By Sarah Wendorf

Imagine you could take content from your textbook and transform it into a whole new personalized, customized online learning experience for your students.

With an Open textbook, you can do that!

Here’s how Carol and I worked together to transform a unit from her Open textbook into a series of modules. Carol is a faculty member in our Academic Upgrading program at Cambrian College.

How It Started

Carol’s students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities.

They are in class working on different subjects at different levels. Often, they are working on self-directed content at their own pace on their own time. This is usually in the form of workbooks and other types of materials.

Due to the format of the way students work in the program, Carol can’t deliver a traditional lesson as she would if all her students were studying the same subjects at the same level (ex: first year English). She does provide 1-1 assistance but with a large group, she can’t spend a lot of time with each student.

She approached me to figure out a better way for her students to have a more engaging and informative experience. She wanted to develop something that would give students immediate feedback and help them learn the content outside of just a plain old workbook.

Open Textbook + Explain Everything App + H5P Interactive Video = Opportunity

Carol decided to try this new idea with her math students. She found they had a lot of questions with some of the concepts in the fractions unit. She was using a textbook called Adult Literacy Fundamentals Mathematics: Book 5 by Liz Girard, Wendy Tagami , Liz Girard, Wendy Tagami; licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. She found it through a search on BC Campus’ OpenEd Resources library.

Based on her request, we came up with a plan to develop a series of online modules that would take the fractions content from her textbook and make it interactive on any device. We chose to use the Explain Everything app on iPad combined with H5P Interactive Video as our tools. Explain Everything allowed for Carol to draw and narrate a lesson explaining a concept and record it as a video. Then, H5P allowed for us to layer on interactive questions to her video lessons. These allowed her to both deliver a lesson and give students the opportunity to practice.

The fact that Carol had chosen an Open textbook for her course allowed us the freedom to use the content in a way that would not be possible if the content had been protected by copyright. We were able to choose images and examples from her textbook and include them in our videos and interactives. This to me is the essence of Open Education and why I believe it is important for the future of education.

Building the Modules

I set Carol up with the Explain Everything app and a stylus on one of our Hub iPads. She went to work creating lessons for each of the sections of her unit on common fractions. She was able to combine her narrated audio with a visual presentation. You can see how we did that in the H5P interactive video above.

After all of the lessons were recorded, we uploaded the videos to YouTube. Next, we went into Moodle and added a series of H5P interactive videos that pointed to the videos we uploaded to YouTube. Based on the plan we developed for the modules, I inserted exercise questions at various points along the timeline. This way, students would be introduced to the content, practice some questions, listen to more of the lesson, complete some additional questions and so forth. Each unit culminated in a “self-test” which consisted of a sequence of questions to test the students’ understanding of the content.

Screenshot of Carol's Moodle Page
Screenshot of Carol's course showing the H5P modules

I involved Carol throughout the whole process. From conceptualizing to training on how to use Explain Everything to how to develop interactive elements using H5P. The screencapture video tutorials below were developed to help familiarize Carol with the features of H5P interactive video. Feel free to use them in your own work should you find them valuable:

With a bit of training and the right tools, Carol was able to learn some new technology and develop additional videos and interactives on her own.

We credit Jeffery Tranchemontagne, our Multimedia Specialist who helped us enhance the videos with higher quality audio and some editing to make them more concise. Thanks Jeff!

Next Steps

At the moment, we’ve developed one unit in her textbook and Carol is working on building additional units to deploy to students in the near future.

Want to Learn More?

We welcome you to reach out to us! Carol and I are happy to discuss our project planning, workflows, successes and challenges and share our work:

Sarah Wendorf is an Instructional Designer at Cambrian College’s Teaching and Learning Innovation Hub

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