For Those Interested in H5P, Check out the LibreTexts Studio

I have an long running interest and appreciation for all that can be added to OERs for practice and interactive learning with the H5P tools especially in how openness is built into the content types made with it.

And I know amongst this community are many people doing innovative work with creating H5P powered OER, we have roused interest previously. Also, just out today is “interesting” news that D2L has just acquired H5P (let’s out the speculation aside for now, or why not, chime in on it!).

In some previous work supporting educators use of H5P in open textbooks I found that one thing that helped them consider what they might do rather than picking from a list of tools is to see examples if it used, especially in the same academic areas. Or as in the kitchen/cooking metaphor

A prime place for explpring H5P content that I often recommended (and still do) is the eCampusOntario H5P Studio. I had also recommend the LibreTexts Studio as well, but have to say on a chance return visit, I have a big “WOW” to say and how I wish I had this available a few years ago.

I’ll leave it to the interested link clicker to explore all the different ways to find (and potentially reuse/remix) H5P content

Create & Discover H5P Open Educational Resources. Search for open resources created by the LibreTexts Community

There’s featured items curated on the front page, the full searchable/filterable library (similar features for a good reason to eCampusOntario’s H5P Studio), collections of related H5P content, browse by academic subject area, and the “hub” where you can find all H5P contributed by different institutions/organizations.

I top my H5P hat to our colleagues out OEGlobal Member LibreTexts and leader @DelmarLarsen The similarities to the original eCampusOntario H5P Studio are a result that the person behind that @yasin.dahi has been working with LibreTexts in their studio using his open studio software from Learnful Labs.

This is all that more reassuring to see that from the start of my H5P Kitchen work in 2020, there has been promise of their own H5P OER Hub which frankly has been stuck at 98% for the last 4 years. Perhaps new owners D2L will nudge that?

Regardless, if you have any interest in making use of interactive H5P content- you do not even have to build it! You can use H5P from Libretexts studio by copying it;s embed code. So let’s say you want to reuse the Mineral Luster activity created by Allison Jones at Sierra College, click the Reuse button at the bottom left, and BOOM, use in any web authoring system that supports iframes, and you have just reused an OER

So who here is interested in stirring up some H5P activity again? Who wants to learn more about using it? And maybe we can entice @DelmarLarsen and @yasin.dahi to drop in for an OEG Live session so we can learn more about LibreStudio but also about perhaps creating their own studio with Learnful Labs.

H5P is still a favorite sauce!

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Alan:

Thanks for the info; It will be interesting to see how this will pan out. I must mention something that is too-often ignored in the conversation of H5P in academia. This tech’s massive growth the past 11 years has be spurred by its ease to create problems. But, it had two major issues that must we considered when using H5P:

1: It is poorly accessible by North American standards. In fact, only the very basic questions past mustard and even if so, they must be created in a specific way to work in an accessible manner. We have a11y guidelines on our Studio platform (https://studio.libretexts.org) with details on this. So the real beauty of some of their questions have to be used conjugation with alternative accessible questioning (our ADAPT homework system does that - https://adapt.libretexts.org). Personally, I recommend people using the LibreVerse to build questions in more accessible alternatives like native QTI, webwork, Imathas.

2: H5P is insecure. Students can see the answer to a H5P problem by just looking at the “source” on the browser. Or just turning off the internet, get the answer, and then turning it on to submit. Some organizations like to push H5P as homework alternative. This is 100% wrong although it is perfect fine for formative use. If you want secure assessments like in most homeworks, you need alternative technologies.

My two and half cents.

Cheers,

Delmar

As always, wise insight, Delmar.

Good point on accessibility, I do recall the detailed analysis from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) (your guidelines are a clear summary) as often people would point to the link on H5P as if “that covers it”. To me it hints at the hope/expectation that software will magically take care of accessibility rather than being more of a way of doing things we should all be better at in practice.

I’m keen to explore more of the Libreverse approach as described, putting this on my summer list!

As far as point 2, I was regular dismayed when doing intro sessions for H5P that the predominant interest seemed to be using it for assessment and reporting scoring. The original project I worked on with BCcampus was about using it for practice, homework reinforcement, and just more interactive ways to communicate concepts.

Thanks for the quick response here.

I’d like to hear from @Moodler, Martin Dougiamas, about this. I’m curious to know how D2L’s acquisition of H5P will impact the use of H5P in Moodle, it at all. Currently H5P is fully integrated with Moodle, which solves some of the problems Delmar raised. Here’s more info H5P FAQ - MoodleDocs

Thank you both for these insights; I wonder if a reach-out prompted this post today? @DelmarLarsen and @yasin.dahi I am curious to know if you have built in a tool to encourage creators to fill in the metadata and also choose a license. A struggle we have is encouraging creators to complete the metadata and choose a license. Cecile, an awesome instructional designer at Open Learning Conestoga, and I have been sharing how to do this and why it is important in workshops.

