Using H5P to Create HTML5 Open Educational Resources

In honor of Open Access Week (October 20 – 26, 2014), which kicked off a few days ago, I want to write a bit about a great tool H5P that I use to create HTML5 Open Educational Resources (OER).


I have been using H5P throughout the development of the online information literacy tutorial that just launched at Western at the start of fall quarter. This tutorial really couldn’t have come together without H5P. Or at least it would have been much less interactive and much more difficult to update and make variations.

Big Dreams

In developing this online tutorial, I quickly realized that there was a big gap between what I wanted to create – namely interactive online lessons – and what was possible with our library’s Drupal setup. The big vision for this project was creating an online platform for our librarians to easily create attractive, engaging, interactive lessons. Of course we would need to add text, video and photos to lesson pages, but we also would need to create and maintain presentations and questions embedded into the same pages. I had created a list of system requirements for my tutorial system, and held numerous meetings with our IT department, but the gap between what we needed and what was possible just wouldn’t go away. There were lots of good reasons for this, and some not so good reasons.

Screenshot of H5P websiteWe have limited resources and limited technical support available, yet we wanted to create a suite of online lessons  built with openness in mind from the beginning. For this project, open means the lessons will be Creative Commons licensed, use readily available OERs where appropriate, be built on open platforms, and be easily reused and remixed by others in and out of our organization. I’m a big fan of OERs and I am amazed at the willingness of the community to share their hard work, but I have also run into barriers to adopting OERs to alternative platforms. Or worse yet, quasi-OERs created with proprietary software – like tutorials built with Articulate Storyline. You may have CC licensed it, but how is someone else supposed to reuse it without buying that software?

Then I found this tool H5P, and although it doesn’t address every single one of my particular needs, it gets me about nine-tenths of the way there, effectively making the gap something I can leap right over.


I highly recommend checking H5P out and considering what it could do for your tutorials and your online instruction. There are a lot of examples of various content types on the H5P site and you can also see it in action throughout Western Libraries‘ tutorial LIT that I developed. For LIT, I mostly used the presentation content type, question sets and flashcards, but I am excited to figure out great uses of other content types in the future. I really think this is a great tool and it’s future looks really bright. I would love to see this integrated into LibGuides. They would really compliment each other so well.

Let me know if you have questions about this tool or need help giving it a try. I would love to hear how you want to use this. Have you found an innovative use of H5P or a similar tool?

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