I'm Alan Levine. Ask Me Anything About Using H5P

Well, I might not be able to answer everything about H5P, but I know where to find answers and other experts.

For 2 years I provided support to a BCcampus supported project where grant-supported faculty added H5P interactions as practice exercises to open textbooks – via the “H5P Kitchen” (ask me about the metaphor!)

I did an online workshop for OERArizona21 and also created some self-paced activities here in OEG Connect for the CCCOER Open Pedagogy Adventure. I also created maybe one of the most ridiculously complex H5P Branching Scenarios.

Ask me about the content types, where to find examples, how to reuse content, and anything else. I may not have all the answers, but I will pursue them!

Okay, it’s your turn… hit the reply button and ask. I love cooking with H5P.


OK, sure…

Can I use H5P on a plain website, without using WordPress? How?

In a word, Yes! But let’s be more clear. The content that H5P produces in web standard HTML5 (that’s 2/3 of the acronym), so it can be published via an iframe embed code in any web page or with any web tool that publishes HTML.

So first, I can use not here in discourse. This is one of the types of content H5P provides that you usually cannot do in say an LMS, the Agamotto. It allows you to create a series of images that can be explored via the slider at the bottom.

This one is meant to show a published H5P, how it appears in the editing interface, and how the .h5p file it publishes is truly a .zip that can be explored.

The same embed code is available.

And just for fun, I put one inside a web page from a site I built in the 1990s, amongst the big pile of content from my Maricopa years. Check this out!


WordPress is just one platform you can add H5P authoring capability to with a plugin (there are plugins for drupal, and LMS platforms like Canvas, moodle, etc).

And H5P content can be moved from one authoring platform to another. The source .h5p file can be downloaded via the Reuse button.

The H5P authoring interface is exactly the same in every platform. But you do not even need that to create H5P - -try the desktop editor from Lumi. You can create new content from scratch, or import existing .h5p files and make modifications.

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Hi Alan, I enjoyed the Kitchen series. I wondered if you had any thoughts on the scoring for game simulations using the branching scenario. I have gone through the documentation that H5P provides here are my troubleshooting notes. Ultimately, I would like to find a way that the scoring does not always assign perfect. But then again maybe that is okay too.

Static Scoring
This does give a consistent final score but it is always perfect 7/7, even when the answers are incorrect
If I try to make a custom end scenario at the end of each branch (as advised in the documentation) it wants to delete the next branch
Dynamic does not include scores from content - does that same as above you get the questions perfect no matter the answer (makes sense since it doesn’t include scores from content. (Not sure of its purpose)

Dynamic with the check box checked to include user scores from interactions within the branching scenario
Perfect answer with the highest points scores 10/10 I have no idea how it is calculating 10. All blue branching blocks and bubbles have no values. The values are only at the content type blocks.
I purposely answered incorrectly and still received a perfect score of 10/10.
If I were to look at what the content type actually scores it should have been out of 3 with a potential alternative 2-point question adding up to 5

Thanks, Kim

Hiya Alan,

I noticed in the example of H5P in an iframe that the iframe content is coming from a WordPress site. So I’m not really using H5P without using WordPress.

Is there a way to use HP5 without using WordPress at all? (And also, I guess, Drupal, etc?)

– Stephen

HI Kim,

Great to hear you and am interested to see what you are working on. I had not tried any scoring in branching scenario, but have been digging through responses in the H5P forum.

From what I can deduce, the end scenario needs to be the last branch. That seems the best way to do scoring, as you give points based on getting to a certain end.

And the documentation is unclear, as you notice, it is not scoring at all the achievements score on specific content types as one might assume. It’s really scoring based on responses to branching questions, not things like a multiple choice or an interactive video. Total score seems to be based on maximum path length one can traverse (?) See this explanation (I can ping Oliver he is very helpful).

I might see if I can fiddle to better understand scoring, I can explain better when I have gotten my fingers dirty.

Ah okay, it’s where it is published. An embedded H5P must come from a platform enabled to publish (can be Wordpress, drupal, etc) or from their $$ service at h5p.com

They strongly advise not publishing from the test area at h5p.org. There might be an option at http://learnful.ca this is by Yasin Dahi who built the eCampusOntario H5P studio and is making the platform open source.

This may not be optimal as I imagine you want to host a publishing space (not an unreasonable ask). We have seen a number of institutions in BC open a WordPress site at http://open.ca solely to offer a publishing space, the WordPress site is not even used, but the back end for publishing H5P. But likely WordPress is a no go for you.

I have come across reference to people using H5P Standalone Player on a server to host their own content – looks like JR Dingwall as tried this out.

Hi Alan,

I am happy to share what I am doing. I want to let you know that BV from H5P did respond to my post if you want to follow along as we work towards a solution. Scoring in Branching Scenario | H5P.

The scoring is a bit tricky for me. I have two multi-institutional projects on the go one was a digital text with H5P. The one I have questions about is complementary to the digital text and is 5 game simulations created with video recordings in H5P branching scenarios. We are close to the deadline and none of our testers noticed the problem with the scoring. It was only when I was doing some final checks that I noticed the score didn’t make sense and now it is bugging me that I can’t figure it out. :thinking:

Thank you,

Those links help and I will try to look at your posted h5p. The description of how the scoring works is still foggy to me, it seems like your design needs to be to create scenarios where more branch paths is the 'better" route, that’s convoluted a bit to design.

@Downes: I’ll attempt to add here. H5P.com is the easiest and obvious choice to get H5P running without the need for WP, Drupal, or an LMS. I believe it’s $57/mo for upto to 3 authors, not a bad deal if you have 2 other people that want to author h5p with you.

The other option, as mentioned by Alan, is Lumi.

