Creating Active Learning Experiences Using H5P

Post by John Cheng, educational consultant, Learning Design, University of British Columbia

On February 14, 2023, I was delighted to present a BCcampus FLO EdTech Sandbox Session on H5P and how it can be used to create active and engaging online learning experiences. In this session, we had an opportunity to explore some of the affordances of H5P in teaching and learning, review some considerations when building with the tool, browse through different H5P content types, and build content through a hands-on, online demonstration.

What Is H5P?

H5P, which is short for HTML5 Package, is a flexible, open-source, online content-authoring tool. It can be used to create dynamic, interactive web content (also known as content types), including interactive media, content presentations, quizzes, and games. It’s free to use, and the content can be shared and reused by others. H5P content is mobile friendly, can be delivered as an open education resource, and can be integrated into various learning management systems, Pressbooks, or websites.

When Can You Use It?

H5P can be used for:

  • Creating formative assessment such as quick knowledge checks or quizzes,
  • Structuring text-heavy content into dynamic, interactive experiences,
  • Reusing and updating content across various courses/sections, and
  • Enhancing the engagement and interactivity of online course materials.

Benefits and Challenges

The literature suggests that H5P fosters active learning experiences by offering immediate, formative, and personalized feedback, alongside low-stakes assessments and increased engagement. It is distinguished by its capability to boost student engagement through interactive and accessible content. H5P is open source, free, scalable, versatile, and portable across a wide array of teaching and learning scenarios. However, users of H5P should be ready to face certain challenges; it may require some technical expertise and creating high-quality content can demand significant time and resources. There are also restrictions on how much H5P content can be customized. When using the tool, you need to consider how often you plan to maintain and update H5P content, and how you might be able to reach out to the H5P community, or your network of learning designers and educational technology specialists, for support.

Content Types and Design Considerations

During the session, we previewed a few of the most popular content types developed through We also spent some time building a question set and content presentation. These demonstrations highlighted a few key aspects to consider when developing content with H5P:

  • Think about pedagogy and function when selecting content types. Kwantlen Polytechnic University, University of British Columbia and University of New South Wales in Australia offer some different perspectives.
  • Choose H5P content types based on the learning outcomes aligning with your teaching and learning context.
  • Cut down on development time by drafting content and incorporating feedback in Word, Google Docs, or PowerPoint before you start building in H5P.
  • Design with accessibility in mind. Not all content types are completely accessible. Review’s content types recommendations and LibreText Studio’s H5P accessibility guide for detailed guidelines.
  • Save your work regularly by clicking Create/Update on the H5P development platform.
  • Consider the feedback functions of H5P as a means of providing effective and personalized formative feedback for students.
    • Effective feedback should include information that goes beyond the simple verification of knowledge. For example, where appropriate, inform students of the possible mistake or misconception that has led to incorrect answers, provide concrete examples, or sample answers, and offer strategies or information on where in the lesson they can find information related to the question.
    • The table below summarizes various features to pre-program feedback in H5P.
 H5P typeVerification feedback (correct or incorrect)Overall feedback (scores based)Text-based (elaborated) feedback
on correct/incorrect answer
Verification feedback (correct or incorrect)
1Multiple choiceYesYesYesTextual tip
2Drag and dropYesYesNoNo
3Fill in the blanksYesYesNoTextual tip
4Mark the wordsYesYesNoNo
5Drag the wordsYesYesYesTextual tip
6True/false questionYesYesYesNo
7EssayYes (checking for keywords)YesSample solution and its explanation; Custom feedback based on keyword included or missingHelp text (e.g., sentence starter)
8Image choiceYesYesNoHover text
9Question set  YesYes (additionally, video feedback possible)Varied, based on question
type used (see above)
Varied, based on question type used (see above)
10Single choice setYesYesNoNo

Going Further

As you continue your own journey with H5P, there are many ways to go further in your exploration:

  • Stay current with new content types on
  • Engage with the H5P community to seek advice, report errors, or suggest new features.
  • Find, reuse, or remix existing H5P content for brainstorming or adapting your ideas.  Many H5P content types can be reused and adapted under Creative Commons licences. Check out these repositories for inspiration:
  • Review the licence and copyright of your H5P creations by adding metadata for your work and any specific media (images, video, audio) used inside of your work.
  • Learn by doing! Most importantly, experiment, practise, and test. Explore each of the H5P content types, evaluate how they might be used in your context, and continue building and testing H5P content to develop your practice.

Using H5P Creatively in Practice

During the session, I had the opportunity to share a story from my own practice with H5P. Over the last year, I have been supporting a student-faculty partnership at the University of British Columbia to develop their capacity with H5P. Using a variety of content types and a case study as the context for the activity, this partnership created a unique and innovative escape room delivered in a hybrid synchronous workshop. During the activity, I observed strong student engagement and active participation. While many H5P content types could be used for stand-alone learning activities, several H5P content types can also be combined and used to create complex and elaborate interactions such as games, simulations, and multifaceted case studies.

There was also an opportunity for participants to reflect on their own teaching and learning contexts and imagine which H5P content types could work for different scenarios. Their reflections indicated a strong interest in using H5P to structure and organize content, build language learning activities, and create engaging opportunities for students to explore their own learning pathways by using H5P to construct choose-your-own-adventure learning activities and interactive, formative assessments. It was exciting to brainstorm the many ways participants could imagine using H5P. These examples showcase the breadth and depth of using the tool creatively in practice.

For more resources on H5P and to review the demonstrations used in this session, explore the H5P FLO EdTech Sandbox Series Blog.