The Kitchen Report

According to the calendar we are at the tail end of the BCcampus 2020 H5P OER Development Grant cycle. A few of our projects have been granted extensions into 2021 to complete their projects.

After this the textbooks participants have been working on in the BCcampus Pressbooks development site will be migrated to the public facing Open Textbook Collection as updated versions that will include hundreds of embedded interactive H5P activities.

Yes, hundreds. We’ve kept up a weekly count to show the progress, and as of writing, the five textbooks now include over 800 new H5P content items.

This number will likely grow as the projects wrap up in the next few weeks. Look for our announcement when these five textbooks are available in their updated version, all available for open use/reuse/remix.

But Wait… There is More

As announced at the end of the year, the H5P/PB Kitchen will stay open as BCcampus has opened a new round of applications for five more projects.

The call for proposals is open through January 22 and we look forward to continuing the sharing of progress in this site, in our webinars, and in the open Mattermost Community hosted in the OpenETC coop.

Cooking With H5P and Pressbooks: By The Numbers

As our own review process, here are some numbers and dazzling charts to show our work since July, 2020.

Web Support

This site was created as the home of the project, but also as a means to provide support, resources, and guides to using H5P in Pressbooks. This includes 16 full articles (all listed below)

One area we focused on was enabling participants to use the BCcampus Kaltura server for video content used in the Interactive Video content type. This started with a participant question about inability to prevent the suggested videos at the end when using YouTube videos. Hosting the videos in our own infrastructure fits in the mindset of the project, and reducing the dependency on commercial platforms that track users. We developed our own tool for helping extract the correct link needed for use in H5P.

The videos used in these projects are found in the Open Educational Resources channel, so in themselves, they are an additional outcome of this projects.

Responding to one participants questions about the Timeline Content type resulted in testing and discovery of a few bugs that have been reported to H5P.

We learned this time around that we should emphasize the managing, entering of metadata in the start of the projects.

One of the most useful ways to choose H5P content types and activities is to see examples (beyond berries!) Quite a few site visitors made use of the methods and resources we summarized on scouting for H5P examples.

A small feature of the web site we included early on was adding in the footer a means for visitors to subscribe to email updates of new posts. We have not drawn attention to it, but 21 subscribers are signed up, and quite a few are from outside of BC and Canada (we can see emails from Ireland, Greece, the US).

The Full Menu: Published Articles

  • You Can’t Always Git What You Want… (but we did) New Pressbooks Features
    There’s many many things we’ve seen in this project that we wish we could change in the H5P and Pressbooks software. And often when you bother to submit feature requests, you either hear nothing or worse, you are told it’s not possible/likely. That’s why it’s rewarding to hear back that sometimes you can “git” what…
  • Experimenting Via the H5P Back Door
    One of the many reasons we like H5P is that the thing it produces in the end is a package of web standard HTML5 content that can be used in more than a single publishing platform. Yes, it will not suffer the fate of Flash. And the ways you can create H5P via a Learning…
  • Controlling Access to All/Parts of your Pressbook
    This question came up in our last drop-in session for our project participants. All of our funded projects are doing their development of new versions of their textbook on the service made nicely available to all BC Educators to create their own Pressbook. But for our project, they can be more like works in…
  • Tagging to Organize H5P Clutter (plus better metadata)
    Your handful of H5P might end up looking like the room in the photo above. Yes clutter happens when your project grows. When you start an H5P project in Pressbooks, you might have 5, 10 or 20 items in the part of the interface where they live (H5P Content). They are not too hard to…
  • Accordions, Collapsibles, Drawers, Disclosures
    When I say “Accordion” your first association may be the musical instrument. But here we are talking about a simple, display-oriented (no built in feedback) H5P content type that has potential use in Pressbooks. In the project work so far, we have seen use of these for end of chapter review of terminology, but also…
  • Catch JR Dingwall’s Tweeted H5P Presentation
    We have some tasty tweets for you that will deliver a valuable set of inspiring (that means worth borrowing) examples of H5P in action. This was shared by JR Dingwall, a guest at the Cooking With H5P Webinar in August 2020 for a “presentation” he did recently for the 2021 WordPress in Education Conference aka…
  • Not All Feedback is Created the Same in H5P
    Because the projects funded by BCcampus focus on creating practice activities in the context of open textbook content, the features that H5P provides for giving feedback is important for us. Previously we have provided some guidelines and examples for creating Formative Feedback. Early in the project we noticed that a large majority of H5P content…
  • H5P Licenses for Metadata: Match Game?
    At our first drop in meeting for new grantees we had a fantastic discussion with making choices for the fields H5P offers for attributing media sources you use. As published BCcampus open textbooks these projects must ensure that media used is properly licensed for reuse. In our discussion we struggled with some gray areas, especially…
  • Desert Cooking Workshop: Spicing Up OERs With H5P
    There was a sequel to sharing the H5P/PB Kitchen as a keynote February 19 for the Arizona OER Conference. A week later, I brought to the same conference a hands on 90 minute workshop, all of it hosted right here. This workshop was designed to be stand-alone, so anyone can make use of the materials…
  • Pressbooks Wish: Better Replacement for H5P in Print PDF
    Our projects are creating sophisticated, interactive content in digital textbooks, why are we thinking about print? The answer is that OERs are aimed at being not only accessible for those with vision and audio disabilities, but also where network access is limited. Or when learners need to have access to textbooks away from their devices.…
  • Meeting Up With H5P Metadata
    There’s a word that excited many librarians and certain technology folks, and to others, it generates yawns or visions of tedious form filling. Metadata. How could one not be excited about “data that provides information about other data“? The perhaps unhelpful metaphor above is the nutritional information label on food products. It’s not the food…
  • Getting the Right Media Ingredients on the Timeline
    One of our project participants emailed with a question about the ways to get media on the H5P Timeline content type. They were trying to use an image from Unsplash and/or flickr both good sources for images but having trouble getting the images to show. You can see in the timeline demo (yes it’s Strawberries)…
  • The Icing on the H5P Cake: A Periodic Table of H5P
    You just cannot feel like you know the full realm of all great internet resources on a topic. Here’s one that I came across in today’s webinar with Svein-Tore Griff With that, as Mom used to say, “blew me away.” And I was busy with the flow, I did not see Tami’s message in the…
  • How to Scout For H5P Examples
    Many times in this project I have been out there in the giant food warehouse of the internet trying to find examples of H5P content. One of the many virtues of H5P is that it works in different platforms/systems. This means it’s in a lot of places but as far as I know, there’s no…
  • Too Tall Images: It’s All About the Aspect Ratio
    You may not think much about aspect ratios of media. But you might when an H5P image hotspot ends up being ginormous in your Pressbook. Prepare for a wee bit of math, not much. Aspect ratio is the proportion of longest to shortest dimension of a geometric shape. For images, for the screens we use…
  • Gadgets For Creating H5P
    What follows below does not directly apply to the projects being developed by the BCcampus grantees we are supporting. But the questions in our webinar and also a related program need, made me think about the different ways for H5P content to be created and published. In this project, the teams are all working in…