On a side note, I am preparing the first CCCOER PD session for September 11th anyone interested in being a guest about H5P?

I noticed this frequently in my support of H5P. It felt like finding the metadata fields in H5P (which includes the license) is overall rarely completed, as is for that matter, good use of the feedback fields.

That’s a bit of the irony of H5P- on a first view it looks very easy to build things, but often I see many features unused, like good use of the feedback mechanisms.

It’s too bad, because inside it has the means not only to provide a license for the overall H5P work, but also to attribute all media used inside, so it generates a comprehensive set of metadata.

Frankly I am not sure a “tool” is the answer, more the ongoing uphill effort for people to always be attributing. Or few people are motivated to fill out metadata fields.

Actually, it doesn’t affect either of my points.

H5P is client-side by its nature. It therefore can be “hacked” easily in the ways I mentioned. This is why Joubel comments it should be used for formative use only (although you have to dig through their forums to see this expressed clearly). So, H5P in moodle as the same issue as H5P in LibreTexts as H5P in eCampus Onterio and H5P in Pressbooks. It could be recoded to be server side, but would take some effort and a switch in the JS framework.

The accessibility issue is also not affected by the technology around it. We just provide the most details accessibiltiy guidelines for creating good H5P, but we have the same a11y limitation as H5P in moodle as H5P in eCampus Onterio and H5P in Pressbooks.

Thanks for the shoutout for our guidelines. They were the best we could do other than revamping the technology and uncoupling it form the H5P-hive which has other big issues (not able to update questions).

If H5P were able to solve the homework need (as several OER organizations like to tell people as part of their packages - much to my displease), then I would be all for it. But it has glaring issues. Perhaps D2L may address these - one can hope.

We are neck deep into this year’s LibreFest right now and just finished the second day of ADAPT training - ending on the topic of Learning Trees as a powerful substitute for single question homework. We are posting the videos on youtube (feel free to review at your leasure):

Delmar

Yeah. I feel your pain!

Yasin and I had a bit of discussions around that without a clear solution. I was most concerned about licensing since not indicating that causes havoc with the whole Open thing we are all trying to do. I wanted to make it so that authors cannot save without a license indicated (we do this on ADAPT for images where they have to add an alt-text to move forward). Yasin was in favor of post-authoring nudges/emails to get them on board.

I think both approaches would work, but we didn’t implement either (at least yet).

I would love to push and pull meta-data in a more fluid way into H5P questions, but the utility of it as a package has limitations on doing this.

So, we consider part of our curation responsibilities to poke authors about this especially when building “collections” of assessment and interactives on our Studio platform.

For those interested, Pressbooks is hosting a free H5P workshop webinar with Campus Manitoba on August 22nd. Maybe it would be an opportunity to ask questions about using H5P in Pressbooks and thoughts on accessibility features: Building Interactivity with H5P and Pressbooks. The webinar is also supposed to include a discussion with an author about their use of H5P in their online textbook.

Good Morning All,

This is great news about D2L acquisition of H5P!

I played with H5P for free through Lumi Education two years ago. I like the various interactive features available for reinforcement, formative assessment, before summative assessment is applied.

When H5P introduced Smart Import last year I was so thrilled until I realized that it’s a paid service. Smart Import creates a session, with various types of interactivity, in 5mins compared to perhaps two hours or more to development content, especially when using certain features for the first time (trial and error).

I can’t wait to explore further, especially as I was asked by an instructor to create an interactive session for one of his courses.

Thanks for all the other resources you posted that I will explored. I’m interested in learning more about using H5P effectively; I welcome a live session.

Warmest regards,

Medaline

Perhaps I can ask a quick question. Why are people enthusiastic about D2L acquiring H5P (Joubel)? Statistically, the acquisition of a technology by a bigger for-profit company doesn’t bode well, why is it good here? I am quite leary of bigger for-profit companyies motives and activities in education and especially in OER field. I am not trying to be a devil’s advocate here, but I am a little perplexed and concerned about the future of an open-source technology that - admittedly with big issues in its usages as discussed above - would have to financially useful (aka for revenue making) in some way to warrent D2L’spurchase of Joubel. In what way is the question I am wondering. No one is concerned here?

On a different note, for those of you interested in checking out the LibreTexts studio and how to work within, check out Yasin’s video from an OpenEdWeek. The student follows the philisophy that it is better to consolidate the H5P assessments and activities into a central repo for effective construction, discovery, distribution, and curation and is marketly different from other platforms that adopt a more fragmented approach.

