.
- Have a clear call to action.
- Capture consumer information. At every point of an interactive experience, you are learning something about the consumer.
- Follow up. Don’t make interactive content the end of your user journey.
Translated into eLearning speak, the process might look something like this:
- Review your eLearning course, and the way courses dovetail together, to identify where learners might benefit from engagement top-ups.
- Know your users’ short and longer-term learning goals, and make sure your content is relevant to those goals.
- Make sure to introduce your content, explain how the interactivity works, and its purpose.
- When designing content such as quizzes, think about how learner interactions can provide useful data for analytics analysis and reporting.
- (Same!) Interactivity is a great lead-in to discussions and further exploration, so don’t make interactive content the end of the learning experience.
If you’re looking for more expert advice and how-to content on adult education, andragogy, and fostering employee engagement with your courses and training programs, here’s what our eLearning experts have put together for you:
- Webinar: H5P - Making Interactive Content Easy
- Webinar: How To Branch Out With Learning Scenarios In H5P
- Webinar: How to Easily Create Interactive Content in Your LMS
- Webinar: How to Easily Create Interactive Content in Your LMS 2.0
- Webinar: How to Reduce Disengagement with Gamification
- Webinar: Creating Effective Learning Videos in 7 Easy Steps
- eBook: Attract Star Talent (And Keep Them!): Learning Paths for Employee Retention
- eBook: The All-Important E’s of eLearning: Engagement & Effectiveness
- eBook: Getting Engaged: How To Make Your Learners Fall in Love with Learning
- eBook: Using Analytics to Deliver Engaging Courses