Lumi is an open source desktop app that you can use to create/remix any type of h5p. You can then export that h5p as a standalone, all-in-one html file.

For instance, using Lumi I created two h5p resources:

  • A Course Presentation
  • and a Multiple Choice Question

I exported both of these h5p as an “all-in-one html5 file” on my desktop and uploaded those html files to my server: pres1.html and mc1.html

Now that they are uploaded to my server, I can do as I wish with them, such as link to them or embed them somewhere on my website (example).

Lumi still seems to be a bit rough around the edges, but there is a lot of promise.

As Alan mentioned, there is also learnful.ca - a free and open platform for Canadian educators to create/remix OER (not just h5p). It’s a pet project of mine that has been the catalyst for a handful of H5P-related projects such as H5P Studio at eCampusOntario and LibreStudio at LibreTexts. BTW, either of those platforms might also be a good fit for your h5p efforts.

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I am excited for OEweek to start! The lights are on here already. Bring on your H5P questions…

To simmer the pot, I generally suggest for those new to H5P is to before cracking open the tools, to look for examples, ideally in your discipline, to get a sense what is possible.

Here are suggestions for ways to find worthy H5P examples:

A new offering I had not seen before is the curated collection of Interactive OER in the Pressbooks Directory, titles with good use of H5P. Yes you can browse an entire one like Human Biology but also make use of the Pressbooks Directory link that takes you to the listing of all H5P content.

Note the there is a URL “trick” you can use for any Pressbooks title. If you tack on to its web address h5p-listing/ you can access a listing of all/any H5P content in it.

Ok back to Biology- here is an image sequencing practice for the steps in breaking down glucose. (ask me for the trick to get a direct link to an H5P item!)

I am always looking for great examples of H5P, so please share yours.

This just happened in twitter with a question from my colleague @karencang and is hopefully an example of what we can cover here.

“Choosing the tool” is both the blessing and maybe curse/challenge of having so many ones to pick from in H5P

For a quick answer, I felt the Drag and Drop was one that could work, and shared an example I found in the eCampusOntario H5P studio

But I tagged in my friend/colleague JR Dingwall who always has both good ideas and practical examples

If I were doing a workshop or tutorial session, and this list was a pre-assignment I would probably go with something like a simplified “Approach 1” here jrdingwall.ca/blogwall/using… Instructions slide 1 Following slides (one for each item) are MCQ Download instr slide Turn on Print

note: the copy/paste activity function in H5P is a life saver for setting something up in this way.

I hope when Karen works something out, she share it back here (cough cough, hint hint)

If you are looking for more ideas for applying H5P beyond the technical nuts and bolts and for an instructional design perspective, see JR’s blog posts on H5P

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Thank you Alan! I am so heartened by all of the very quick responses and wonderful help on twitter, and here. I am mostly so grateful to @UNizami for putting up with me! H5P isn’t that hard and I was feeling pretty cranky about it; but Urooj is only infinitely kind and patient in every interaction- I have much to learn from her. I ended up using the ‘fill in the blank’ option with no right or wrong answers- just to get people to consider a range of possibilities of things that may be important to them (or not) and I think it will work!

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Also, just for balance, I did this other one:

That’s usually how it goes, often 4-5 different approaches. An advantage with the fill in the blank is you can provide per response feedback (if appropriate).

I can still edit it if you think one of the other approaches is better. But I am such a newbie!

A question came to me via email. At first it’s not relevant to H5P but it is…

I was wondering if you could help me with something in Pressbooks. I am not sure if you are familiar with it. There is a way in Pressbooks to have expandable/collapsible sections but I haven’t been able to figure out how to do it.

Here is a website that uses it (see blue sections called Activity): 22. Phrases, Cadences, and Harmonic Function – Fundamentals, Function, and Form

I reached out to the author of the link I sent and he was extremely helpful. However, it involved a lot of computer coding. I am not familiar with computing coding, so I was hoping Pressbooks has a secret easy way to do it.

I know of no secrets!

The question is relevant, because one way you can achieve this effect in Pressbooks without manipulating HTML is with H5P (it is built in) using the Accordion content type.

This came up in my work with BCcampus for the H5P Kitchen (with good answers provided in twitter from Steel Wagstaff) and there is a no code way to do this using just HTML.

It even works here in this platform! I use it here to share a related post where I compared the H5P and HTML methods

Show/Hide A Kitchen Secret

I wrote a post Accordions, Collapsibles, Drawers, Disclosures (H5P Kitchen) comparing the two approaches to creating content revealed via H5P Accordions and the HTML only Summary / Details tags

Let’s see if I can even tuck an H5P embed of an H5P Accordion inside this HTML tag constructed one. In the old days we might say this was very “meta”…

The HTML method does require entering “code” but it can be done in the Pressbooks editor using the Text/HTML editor tab. There are some fancier things you can add to the effect with custom CSS, but the basic structure can be done with the simple tags (warning, I love writing HTML, others may differ)

This is another example among many where there are multiple approaches to solutions in not only H5P but almost any web technology.

I feel strongly about the open format we are doing here because often (a) more than one person has the same question so there is value to have it public and (b) it is highly likely others can answer it better or add additional suggestions.

I am excited for more questions this week.

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This has been an area that concerns me too. Now I have retired I have exported my H5P packages and saved them on a personal disk, uploading to moodle when I work there. I also have a user account on H5P but understand this free facility may become a paid facility in future (is that right?) I do already pay for a wordpress hosting of my blog but I am not sure how I would use this to publish my resources. Is there a tutorial I could use? Cost and expertise are not endless so I would appreciate any advice!

The pandemic has also revealed that many practitioners are happy to create and share resources but do not wish to spend ages learning to code so simple advice/demos helps to keep the barriers to entry low, especially if English is not your first language.