August Webinar Wrap Up – ID of Practice Problems in Pressbooks with H5P

September 9, 2020 Off By JR

This mini-series on H5P and Pressbooks has come to a close. We had our session with Alan and Clint facilitating for BC Campus and I think the audience got a lot out of it. If you’re interested in other posts in this series, they are: H5P and Pressbooks, a Brief Highlight ReelWhich H5P Type is Right for You?Designing useful feedback in H5P, and The DOER Effect and H5P. The recording is now available.

There were a few questions that came in the chat that were not answered, so I thought I would take a few minutes to take a swing at these.

How would you suggest instructors modify interactive H5P exercises for students who need print versions of books (or have other accessibility requirements)? Especially if these assessments are critical to understanding a certain topic or concept.

This is a multipart question. The short answer would be that for online viewing H5P has a bunch of accessibility elements built right into it. In fact, content items don’t get listed on their examples/downloads page without passing accessibility requirements. This means that you can add alt text to images, and use only the keyboard to interact with the objects. The next part is a bit tricky depending on what the need is. I might recommend checking out the Kitchen Show from July where they talk about accessibility. By default now with H5P and PRessbooks, when you export a PDF the H5P elements are replaced with a box that says “there was an interactive element here, you can view it online at…”. Another alternative would be to have a second version of the page that appears in exports in place of the interactive online page. You could then use the plain text you used to make the H5P content where the H5P content would have appeared in the chapter. Sounds like more work, and it is. Making documents accessible is more work than our usual development processes be it a pressbook, a ppt, or a document, but it’s important work.

Where do folks park all these H5Ps that are being used in Pressbooks?

I’ve done a few different things with regard to storing H5P activities. For Pressbooks in particular, it is super convenient to use the H5P plug-in that comes right within Pressbooks. That way the activities move around with the book, but you also won’t run into any crazy permission issues with displaying the activities within the book. On occasion, embedding H5P on one website from another can trip blockers, so you end up with a big grey box instead of the activity. Rare, but something to know about.

Is it possible to move the interactive components from the end of the chapter to say the end of a section within the chapter?

Yes! In fact, my preference is to have a short interactive activity after each section of a chapter rather than leaving everything to the end. Some open textbook chapters are thousands of words long, so by chunking the material down to smaller text/multimedia/H5P parts works quite well. You could still present a summative activity at the very end if you’d like to incorporate some interleaving into the activities.

I wonder if you know any important difference using h5p and any other HTML5 tools in Open Text like in Pressbook.

One of the added benefits of H5P vs other embedded elements is that it is self-contained. This means that as long as your book is up that H5P should work, this is one prime example of the Retain (R) of David Wiley’s 5Rs. Have you ever embedded a YouTube video into a course or website, only later to have it disappear because the user who uploaded took it down? This kind of thing happens regularly with different tools you find online and embed into your books/courses/websites. When H5P was relatively new, lots of people embedded content from their free try it out site One fall, there was too much web traffic heading to that site because people embedded their content all over the place so blocked embedding temporarily. This broke the connection between anyone who built their content on H5P and embedded it on their website (you could still view the activity on you just couldn’t embed it elsewhere). When this happened I was pretty worried, BUT because I built everything for our courses using the H5P plug-in in WordPress and Pressbooks all our stuff still worked perfectly.

Has anyone ever tried student H5P creation as a learning activity?

So far, I’ve worked with one instructor that had it as an option in addition to the activity which was for students to come up with their own quiz questions based on a video resource they watched related to the class. One of the tricks is getting students access to the tool. I suppose students could sign-up for a free account at and then download the .h5p file and submit that. Alternatively, if your institution has wordpress or pressbooks student access then they could build those activities there. It depends a lot on your local context and what privacy legislation is in place.