I left this as a comment over on JR Dingwell’s blog as a response to his post Textbooks, The Printing Press, The Internet, and OER Revisited but thought I would include it here as it reflects some of my thinking around one potential path I’d like to explore as part of the Open Homework System(s) project. You can read the entire post, but here’s a brief summary of the key points of his post that prompted my comment.
In his post, JR makes a number of very good points, including his desire to see the work happening in the open education space around homework systems as way to take better advantage of the pedagogical affordances of the internet, and provide something more than randomly generated “drill n’ kill” question sets.
No pressure 🙂
But JR does provide some examples of work he has done on feedback loop type activities, including work he has done using H5P, which reflects some of my recent thinking around the OHS project. Here is my comment.
While I do see the value in having systems that randomly generated question & answer sets for disciplines that utilize practice heavily (like math and some other STEM areas where open source tools like WeBWorK are heavily utilized already), it’s tools like H5P and the close alignment of H5P interactions with content within an open textbook that get me quite excited.
Specifically, I’d like to see an extension to some of the Pressbooks-enabled open textbooks we (BCcampus) have created as part of the open textbook project, and am looking in our collection for some potential candidates to enhance with (human) developed H5P interactivity pieces. As you point out, I think that having these kind of closely aligned learning activities designed and developed specifically to support the content in the open textbook are useful ways in which we can both improve learning using the open textbook, and extend the adoptability of those textbooks. And, if we collaboratively create questions and activities with instructors using some sprint methods, a great way to build some digital skills capacity within our system among instructors while making stronger learning resources.
While I agree that this kind of development is not necessarily something that pushes the boundaries of open pedagogy and leverages new pedagogical potentials of the internet, it does slowly build out networked infrastructures and capabilities across the system. And I do see these types of H5P learning interactions as discrete shareable open learning objects (for lack of a better term). H5P does allow the sharing and embedding of learning interactions which is an affordance that the internet does make easier.
So, while not perhaps pushing the boundaries of internet-enabled pedagogies, I do see H5P as an important next step in the evolution of open textbooks to something closer to what our original vision was of open textbooks back in 2012 when I started working on the OTB project at BCcampus – a truly interactive learning experience for students.