August 17th, 2020 Grow with LearnDash

Coder sitting at a computer creating course content.

H5P helps instructors create interactive content for free.

One of the hardest things to do in any online course is to keep learners engaged with the content.

If you have too many videos, it gets boring. No videos at all and it’s even worse. Images can take you only so far.

And while quizzes are a great way to check-in with learners, they can also become tedious if they’re used too much.

It is because of this that people often turn to programs like Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, and iSpring for creating interactive course content.

The problem however is that these programs come with a hefty price tag, so they aren’t accessible for every budget (with perhaps exception of iSpring).

That is the bad news.

The good news is that you can create interactive content with another (free) program: H5p.

What is H5P?

In a sentence: H5P makes it possible for you to create and use interactive HTML5 content.

This content engages learners by turning passive learning (watching videos, reading articles) into active learning (clicking on images, re-arranging pictures, answering flash cards). These simple prompts keep learners from zoning out during a lesson so that they retain more information.

H5P includes features like:

  • Flashcards
  • Charts
  • Presentations
  • Memory games
  • Image hotspots
  • Interactive video
  • Timelines
  • And more

Using these features is also a great value-add for your course by giving your lessons a professional polish. However, the best part of this plug-in by far is that it allows for some great use-cases that can elevate a course above the competition.

What are some use cases for H5P in online courses?

To get an idea for how H5P can be used in action, let’s take a look at some use-cases in a course.

  1. Providing instruction details during a video. Videos can be great, but sometimes the instructions go by too fast, and learners can miss a stop. Interactive videos let you annotate steps so that learners can take notes without having to pause and replay a section of the video multiple times.
  2. Check to see if learners are following along during a presentation. Include quizzes as slides within a presentation so learners can fill in the blank or select multiple choice answers for material they just read.
  3. Create life-like branching scenarios for training. Branching scenarios can show learners how a situation might unfold in real time. They unfold like a choose-your-own-adventure, so that learners can apply their training and see what affect their decisions might have on a situation.
  4. Juxtapose images to help learners compare and contrast. H5P’s juxtaposition feature lets creators layer two images on top of each other and selectively reveal one side or the other using a sliding bar. This would be a great way to show a before and after image, or to give an “x-ray” view of an object.
  5. Click-to-identify an object in an image. Want to help your learners identify tools for a project, or how to spot early warning signs of an illness? Use a heat map on an image and have learners click on the spot they’re supposed to find.
  6. Create a personality quiz for team building. Personality quizzes are popular for a lot of reasons, but they can also be a helpful way for teams to find out more about each other or to help employees or classmates find a group that they’ll feel comfortable with.

H5P has over forty interaction types, each with several examples of the feature in action. Take a look for yourself to see how you could put these interactive tools to work in your course.

How can you install H5P on your course website?

First you will need to create an account at H5P (don’t worry, it’s free).

Next, install the H5p WordPress plugin on your site and configure the necessary settings. This plugin allows you to import your H5P interactions into WordPress. For the complete step-by-step details and tutorials, see this article from the H5P documentation.

Once you are done with this configuration you can now insert dynamic interactions within your LearnDash course content.

Record The Results

Inserting the dynamic content is one thing. Sure it’s great for the learner but you want to capture the important data. To do so, you must make sure H5P can transfer learning data to your LMS.

To do this you have a few options:

These will record and report on all of the H5P modules included in your LearnDash courses. Your learners win because they have more interactive (engaging!) course content and you win because you get valuable insight into how your learners are performing.

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide. He is currently founder & CEO of GapScout. Justin's Homepage | GapScout | Twitter


17 responses

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Hi Justin,
A few weeks back I have seen about H5P when I am searching LRS.
I thought on that day you would write about it in future.My guess came true and thank you for clear explanation of how to use it with Learndash.
I will install the plugin today.

Avatar Durga Prasad

Wow that has so much potential!

Avatar Neil Williams

Glad you’re endorsed this plugin. They have a strong group of content types. Their developers update and add features regularly.

Avatar Marc

So do you have a mechanism within Learndash (or via ProPanel) to take activities done with H5p, or Captivate/Articulate and add them to a front-end dashboard for students and instructors/group leaders?

And if so is this requiring the LRS of some kind or van we bypass that and just use the tools of Learndash/ProPanel?

Avatar Rob

Hi Rob-
There isn’t currently a feature in ProPanel or LearnDash that will display reports on the front-end.

I appreciate your hard word, but not having the ability to track H5p activities (or Captivate and Articulate activities) in a front-end dashboard for users and admins is a dealbreaker.

I really would like to go with Learndash, but this is a must.

From all I have read, your dashboards rely on the user to mark things as complete, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they did complete the material.

Unfortunately I am not a fan of the people at WPLMS, but they do offer this functionality via taking statements from h5p, Articulate, and Captivate and sending them to an LRS and then back to their front-end dashboard…allowing admins to see that students completed reviewing material without relying on the student to say they did.

This really should be a top priority for you guys.

Avatar Rob

Appreciate the feedback Rob, thanks!

So no roadmap or timeline when you will incorporate these features into your reporting?

Avatar Rob

With H5P? No. The tools used to integrate with that solution aren’t managed by us. Front-end components to ProPanel are in scope – some work has been done already in that area. If not in PP2.0 then likely shortly after.

OK thanks..I have a series of other questions that I can’t find answers on your site for..I’ll send a question with those to you directly.

Avatar Rob

can you tell me if this will fit into learndash and lrs and tin can

Avatar Ann

Hi Ann, yes h5p is can work with LearnDash and tin can api.

Hi, Justin. As you know, I got LD last week and I´m working right know to set up my future online courses. I did ask you about using the H5p in the LD courses but I was sad to learn I had to buy a license so the students could mark the points of the H5p exercises incorporated in the courses. I did a mock up course and I showed it to a client, he liked it a lot, so much that he bought rright away a 3 month course! I am happy but also concerned as he did ask for more engaging quizes, so I decided to invest in the license so I can inclue H5p quizes and most importantly, that the students can mark the scores in the course. So, what of the 2 options would you recommend? Uncanny Owl or Grassblade? Thanks!

Avatar Diego

Hi Justin,
Another great & useful article, we are using LD, our main focus is gamification (quizzies and questions) . we are creating questions with H5P and Articulate but the main issue is how to integrate the questions into LD.
For H5P, there is a new button “H5P” when creating a new question in LD but the behaviuor is not as expected, questions do not display and correct answers are not counted at the end.
We tried using different LD question types but still the same issue.
Any advice of how to include H5P or Articulate questions in LD and getting the tracking and gamification right ?

Thanks in advance

Hi Justin,
just a quick question: Do the Intercative Videos used in H5P work together with the Course Progression Feature?

Avatar Achim

Video Progression currently supports YouTube, Self-hosted, Vimeo, Wistia, and AmazonS3.

I did what it indicates in the documentation, but I use elementor to design my lessons and when inserting the shortcode it does not work …

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