Design 4: Embedded Activities

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H5P is the Way to Be

Education is changing! The center of learning has shifted from a passive one-way communication towards an active and equitable practice. After years of being the second option, online learning is in the spotlight. The shift to virtual spaces has highlighted many possibilities that suit the interests of a new generation of learners. The traditional method of education provides the affordance of students being physically present, but classrooms risk falling into the trap of passive learning. Students favour grades over feedback, while learning has been reduced to how well you can memorize and regurgitate information. In contrast, online learning provides a more flexible and engaging environment that allows for a more customized learning experience.

Yet, every classroom struggles with the same question: How do I get students interested in learning? The answer is H5P. For your convenience, we’ve researched, created and compiled a list of the top 5 coolest, and accessible H5P interactives.

Interactive Video

At the top of our list is the Interactive Video! This is an excellent tool for enriching the learning experience. It offers a visual input of information, while simultaneously engaging the learner through knowledge checkpoints. This allows for a gradual, but entertaining gain of content knowledge. Interactive videos are a useful tool for lecturers to augment their students’ learning experience that not only helps the learning process but also adds an aesthetic to it.

In the cases of asynchronous delivery, lecturers can use H5P Interactive video features to upload video files of their presentations and enhance them with interactivity, such as descriptions and explanations, additional images, tables, multiple-choice, and fill-in-the-blank questions. H5P Interactive videos are a brilliant platform designed to attract students’ attention while watching the lecture presentation. For those who just want to skim the video, the navigation bar can be bookmarked. In other words, the video can also be sectioned into “sections” or “chapters,” giving the option to students who want to skip already known information. This adds to the flexibility of the interactive videos, in addition to questions that allow the student to skip to another section of the video depending on their feedback.

A drawback may be that the simple games or interactives enhance students’ memorization, but can make it difficult for open-ended questions or critical thinking. It should be noted that each video can be used to create “user-driven decision-making” if desired. Overall, this interactive does not require special software or multimedia skills.


Interactive video created by Lisa Koster on the H5P Studio and is licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA.

Branching Scenario (Beta)

Branching Scenario is a free HTML5 that allows multiple interactive contents to be combined in a branching scenario content type. It allows the author to present information in a unique way, capturing its audience by forcing interactions. These interactions are made by asking questions and completing activities in order to move to the next section. The main content types that can be combined are CoursePresentation, Text, Image, Image Hotspot, Interactive Video and Videos. It allows Adaptive Learning as the user goes through varying subject related scenarios with the option to choose from a list of choices which all have customized response.

The benefit of Branching Scenario is that it focuses on dilemmas and scenarios using visual organization to interact with the readers. The ability to customize content and add multiple interactives allows the author to structure those content as a tree with multiple branches and endings. The main issue with traditional education is that there is a lack of interaction by both the students and course presenters, which the branching scenario effectively removes.

Some disadvantages of Branching Scenario come from all the content types that it allows users to add. Some content types lack read-aloud features, while the pan & zoom features cause issues when it comes to accessibility. This is still only the Beta version, so there is still hope that these issues may be resolved when the final update comes out.

Interactive Book

One of the coolest content types available in H5P is the Interactive Book. This content allows a student, educator, or user to collect a large amount of information and present it in user-friendly learning modules. Each of these modules can easily group together topics and be created to contain a variety of interactives that are engaging and open-source. The great thing about creating an Interactive Book is that it is compatible with other content types (i.e., course presentation, interactive videos, multiple-choice quizzes). This content is ideal for organizing a display of modules for learners based on specific units of study. While an LMS provides this same ability, the Interactive Book encourages the use of open-source material that may supplement outdated, inequitable, and expensive resources. For example, the creation of your own H5P book could replace an expensive or ageing textbook. Rather than relying on rote learning, students can directly interact with interactives, videos, and knowledge checkpoints. Once completed, results are provided in a summary of feedback for students to review their progress. The goal of these interactives is not simply to provide a grade, but to guide students through the different modules. Students are given the freedom to explore each topic at their own pace and through the convenience of a virtual and free platform!

Not only is this a great diagnostic or formative tool, but it also includes accessibility features for those visually and hearing impaired. The downside of including a variety of different content types is that the accessibility for each of those differ. While most of the interactives include read-aloud and keyboard functionality, there are instances where the degree of their effectiveness and practical use changes.

Image Juxtaposition

Tell visual stories using the Image Juxtaposition feature in H5P! Image juxtaposition is a content type that allows users to compare two images interactively. This content type Is ideal for comparing two images with a changing variable, e.g., showing the effects that a flood has on an area of your choosing. The slider that separates the images can either be horizontal or vertical. Not only does it look cool, but it could be a tremendous help for students in all disciplines.

The visual capabilities support diverse learners and can help solidify concepts or content knowledge. For example, in environmental studies, the image can display the before and aftereffects from diverse ecosystems vs non-diverse ecosystems. In the Biomedical discipline, the image juxtaposition can be used to show the before and aftereffects of CRISPR gene editing.

In terms of accessibility, there is a significant drawback. Unlike the other interactives in this list, Image Juxtaposition does not offer read-aloud or keyboard accessibility. While these are key features, it would be difficult to implement them on a purely visual application. Overall, the image juxtaposition has a unique way of comparing two images which could have a positive impact on student learning. The image can be published in the following systems:  Canvas, Brightspace, Blackboard, Moodle, and WordPress.

Course Presentation

A good lesson provides a balance of information and critical engagement. Providing opportunities for students to be active participants in their learning is required, but content knowledge cannot always be evaded. The creation of engaging lecture slides is half the battle in keeping a good flow of information and creativity for any lesson. The use of different fonts, colours and inserting pictures and videos are all great tools to grab the viewers’ attention, as well as keeping them hooked on your words. Yet, does it have its limit?

There is a point in any lesson where feedback is required. Luckily, the Course Presentation is an H5P content type that allows for the integration of knowledge checkpoints to assess students’ level of understanding. Each presentation slide can embed a variety of multimedia that includes multiple-choice quiz, matching, scenarios, true and false, as well as other content types listed in this article! Not only can this strengthen content retention, but it can provide an active learning experience for students.


We’ve provided a list of our top 5 H5P interactives for you to try! Each of these content types offer an alternative method of learning that can be added to everyone’s professional toolbox. H5P offers students and users a platform to critically think and engage with course content, while also encouraging versatility in the learning process. Learners are provided with detailed and automated notes, and instructors can monitor their involvement through a library of H5P exercises. This kind of toolkit can be applied in schools, colleges and universities regardless of the discipline, as interactive videos maximize the students’ engagement and enhance their active and interactive participation. All in all, there is an H5P interactive that meets your educational needs!

Which one will you try?

Optional Resources


“How university open debates and discussions introduced me to open source” by opensourceway is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Singleton, R., & Charlton, A. (2020). Creating H5P content for active learning. Pacific Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2(1), 13-14. 1 Four Benefits of Interactive Video for Learning – Training Industry

Terada, Y. (2020, May 4). Powerful Model for Understanding Good Tech Integration. Retrieved from Edutopia:


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