Count me as unenthusiastic about the D2L acquisition of H5P. I’ve fielded a few messages asking what I thought and I don’t know what to draw upon.

The only “information” is from a press release (cueing memories of Audrey Watters talks on how corporations predict the future via press releases). Marketing language sure resembles GenAI output:

In addition to great technology, H5P has built a growing base of recurring revenue in an efficient and sustainable way, aligning with our balanced growth and profitability operating model. Together, we believe we can accelerate the development and time-to-market of these products and enhanced creator features, unlocking additional market opportunity and establishing leadership in the growing interactive learning space. This transaction aligns with our strategy to expand our learning platform by developing and acquiring new products that enhance the learning moment and address the evolving needs of our customers.

Profitability? Time to market? Market opportunity? What in these words get to anything educators and openness advocates care about?

Oh and what exactly is meant by “products that enhance the learning moment”??

But we know nothing here of strategy or future direction. It had seemed for the last few years H5P’s focus was on the revenue generating .com side. Many of us have looked at that page for their OER Hub that was stuck at 98% since 2021.

But maybe a cash infusion might energize development and support of the open community. Maybe cows will fly.

Pledges will likely be made to continue support of the open source portion. It could happen. I struggle to identify how many times a corporate purchase of a platform has lived up to that.

It hardly seems in line with the H5P “focus” for 2024

I won’t rule out a happy ending but I can’t find an optimistic bone. But again all I have is just guesses.

Perhaps others here have more informed sources, keen to hear.

Upon reflection, there is clear revenue in H5P. There are several campuses in California that are paying from $10k to $65k/year for access to H5P with a little bit of added value features over what we provide with Studio for free. I know of one OER platform that charges an arm and a leg for for access to H5P and coupling to LMSs (quotes exceeding $150k/year for states-wide access). Clearly, this is outrageous when there are free options available or low cost (for those of us that value mission over money).

So, will this get ramped up by D2L purchase? Using Norther California speak - “hella yes”. I am unsure how much though.

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the shout outs for LibreStudio and Learnful!

This acquisition of H5P Group by D2L is sure to stir up more interest in H5P in general, especially those looking for a free and open platform for creating h5p.

I’ll play the optimist and say that perhaps this acquisition will give H5P Group time to now focus on building h5p into its fullest potential. More content types, better accessibility, and yeah, maybe even H5P Hub at 99%?!

Anyone who has used h5p knows just how amazing it could be. It’s already pretty great: portable, metadata, copyable, etc - all the key features are there. If money was no object, it could really be a game changer for OER and education in general.

That said, D2L is a publicly traded company. They just spent about 10% of their market cap on this acquisition. Corporate education and training seem to make up a lot of their revenue. D2L’s homegrown alterative to h5p, Creator+, is in the early stages and not as compelling. These are the the underlying facts.

There are lots of community h5p-related projects underway - and I don’t see any of them slowing down. In fact, I still think that this move will make h5p even more mainstream, which could benefit platforms like Studio, Lumi, NDLA, etc.

Not to put anyone on the spot, but I wonder if any of these h5p experts would have something to add here as well: @otacke, @Knutis, Sebastian (from Lumi), anyone from eCampusOntario, @steel, anyone from Moodle, anyone from Zum apps?

We helped eCO implement what I consider to be the most fair solution:

It’s a visual nudge shown to the author to let them know their OER is incomplete without a License:

It also provides the author with links on the what/how of licensing. This is, I think, the crux of the issue: some authors don’t know what a license is, how to choose one, or what selecting a license implies.

A next step would be perhaps require License selection for including a resource in the repository - this is a bit more heavy handed, but perhaps enough incentive for folks to perform the step.

Happy to guest on your session if you’d like. Also, shout out to Conestoga College - perhaps the largest h5p authoring community in North America (over 2000 authors!)

hi @yasin.dahi – just catching up on the conversation here. I have no inside insight into the purchase announcement. I’ve written a little on the topic in the SPARC Open Education listserv, and will repeat my thoughts here:

I’m generally wary of corporate acquisitions and their potential impact on investment in open source. It never hurts to prepare for possible outcomes, especially regarding enclosure of the commons, but all early signals are that the core of H5P will remain free and open source and will continue to be invested in.

I have no inside information, but I suspect that the purchase was largely about two things: 1) D2L wanted to acquire the authoring capabilities that H5P makes possible (as well as the ability to shape the direction of future development) and 2) they saw growth potential in H5P.com (the H5P Group’s SaaS product), which generates recurring revenue through enterprise subscriptions. As I understand it, the H5P Group’s revenues largely come from subscribers to their hosted enterprise product, which has grown in terms of subscriber base and revenues over the past several years.