Webinars: aka The Cooking Show

Our support included monthly webinars intended to both support project participants, but also to draw in interest from educators anywhere. The first two in July were focused on project participants, logistics, etc, but the following four were open to all.

Our archives include not only recorded videos of the sessions (thanks to BCcampus support for managing as well as adding captions) but also web sites mentioned in chat, as well as questions/answers covered in the sessions.

We were pleased to feature a mix of shows, including expertise in August, instructional design support and example projects shared by Julie Maier and JR Dingwall from University of Saskatchewan as well as the experience of Ontario educators Kim Carter and Marie Rutherford in development of their H5P “infused” medical terminology textbook.

We had a major event in October with the presence of H5P founder and “top chef” Svein-Tore Griff With where we got a demo of the in development H5P OER Hub. November’s show featured demos and experiences of the participants in our supported projects.

For a snazzy chart distraction, here’s some data on participation in the webinars.

Charts and graphs though do not show how lively these sessions were; we had great exchanges and sharing in the chat. And we saw participation again from well beyond BC, Canada, as the project seemed of interest in many places. Often these were educators with a general interest in learning more about H5P and Pressbooks as well as many experienced developers and authors too.

Count on more cooking shows starting in February 2021 for the new round of projects. Let us know (comments below) if there are topics or projects of interest

Mattermost Community

We set up a community site within the OpenETC’s Mattermost for our project, and for the first half of the project this was limited to project participants. A number of them used it to ask specific questions or to message privately for more urgent requests.

Screen from Mattermost showing a question asked about removing an item in an H5P content type, and the answer provided with a diagram showing the location of the correct button to fix the problem

This really is the most efficient means to ask for help or to get ideas, as you have the potential for responses from colleagues and a wider pool of expertise. Still, as many requests that happened in Mattermost came via email.

With the interest in the project from our webinars, we opened the community to be a public one, and we currently have 36 members, more are outside the project than part of it.

Our goal in 2021 is to encourage much more activity in this space, to make it more than just getting tech support, but also a place to help conceptualize use of H5P, share examples, etc.

This community is open to anyone, not just people in BC. It’s an open source software that has all the functionality you may be familiar with from Slack, Teams, but no corporate ownership. It is provided as a service by the OpenETC.

Join here

What’s Next?

We will be reviewing the applications for the open round of project funding (apply now!) and anticipate announcing the new projects February 8, 2021. Also look for news here when the first round projects are available in the BCcampus Open Textbook Collection.

And I have a few more tip articles in the queue as we look forward to preparing the next round of H5P/PB cooking.

Want to keep up? Sign up for email updates below and/or join the Mattermost community. It’s like being close to the savory aromas in thr kitchen.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

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