How to Make the Most of This Interactive Book & Example Exercises
This section is to help learners make the most of the time they spend with this textbook, and to help teacherfolk understand the philosophy behind the exercises, what they’re like, and how to use them for their own projects.
What’s in here:
- How to Use the the Activities as a Learner
- The Philosophy
- Using These Exercises in Your Own Projects
- Some Examples
How to Use the Activities as a Learner
Let’s start with an example that will show you learners some tricks to look for with these activities, and you teacherfolk why I changed how I look at . This is my H5P version of an exercise from a language-learning app. The amazing thing about this exercise is that it’s a test of Portuguese vocabulary, but a) you don’t even need to know any Portuguese to get the right answer, and b) that’s actually a good thing. (Teacherfolk, I struggled with this notion at first, believe me.) So here it is, and give it a try. You can get 100% regardless of how much Portuguese you know—I promise!
Tip: If you’re stuck, click on the little blue icons (“i” cons, get it?). You’ll see the clues that describe how I reasoned though this exercise the first time I did it.
When I did this exercise the first time, I got “mulher” through process of elimination, but subsequently noticed that if you swapped out the l for a t, you get a word that sounds like “mother.” It stuck in my head after that.
Is this too easy to do with the tips? Then don’t look at the tips, silly! Or only look at the ones you need to until you remember the words. And once you remember the words, you can come back to the exercise and test your memory without looking at the tips at all. You win whether you “tip” your way through it and learn some words by accident, or you use it to practice your recall. It doesn’t really matter how you get the information in your head if it sticks there and makes sense.
This exercise is just one type of a variety that I’ve included here (skip to the bottom if you’d like to see some examples right this minute), but a good approach with all of them is to do them in a way that works for where you are in that moment as a learner. These aren’t tests so much as opportunities for you to build your own “tricks” for remembering, and then to practice your knowledge. You should try the activities even if you don’t think you can get them exactly right. That’s sort of the point.
(For Teacherfolk Who Are Fans of Such Things or Learners Who Wonder What Teacherfolk Think About)
After I came up with my trick for “mulher,” the word stuck in my head like chewing gum on a shoe before a job interview. I became so fascinated by how this app worked that I tested out three other languages—Norwegian, Ukrainian, and Navajo—for several weeks before hitting a wall. It was with Navajo, and it was because I couldn’t use my tricks anymore. Lightbulb!!!
What I came to realize (and what I’ve done here) is that you can break activities into three categories:
- Leveling Up
These represent progressive advancement of knowledge, but they’re not necessarily meant to be linear. Construction is what you saw with “mulher.” It’s finding ways to build your knowledge, and scaffolding by whatever means necessary. Practice is just that—repeating skills and knowledge to become familiar and comfortable with them. If you can do practice and construction iteratively, or even simultaneously, you’ve got some powerful learning potential. You just need to tune out your inner womp-womp tuba that tells you to feel sad when you get the wrong answer, because it’s all good!
Leveling up is a synthesis element, where you can do something more complex with what you’ve acquired through construction and practice. And even then, it’s possible to backstop complex and challenging activities with opportunities for additional construction and practice.
Using These Exercises in Your Own Projects
Go ahead: borrow, modify, etc.! All of the H5P exercises in this book have a Creative Commons license, and with a few exceptions related to licensing of images, they are either Attribution (BY) or Attribution-ShareAlike (BY-SA). If you don’t speak Creative Commons, that means you can remix and redistribute them as you like, but some do have restrictions as to how you can license derivative works, and whether commercial use is permitted. (Learn more about Creative Commons licenses here.) None of the activities require special permission to use or modify.
I designed these exercises to be as modular as possible, meaning that they should be usable without having to grab contextual material from the textbook.
Ways to Deploy Activities
Use the Textbook or Grab a URL
If you’re new to H5P, you don’t have to do anything special to use these. You can share the URL of textbook pages with the activities, or you can get a URL for the activity itself.
To get the URL, do the following:
- Click on <>Embed at the bottom of the activity.
- Grab the URL from within the embed code. It’ll look like the link below, except the number at the end will vary.
- Share this link with users to have them open the exercise in a new browser window. (Not fancy, but it works.)
Sample URL from embed code
Embed an Activity
You can use the full <>Embed code (it’ll look like the code below) to put the activity directly into a different website, including into a learning management system. If you’re using an LMS, there will be an “Embed” menu item somewhere that will give you a box to paste the code into.
Full embed code sample
<iframe src=”https://opentextbc.ca/physicalgeologyh5p/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?action=h5p_embed&id=1″ width=”686″ height=”279″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen” title=”Demonstration example”></iframe><script src=”https://opentextbc.ca/physicalgeologyh5p/wp-content/plugins/h5p/h5p-php-library/js/h5p-resizer.js” charset=”UTF-8″></script>
Download the Activity
If you have access to a website with the H5P plugin, then you can download these activities and upload them to your own website. Downloading the activities is the way to go if you’d like to modify them. It’s also a great way to “look under the hood” and get to know how to build them.
To download an activity, click on ⟳Reuse at the bottom of the activity, and select Download as an .h5p file. The More Info link above the download option will take you to more detailed instructions, should you need them.
Note that you won’t be able to use these files outside of an H5P plugin. They won’t open on your computer, for example.
Use these links to navigate, or just scroll down to explore.
1. What’s A Mineral? A drag and drop exercise with a drop-down explanation box.
2. Finn’s Messed-Up Collection. Help Finn put her mineral collection back together by using descriptions, mineral identification tables, and identifying minerals based on their properties.
3. Types of Igneous Textures. Flashcards to practice identifying igneous textures
4. Melting and Plate Tectonic Settings. Drag images of different plate tectonic settings to boxes that describe the type of melting.
5. Can You Figure Out the Magma Composition? A drag-and-drop based exercise to guide learners through classifying magma compositions based on oxide content
6. Crystalline Igneous Rocks. A drag-and-drop exercise with images of crystalline igneous rocks and a mineral component diagram.
7. Identifying Types of Physical Weathering. A two part exercise with a fill-in-the-blanks warm up, followed by flashcard-esque questions with tips.
8. Sedimentary Rock Murder Mystery Challenge. An exercise to synthesize rock cycle and sedimentary rock concepts and knowledge, but with just enough hints that even a beginner will benefit.
9. Distinguishing Foreshocks, Aftershocks, and Mainshocks. A quick concept check fill-in-the-blanks matched with an image.
10. Rock-Dating Scenario. A Multi-component scenario activity where learners apply radiometric and relative dating principles to answer questions.
1. What’s A Mineral?
2. Finn’s Messed-Up Collection
3. Types of Igneous Textures
4. Melting & Plate Tectonic Settings
5. Can You Figure Out the Magma Composition?
6. Crystalline Igneous Rocks
7. Identifying Types of Physical Weathering
Practice with Types of Physical Weathering
Now that you’re warmed up, try this:
8. Sedimentary Rock Murder Mystery Challenge
Can you combine what you’ve learned so far about the rock cycle, weathering, sediments, sedimentary rocks, and sedimentary structures to solve these cases?
For each case you are given the evidence (details about a sedimentary rock). It’s your job to figure out who the victim was (the source rock), the murder weapon (what kind of weathering transformed the source rock), the get-away car (how the sediment was transported), and the crime scene (where the sediment was eventually deposited and lithified). If you get stuck, click on the tips for additional clues.
9. Distinguishing Foreshocks, Aftershocks, and Mainshocks
Or informative assessment, as I like to call it. These are test-your-understanding types of activities not meant to count for a lot of points.