H5P and Open Educational Resources (OER)

H5P has many quite unique features. How do these features fit into the world of Open Educational Resources?

Let's first have a look at what Open Educational Resources are.

What is an Open Educational Resource (OER)?

The OER logo is created by Jonathasmello

There are some disputes around the definition of OER, but there are a few things most of us may agree on:

  • An OER is open and free to use
  • An OER should also be free to repurpose and distribute
  • An OER may be any type of digital resource

According to Wikipedia, the term was firstly coined at UNESCO’s 2002 Forum on Open Courseware and designates

teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. Open licensing is built within the existing framework of intellectual property rights as defined by relevant international conventions and respects the authorship of the work

Creating OERs with H5P

The vision for H5P is to "Empower everyone to create, share and reuse interactive content". H5P and the H5P libraries shared on H5P.org are licensed with free and open licenses making H5P free and open to use for everyone.

All content may be repurposed with H5P

One of the unique things with H5P is that H5P makes all kinds of interactive content editable for everyone.

Let's say I'm a teacher. I find an almost perfect OER that a Swedish teacher has shared on Twitter. It's an H5P Boardgame about the Scandinavian capitals that he has published on his Wordpress blog. Well, I just push the H5P download button, and upload the boardgame as an H5P file to my very own Drupal website where I publish interactive content for my pupils to enjoy. My Drupal site automatically learns to edit the boardgame and I can translate the Swedish to English, remove some of the questions that were too advanced for my students, add some of my own and modify some of the others. I then publish the modified boardgame on my own site so that my pupils may use it to learn about Scandinavian capitals. I also tweet about it in case others would like to copy it and modify it on their own website. (See an example of this boardgame at the bottom)

I also notice that my site now has learned how to create new boardgames, so I create one about the biggest oceans in the world. I had a few worries about attribution issues but discovered that they were all handled by H5P.

H5P handles copyright info

H5P makes sure that the creators of the content get proper credit and that licensing information stays with the content when it gets transferred from one website to another, and modified.

In my teacher example above the Swedish teacher had included several photos from Wikimedia Commons, and he had used H5P's copyright system to add information about the Public Domain and Creative Commons licenses that were in use and who the authors of each image were. This information stayed with the photos when I rearranged them and the info belonging to the pictures I removed got removed automatically as well.

Great! But I also want to know what my pupils are doing in the H5Ps...

H5P opens up data about user experiences and results

By implementing the xAPI standard (Tin Can) H5P will make data about the user's results, actions and experiences available for other systems.

So let's say the school I'm working for has an LMS, and that LMS supports xAPI. My pupils' activities and their results from the interactive content on my Drupal site will then be logged and made available within the LMS. Their activities on my Drupal site will be available the same way their results from activities within the LMS are logged and made available. I can even block some of the activities in the LMS from the student until the student has performed some of the activities on my Drupal site.

Ok, so H5P makes sure all the content is editable by everyone, handles copyright info and makes data about user experiences available. There might be some potential here...

What if most OERs were H5Ps?

There are hundreds of websites using H5P today. There will hopefully be thousands of websites using H5P in 2015. H5P already has plugins for about 25 % of the websites in the world, and the goal is to have plugins available for most websites. (EDIT: There are now 35,000+ sites using H5P)

OERs would flow freely

If most OERs were H5Ps anyone with a website could copy any OER from any source, seamlessly paste it into their website, customize it and make the customized version available to anyone.

We're also working on a free service for sharing H5Ps(The H5P Hub) where the Hub will keep track of different language versions of the same content and more. The aim is to facilitate global collaboration on the development of OERs and other interactive content. The Hub will be integrated in the H5P authoring tool, already used by an estimate 1,000,000+ authors.

OER tools and templates would flow freely

Since a template or tool created for H5P works on any website with an H5P plugin installed the tools and templates created for H5P would be available for everyone. H5P tries to facilitate a global collaboration on making the best tools and templates for OERs and other interactive content, and users will still be able to use their favorite publishing platform.

User's experiences within an OER would flow freely

Since H5P soon will have(EDIT: it now has) native support for xAPI (Tin Can), data about the user's activities can flow freely. Obviously there are lots of privacy concerns related to spreading user data. With xAPI, website-owners will be in control of where the Tin Can data is being sent. When most OERs in the world generates xAPI statements about user's activities and results the possibilities for reuse and integrations between OERs and other systems like learning analytics tools are enormous.

Want to learn more about H5P or Scandinavian capitals?

If you are new to H5P there are several ways you may learn more about H5P:

  • Check out the sample content
  • Give H5P a test drive
  • Install H5P - we currently have plugins for Wordpress and Drupal, we plan to add plugins for most publishing tools. The next one is Moodle. (Edit: We now have Moodle, Canvas, Brighspace, Blackboard+++ covered)