H5P and the Excelsior OWL

Mark Oppenneer

Mark Oppenneer is the Director of Web Systems at Excelsior College. He holds an MS in Communication & Rhetoric, an MALS focusing on Mythology & Oral Traditions, and a BA in English Education. He is an unabashed open source evangelist.

When we relaunched the Excelsior OWL in September of 2016, we had some choices to make: how to make it easy to make and use, how to update content for modern browsers, how to make it sustainable moving forward.

We chose to build the OWL using a self-hosted installation of WordPress because it is free, open source, and as easy as silly putty to use. WordPress is customizable, responsive, SEO friendly, secure, extensible – important things for geeky web developer-types. WordPress was the winner for other reasons, too. As a platform, our IT department already supported it, so getting institutional buy-in and support wasn’t a problem. And it was one of three platforms that had an H5P plugin.

A modified introduction from Wikipedia: “H5P is a free and open-source content collaboration framework based on JavaScript. It aims to make it easy for everyone to create, share and reuse interactive HTML5 content such as interactive videos, interactive presentations, quizzes, interactive timelines and more.”

Take a look at the different types of content one can make with H5P.

We knew H5P was the right choice for us to use when replacing all of the assets and learning objects that had been built in Flash for the earlier version of the OWL. If you haven’t heard, Flash is going, going, gone. Having an HTML5 editor within WordPress gave our content creators a convenient way to develop engaging interactions quickly and within the system we were using to build the OWL. Sweet!

We now have nearly 300 activities built with H5P – both for writing and for reading comprehension.

Learn more about H5P

Visit the H5P website | H5P on Twitter | The beta H5P Saas site

Read up on H5P’s ADA compliance.