Active Learning is a key aspect of contemporary educational design and practice. It provides opportunities for learners to engage with the content via a range of activities and think critically, while contextualising it to their professional situations. In designing activities, it is essential to promote higher order thinking skills such as the ability to analyse, evaluate, and collaborate (Bloom 1956). It is also equally essential to start to move away from the transmissionist model of ‘content transfer’ (lecture style sage on stage) to more constructionist models, which encourage greater learner participation. These could include Problem Based Learning (Hmelo-Silver 2004), Enquiry Based Learning (Kahn & O’Rourke 2005), Peer Learning (Mazur 1997), and diagnosing learner readiness (Vygotsky 1978). Keeping these in mind, the question we most often grapple with revolves around delivery – how can we implement active learning opportunities in our classrooms?
And beyond this, how can we extend our face-to-face class time to provide students with the opportunity to engage actively and flexibly in their own time?
Technology has always had the potential to enable student learning in a myriad of creative ways. H5P sits in this technological and educational space, and allows users to create interactive, bite-sized learning opportunities. It is free and open-source, and users do not need any technical expertise to create H5P content. Users create, share and reuse interactive and mobile friendly HTML5 content, thus eliminating the need for large SCORM packages and Flash content on Moodle. There are over 30 content types on H5P – visit the H5P.org website to see examples and downloads.
H5P content types and their uses
Starting with some of these commonly used types will assist you in embedding Active Learning opportunities in your content:
Add interactions and quizzes to videos. For example, you can use an existing YouTube video from a lecture or tutorial and add questions that you would normally ask in the classroom, encouraging learners to relate to the content.
Create an interactive presentation of content/a lecture topic with text, audio, video and more. This allows you to create more interactive presentations and embed quizzes that can be asked in the classroom to encourage collaboration and instant learner feedback.
When you use a set of Flashcards, the learner inserts text corresponding to an image. These are particularly useful for concept check exercises and recall.
Quiz Question sets
H5P can be used to create a sequence of quiz tasks, including multiple choice, drag and drop and fill in the blanks. These question sets can be created individually, interspersed through the content, thus allowing for meaningfully chunked content.
Don’t forget instructional text!
In addition to this, chunked H5P activities can include further contextualisation and clarification by including the following instructional text before each H5P activity:
- Introduction: provide learners with background context and an introduction to the content they will actively engage with.
- To Do: provide learners with a step by step guide on the task. For example: ‘drag and drop the items to their appropriate categories’ or ‘click ‘Check’ when you are happy with your answers’.
- Hint: link it back to textbook content, readings or any other relevant unit material.
- Time taken to complete: an estimated timeframe for completion of the activity.
This level of detail may seem redundant in classroom situations, but allows you to communicate with your learners outside the classroom, when they access content for revision and Self Directed Learning.
Ultimately, using H5P is only one of the many ways in which Active Learning can start to be meaningfully incorporated into our real and virtual teaching and learning spaces.
Where to next?
Practice building in Navitas Core Moodle (NCM)! If you’re new to Moodle or just looking to discover more ways to utilise its features, grab a slice of Moodle professional development: explore a showcase or dive into a course with colleagues from around the world.
When can you start getting your hands dirty, building fantastic learning spaces and activities? Check with your college about when your upgrade to Navitas Core Moodle 2018 is scheduled.