Creating Interactive Content: Five Reasons to Use H5P

Technology is becoming an invaluable tool in the modern classroom.  Chalk-boards have been replaced with projectors; text-books are transforming into e-books, and online programs are growing exponentially.  As a result, institutions and instructors have been tasked with providing quality web-tools that connect students with engaging content across a myriad of platforms and devices.  In this article, we will explore H5P - an innovative HTML5 authoring suite capable of adding interactive, mobile-friendly content to any website.  While there are a number of benefits associated with using H5P, I have selected five reasons I believe to be essential.

1. H5P is a completely FREE and open-source technology.
The term “open-source” refers to something people can modify and share because its design is publically accessible and in most cases, free to use. When H5P is implemented into an existing platform, users receive more than just cool interactive content, they also gain the assistance and support of a large community of contributors that will happily assist with technical support and continuously build new features at zero cost.

2. H5P is very intuitive to use.
What if I told you that you didn’t need to be an HTML / JavaScript expert to create interactive content on your website?  In fact, what if I told you that you wouldn’t need to write any code at all?  *Insert cheers and applause* 

Implementing H5P is as easy as filling out a form.  Simply fill out the template provided when creating a new piece of interactive content and click ‘save’.  Want to place your new content onto a website?  It’s as easy as downloading / uploading a single file or in some cases, a simple copy / paste into your website’s HTML editor. 

3. H5P content is cross-platform compatible AND looks great on all devices.
Perhaps the most significant benefit to using H5P is its overall flexibility.  H5P can be used directly with Drupal, WordPress, and Moodle by installing a simple module / plugin.  The module / plugin grants the ability to create rich interactive content directly inside a website, rather than creating it at and adding it manually (via the upload/download/embed options) later. 

What if you’re not using a Drupal, WordPress, or Moodle platform?  No problem.  No matter what platform you are using, as long as you have the ability to add / edit html, you can simply paste the embed code into your website. 

Worried about different screen resolutions?  No need. 

“Users will experience the same rich, interactive content on computers, smartphones and tablets alike” –

4. Many of the content-types available accommodate accessibility requirements.
Accessibility is an essential necessity when discussing content on the web.  Content should be available to all users, including those with disabilities (visual, auditory, cognitive, and more).  H5P features a number of accessibility requirements including: WAI-ARIA coverage (Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite) to dynamic modules, keyboard navigation, subtitles and captions (videos), and more.  While it is worth noting that not all content types are currently accessible, H5P has placed strong emphasis on integrating accessibility moving forward and have already started to add improvements in new releases.

5. H5P introduces Experience API (xAPI) possibilities.
“xAPI” is a fancy way of saying, “content communicates with a learning system.”  Data from that communication is then generated and recorded to track a user’s learning experiences.  This is significant because H5P can be leveraged to track user-clicks, correct/incorrect answers, etc.  ELMS Learning Network (Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE) powering online courses at Penn State university and leveraging a Drupal back-end) has already started to explore these possibilities for future development.  Imagine the bridge in communication; instructors and students alike would receive valuable insights on their performance and could adjust their efforts accordingly. 

Overall, these are just a few examples of why H5P excels as an interactive content solution for the web.  For a more comprehensive look at H5P (including demonstration videos), please visit our H5P resource page.