Creating an online presentation with H5P

In this short tutorial for my students, I only deal with parts of a course, not with the whole course itself. But a course is (at least) the sum of its parts (if not more). If you only want to see the result – a course presentation with audio and quiz made with H5P, go to the very end of this post. For this blog post I simply wrote things down as I did them.

Step Description
Decide on your topic. What is this lesson about? This should be well-aligned with the other material in your course.
Get your notebook ready. Which ideas do you want to convey? What’s out there that is interesting now and will motivate learners just because they find it in your course?
Write learning objectives. What will the learner get out of this? This can either be dry or exciting. I usually go for dry.
Structure your content. In which order will your content be presented? In reality, structuring and wrapping (the next step) happen in parallel and influence each other strongly.
Pick a container. Your content must be wrapped in something – what is it? A text? A presentation? An interactive lesson? A forum? A quiz or several of these things?
Create content. Important: don’t be perfectionist. New content always needs to be tested by different people, at different times.
Test your content. Use a focus group, your family, your neigbours, colleagues.
Modify if necessary. Change things that don’t work: both related to content and related to form (container), style or order of presentation.
Check compatibility with course. How does this module (content in a container) fit in with the rest of the course?

What I also have not covered here at all is the background work of becoming an expert in the content. This is a separate process, highly individual, hard to standardize. Usually, unless you are already an expert in the topic, it involves looking at the literature, talking to people, trying things out etc. Its a different type of creativity that goes into the search part of research and into the presentation or communication part. This is communication of the research – the actual finding has to happen beforehand – though in reality it often happens in parallel (because often you only notice what you don’t know yet when you’re trying to tell someone else what you know). In class, I recommend to the students, who work in teams, that they start by brainstorming user stories and turn these user stories into tasks. I can afford the shortcut because I have taught this subject many times. Now, how about an example lesson?


“Recent IT Trends – an introductory lesson for a BIS course for MBA students”

Learning Objectives
  • Know the big IT trends of the past 5-10 years
  • Know some implications of these trends for business
  • Take notice of  the speed and structure of changes in business IT

The third one is tricky and I am not sure yet, as I write this, how to account for it. Usually, when I write some  ‘visionary’ content down, it is too lofty unless I can come up with an example to tie it down. In this case, I have a sci-fi film showing retinal implants as augmented reality interfaces that illustrate potential and dangers of some possible future developments nicely.

Container and Structure

Analog notes for a lesson on IT trends.

Interactive presentation (H5P in Moodle): this presentation is created in H5P. This means that you have to know before what you want to say. I made some notes for that purpose (see photo). These are the topics I want to include & some sources, too.

Here I am already deviating from the “pure content” path: the news feeds are not suitable for the presentation but I used them to curate the content. I added them to Moodle as auto feeds on the start page.

The six topics that I really want to cover are: machine learning (Google Autodraw); gamification (FreshBiz); blockchains (recent research by Recker et al); IT words and their origin; Gartner hype cycle; sci-fi (video: sights). Now, I need to order this content logically.

Logical ordering

My original learning objectives and the content wrapper don’t help here. I need something else: a logical approach. I use the Minto pyramid method for that (SCQA) [to learn more about the Minto method, take a look at my lecture on YouTube:]. The pyramid following from this SCQA scheme is as shown below [To draw the graph, I used MindMup 2.0 for Google Drive.]:

The interesting thing is that before I did the detailed planning of the lesson, all I had was a topical idea (big trends) and a bunch of examples. Now I have a structure with categories (orange – business functions), some relevant IT areas (blue) and lastly examples (grey). Neither row satisfies the MECE criteria – the entries are neither mutually exclusive nor collectively exhaustive. For example: machine learning can be used in a number of functions (not ME) and neither the functions nor the IT areas nor the examples are exhaustive. Rather, they are indicative, which is something I must say in the presentation or in the classroom.

Anything like this (limitations, preparation etc.) I like to add afterwards by wrapping the presentation in a film using an avatar and Plotagon animation (see article). But in this case, I will do it in either text or in audio – also, because I don’t have a presentation ready yet. Note: after deciding on content and structure, you may change your views on the wrapper. It’s good advice, not to rush into creating slides or filming or writing but finish this content structuring phase first!

It is obvious from looking at my notepad that there is extra stuff that I know and would like to use – such as this article on “10 IT Basics That Business Managers Need To Know” or “The Hidden Meaning behind Tech Company Logos” or “The surprising and strange origin of 10 common tech terms.” However, this content just does not fit in my structure & would distract the learner. Rule: don’t just put anything in only because you have it.

Content creation

Looking at the large number of examples and categories, do I still want to do a presentation? Rather not. This calls for a different content wrapper – a lesson may be more suited. Since the quizzes inside a Moodle lesson are rather cumbersome, I need to think about making this more interactive – perhaps with an H5P quiz in the form of a presentation rather than a video (to make it simpler).

Now, I am switching mode from “planning” and “structuring” to “writing”: I created this separate Google Docs file and simply wrote down a paragraph each on the topics in the pyramid, together with digital media supporting the examples – because that’s all this lesson is, to begin with. I usually find the media first (video, paper) and then I write a commentary. I use the lecture notes for additional information and references.

To learn how to create an H5P course presentation, I used the fantastic tutorial from H5P: check it out. It covers most of the functionality without too much or too little detail. Thankfully, it provides a linear tutorial text rather than only a video.

Final result

And here is the final result: RECENT IT TRENDS – my first Interactive H5P Presentation! The effort (including learning how to create H5P presentations): one day. I think I could now do a presentation of this length in a couple of hours. To create the audio files, I use Twistedwave Online. Public domain clip art from All work done on my trusty Acer Chromebook with the help of a 27” LG monitor, and a Samson Meteor microphone

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