H5P Interactive Video: A Review
H5P is a platform to create interactive online content. It is open-source, which means that H5P is free to use and continually being updated by a community of developers. Content can be created through H5P’s website or can be added into several different website building tools such as Moodle and Wordpress. H5P was created for teachers to use to make online courses more interactive and engaging for students. However, because content from H5P can be embedded anywhere online, the tools provided by H5P can provide added value wherever interactive content can be placed. In all, there are 39 types of interactive content available to create on H5P, with the “featured” tools being for course presentations, interactive videos, and memory games.
At first glance, H5P appears extremely complicated and high-tech. After a quick YouTube tutorial from Technology for Teachers and Students, though, the actual content creation portion of the site appears as intuitive and simple to use. I decided to jump right in and attempt to create an interactive video, which I know very little about, to see just how intuitive it really is.
When I entered the creation screen, it was as intuitive as the tutorial implied, though the tutorial creates only an interactive sentence (users are made to click specific words) and not an interactive video. The interactive video editing is broken into three steps: upload, add interactions, and summary. Each step has tutorial boxes that pop up to provide further instruction, like the box below for step two, the interaction adding page. The most difficult part in adding interactions is determining the timing. Each interaction must be planned for a specific amount of time during a specific space in the video, so the user must be very familiar with the timing and location of objects in the video. Adding interactions is the most time-consuming part of this process as the user has a plethora of options available to add to their video, including images, multiple choice questions, and drag-and-drop activities. The third step is a video summary option, which gives the user the opportunity to add an overall quiz or recap of the video.
Below is my first video, in all of its glory. As you can see, the interactions did not turn out as planned and only one question (the first true/false) is added into the overall score in the end. The image of a banana is supposed to say “bananas are an excellent source of potassium” but I could not figure out how to properly insert text into an image. It appears this specific tool may take a bit more in-depth studying than I originally anticipated. This video took me about 20 minutes to make, from beginning to end. The original banana cat video can be found on YouTube.
This type of simple video interaction is supported by several educator standards set forth in Ed Tech frameworks as well as in the standards put forward by ISTE. While interactive video technology is both new and flashy, it will also help students to achieve their learning goals better than a video without interaction. Without interactive stimulation, students are much less likely to remain engaged throughout the entire presentation. The addition of interactive content keeps students from becoming distracted and motivates them to think about the video content while viewing. Out of necessity, they become active learners by answering questions as the video progresses. Each of these attributes relates directly back to a common ed tech framework, the Triple E. In Triple E, educators are encouraged to think less about the technology itself and instead critically evaluate whether or not the tech helps students to better meet their learning goals. H5P’s interactive videos meet many of the requirements for engaging, enhancing, and extending learning, with the notable exception that it is a standalone tool with no real scaffolding other than its ability to communicate overall score at the end. The video and the questions progress whether or not the student understands the previous questions.
By learning to create any of the types of interactive content through H5P (not just video!), an educator is meeting the ‘learner’ standard by researching and exploring how to use this content to assist students in reaching learning goals. To create any of this content, educators must find their inner designer to create an authentic learning activity to promote independent learning among their students. The added quiz features, both during and at the end of the interactive content, allow educators to find many different ways to gather and analyze student data. These are in line with the current ISTE standards for educators and will benefit student learning overall.