Instructional Design: Practice Problems in Open Textbooks

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As cooking is more than just tossing ingredients into a pot to simmer, the development of open textbooks calls for the methodology and approaches of instructional designers. In this month’s webinar, we welcome two colleagues from the University of Saskatchewan’s Distance Education Unit. Both JR Dingwall and Julie Maier bring in instructional design knowledge and experience in using H5P activities into open textbooks. They will share some examples of their own kitchen work as well as some feedback from students who have used these resources. We will engage them in conversations about what makes a good practice exercise. What are important design elements for creating practice problems in open textbooks?  What considerations go into choosing the H5P content types? What advice, suggestions do they provide when working with faculty for designing practice problems? How do they create/design useful feedback? We ask you also to bring in your own “dishes”- bring something you are currently working on to get feedback from our guests and other project participants.

Find out more about The H5P PB kitchen.


Julie Maier (M.Ed, Educational Technology & Design) is an Instructional Designer at the University of Saskatchewan’s Distance Education Unit, where she works in course- and program-level design and development for online and blended learning. She has worked on a number of Pressbooks publications via USask Open Press, including adaptations, remixes, ports, and new books from scratch. She has collaborated with instructors to incorporate H5P activities into course materials in WordPress, Blackboard, Canvas, and Pressbooks, and continues to look for new and authentic ways in which H5P might be used to engage students and facilitate learning in distributed settings.

JR Dingwall is an instructional designer based in the Distance Education Unit at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. He designs and develops instruction for a variety of delivery formats (face-to-face, blended, and online) in post-secondary, not-for-profit, continuing education, and open education contexts. JR began experimenting with H5P and Pressbooks in 2016 for use in professional learning settings, and since then he has integrated them into his wider professional practice. JR is an educator at heart, holding a B.Ed (Practical and Applied Arts) and M.Ed (Educational Technology and Design), and uses these two edtech tools to increase accessibility to course materials, promote effective teaching and learning strategies, and enhance students’ learning experiences in online courses.

Find out more and connect with JR at


PowerPoint Slides (PDF)