On the one hand, it is true that D2L Brightspace is not an open source LMS. I’m not an expert on their corporate history, but I am a former user of their LMS, and I haven’t seen much evidence of their interest in or support for free and open source software when left to their own devices. In the LMS world, Moodle, Sakai, and Canvas all have much stronger records of open source participation.

That being said, while I admittedly don’t know much about the inner workings of D2L, I do know and admire a couple of people from the open source software world who work there. Their VP of Architecture is Linda Feng, who has extensive experience with open source in the ed tech sphere. She has previously done important work in the open with IMS Global (now 1EdTech), Instructure, and Oracle. They also employ Bracken Mosbacker, who also has worked on a lot of open source projects during his time at IMS Global, Lumen Learning, and Instructure. I’ve participated in multiple hackathons at Open Education conferences with Bracken over the years, and have always enjoyed working with him.

The FAQ attached to their initial press release included this section:

Will H5P continue to be open source and continue to be developed?
Yes, all parts of H5P that are open source today will continue to be open source and will be maintained and improved at a greater pace than before.

Will H5P continue to maintain integrations for Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle etc.?
Yes, all existing integrations with other LMS platforms will continue to be maintained. This guarantees that current users will not experience any disruptions and can continue leveraging H5P’s capabilities across various learning management systems.

Will it still be possible for community members to contribute code?
Yes, community contributions will continue to be welcomed and encouraged. This open collaboration is essential for the ongoing innovation and improvement of H5P, fostering a vibrant and active community.

As a past contributor to the open source version of H5P, I hope that this remains the case. I do know that Svein-Tore and others key members of the H5P Group have been strongly committed to ensuring that the core of H5P is free and open source. In case anyone missed it, Svein-Tore Griff With (username falcon on the H5P.org website) just published his own take on the H5P Group’s acquisition: D2L all in on H5P | H5P, writing:

Our first release as D2L enables community members to contribute more easily. D2L is keeping us as a dedicated product group under the leadership of President Stephen Laster. It will be led by me and the rest of the original H5P team, with other H5P contributions being made by D2L from other units. The vision and direction of H5P remains the same. There will be even greater focus on H5P as an open, transparent and community driven project.

H5P will of course continue to be open source. The development will be boosted with more H5P Core Team resources and better facilitation for community participation.

When he says their first release as D2L enables community members to contribute more easily, I think he’s referring to this: July 2024 release note | H5P – it appears that they’ve dramatically overhauled how developers can set up an H5P Development Environment locally and begin contributing pull requests to the open source project, including releasing a rebuilt and much improved Command Line Interface (CLI): GitHub - h5p/h5p-cli: Command Line Interface. I find this reassuring, personally.

I’m taking a wait and see approach here for the medium/long term, but so far I haven’t seen anything that makes me mistrust the corporate PR.

Thanks @steel and @yasin.dahi for adding here, a few of my sources also suggest similar projections— that the profitable side of H5P.com is an attraction but also that the open source side is a key element of that success. That the H5P team/unit is being kept in tact sounds positive.

I will pin some hope on the positive possibilities.

I hate to be a Debbie Downer here, but the list of corporate takeovers of projects with promises of keeping the positive status-quo’s that made those projects great to the community is quite long. Each time, there are loads of promises about how things will keep on truck’n and they don’t eventually.

I see no reason to fret yet, but I also see no reason historically to not “mistrust corporate PR”. In fact, that should be the starting point for big profit-organizations with fiduciary interests to maximize profits (D2L as a public firm). This is especially so in the education landscape where efforts should be (in my opinion) pursued without profit as a driving force in general.

Just a FYI, the H5P software is licensed under the MIT license, which is not revocable like creative commons licensing, so existing code bases don’t have to change. But, future development may be throttled, access to new question types, access to the network to update questions, access to more accessible question updates (since so many H5P questions are not compliant with American standards) are all possible to be changed.

This is why I tend to direct those using ADAPT and the LibreVerse toward more secure, more accessibile and more flexible technologies. I love H5P, but reliying on it for homework or exclusively for interactive activities/assessments in our textbooks or for homework is not a good idea for the former and really bad idea for the latter.

As I often say every few years that those in the open community get excited about a company’s action, “Don’t be surprised when a for-profit company acts like a for profit company.” Education should be for Mission, not for Money.

My two cents.

@yasin.dahi I have now written a lengthy post on that topic. Spoiler: I am on the naive optimistic side, too: My view on “D2L all in on H5P” – OTACKE'S LAB

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