An unexpected demo

If you are old enough, then you may remember text adventures and game books. And if you are a little younger, than you may know Escape Rooms or even have visited one. All of them can be really entertaining, and by tweaking H5P Branching Scenario just a little bit, you can use it to create your own adventures! Have a look!

What I customized

There was a need for new features at Technische Hochschule Lübeck, Germany. For some use cases, they required to allow going backards within a Branching Scenario. Well, that’s possible as you will have noticed in the demo content. You can even add a back button to each single content or branching question individually if you want to. The code is out there already.

The other feature that was required is an option to prevent progression to the next content until the current one has been “completed”. I put “completed” in quotes, because the notion of what completed means may vary from content to content. For now, it can be used for Video and Interactive video and will require the user to watch the last second before he or she can progress. Similarly, in Course Presentation, the final slide may have to be reached first. The code is out there, too.

Wait a minute, there was a Fill in the Blanks interaction, and you had to complete that as well in order to continue. Correct! I hacked it in there quickly. It’s not difficult to add this one or other content types and to make them insist on a successful completion, but it will require some free time and thorough testing by a third party ideally. I will attend an “OERcamp Werkstatt” early in November, which is kind of a hackathon for openly licensed content. Maybe some people will join for reviewing the code and beta-testing there.

Cup bearing the label "The adventure begins"

What you could do with it

So, what is it good for? You could create virtual adventures with Branching Scenario, obviously. If done well, I assume those might be a little more engaging than just presenting exercises to students. Also, letting students research things on the web to find an answer might be an interesting twist beyond recall questions.

But isn’t it a little boring to complete those adventures all on your own? No problem! Why don’t you design two (or more) adventures that are intertwined? Students would have to solve the puzzles on their own, but hints or solutions could be hidden within the adventures of other students. I am catching a glimpse of cooperative learning with H5P …

But isn’t it boring to stare at a screen all day? Well, feel free to integrate in into on-site settings and build your own educational escape room! In Germany, the hashtag #BreakoutEdu is used to hint to educational escape rooms, BTW. You could use a Branching Scenario as a mini quest only, it could be the guide throughout the whole adventure and require to find solutions to quizzes within the physical world, etc.

It’s your turn!

What do you like/dislike about the new features? What other ideas do you have for making good use of the new features? What other content types would you like to be included in Branching Scenario and why?

Please feel free to add a comment here or to join the discussion on Twitter using #h5p and #bs!