H5P as an alternative to SmartSparrow

The SmartSparrow platform that some staff have used to create interactive learning activities will shut down at the end of 2020.  Learning Environments has been liaising with SmartSparrow who are working towards supporting the exporting of the platform content into XML, PDF, HTML and Common Cartridge formats.  Users of SmartSparrow will need to migrate their content to another suitable platform. We are recommending users consider whether they can replicate their activities natively in Canvas in the first place, and for richer and more complex interactive activities to consider H5P.

H5P is an institutionally supported platform that provides a good migration path to create highly interactive learning activities.

Example of drag and drop activity in H5P

H5P allows staff to easily create highly engaging activities that can be embedded seamlessly into Canvas subjects and communities. A wide range of interactivity types including “drag and drop images”, “image hotspots”, “course presentation", “branching scenario”, “mark the words”, “fill in the blank”, “chart” (for easy bar and pie charts) and “multiple choice” are supported.  There are currently 30 different interactivity types that are easy to author, and others will be added over time.

There are a few interactivity types that make H5P stand out:

Virtual Tour (360)

If you have a 360 degree image, you can embed questions, text, media and interactions for students to view and discover in a Virtual Reality (VR) environment.  You can even add hotspots to each VR image to link multiple VR scenes together to create a complex virtual tour.

Interactive Video

This allows you to embed various interactivity types such as, “multichoice questions” and “drag and drop”, as well as images, links and information at various points in a video.  When the play head reaches these points, the corresponding interactivity and media are displayed.  You can even add hotspots that take the student to another point in the video’s timeline.

Course Presentation

At first glance, this interactive type looks like a PowerPoint presentation.  However, you can embed various question types, interactive videos, hot spots, navigation links, text and media in any position across multiple pages.  And if you turn on “Surface mode” the Next/Prev navigation is hidden, allowing you to create self-contained choose-your-own-adventure branching scenarios.

For further information about H5P, please see the H5P guide or register for an upcoming workshop.

If you require assistance with migrating your SmartSparrow lessons, please submit a service request.