H5P projects

Many instructors are using OER resources in their classes. While there are many such texts available, many instructors, especially on-line instructors like to have the type of supplementary on-line material that often comes with traditional textbooks.

While there are some resources such as Sapling and Lumen learning which can be used for these purposes, they are not free nor are they open. As an alternative, I have been used the H5P site to make resources.

These resources are versatile and easy to make. In addition, I have had my students create these resources to make up for missed assignments.

Here is a sample assignment that I have used in which questions have been inserted into videos. One can use you tube videos or any video that has a downloadable file (such as Kaltura videos)


Here are some made by students:

Meiosis questions from Cassie Bell

Mitosis Questions from Arthraa Kamil

Below are instructions that were handed out at a CTE workshop

H5P Workshop Handout for CTE

H5P instructions Drag and Drop (From Amy Larson, co-presenter at the H5P workshop)

Here are some tutorials from the H5P site:


Accumulating Literacy

(Here is my attempt at multimodality). I saw this band in the early nineties in a tiny club in Chicago. They were great.  Alas, in 1999, the lead singer had a heart attack while performing and died….

At the beginning of this article, I was struggling to understand what was being said and the going was tough. However, at the end of the article, the author presented 2 histories which were quite fascinating and really helped me understand the points of the article.

One of the stories was about a man named Sam May, whose understanding of literacy came mainly by paying attention to those of somewhat higher station, such as his military superiors and “upper crust” of his home town.  One particular quote stood out “I was exposed to some pretty high class people early in life-and they took me in. They used proper grammar in their talking, their speech and their actions were geared such that you felt comfortable with them”.  I was impressed with how articulate he was here.

On the other hand, Sam also became fascinated with emerging technologies, such as movies and secret code rings offered on radio shows.  Sam mentions the movies as inspiration for shows that the local children would put on.

The second story was about a man named Charles Randolph whose father was a preacher who was known for having very organized sermons. His father’s preaching influenced his own writing and received a degree in English and became an English teacher. He remarks about how his professors became upset when his writing was a bit too flowery for their liking and they told him to “stop bleeding on the paper”.

The use of these stories to illustrate the influence of environments and changing technologies on literacy has made me think a bit about my own teaching in the sense  that perhaps I would be clearer to my own students if I told more stories. The rest of my lectures may be as difficult for my students to parse as much of the rest of these articles are for me.

The story telling element also reminds me about the article about orality in language. In that article, it was mentioned that only a small percentage of languages have a written component. In such societies with little written culture, story telling is likely to be a major way of passing on history and wisdom.  While the writing may not remain, many of the folk tales do and some of these find their way to us by scribes who have learned our written language.



Comments on “Inventing the University” by David Bartholomae

I will just start off by saying that the reading for this reading circle is somewhat out of my comfort zone, but hopefully this will help me see matters from my student’s perspective. What I got out of that essay was that the author had very high standards for determining whether a new student would qualify for the introductory English class that was beyond the remedial level. Not only did the student have to have a solid understanding of grammar and be able to articulate how they thought, but they had to have enough immersion in the subject matter they wrote about to see things from the instructors perspective.

As an example, the author talked about a writing exercise in which students would have to “describe Pittsburgh to someone who has never been there”. The author then mentioned that this is a typical beginning writing assignment, but that he would expect something closer to “describe Pittsburgh to a resident”. My brother lives in Pittsburgh, I have been there many times. I think I would struggle with the basic writing exercise; I doubt I would be able to write something that my brother (much less an English Prof at University of Pittsburgh) would approve of. Many of the new crop of University of Pittsburgh freshmen will have had less experience with Pittsburgh than I have. What expectations should we have of such an essay?

However, this article does make me realize that many of my expectations may be too close too the authors. I have been immersed in Biology for decades. My students struggle to read anything close to what I have been trained to read. At what level can I expect them to write about it?