Andrea Bierema

College of Natural Science

Creating Open-Sourced H5P Adaptive Learning Modules

Cutting down costs for students includes using free online resources. While there are great open-sourced textbooks, animations, and videos, there are few adaptive learning materials. Andrea Bierema is requesting funding for software and hardware for making brief videos to be used in interactive H5P modules. These will be open source modules.

Project Solution:

Teaching flipped-style courses requires having materials for learning basic concepts outside of class. Currently, in her courses, students view a variety of open-sourced materials and complete a D2L quiz. Each student is exposed to the same materials and assessment questions. Although students can view the materials as long as needed, they have no way to assess their understanding of the objectives before being summatively assessed. Additionally, many of the sources used are long videos, so it is difficult for students to look back at a specific topic after receiving the grade on the quiz. Therefore, she plans on creating adaptive learning modules that provide formative assessment opportunities for students. These will be based on CISGS competencies and specific objectives for ISB 202 and 204. Unit 1 (Nature of Science, 3 modules) and Unit 2 (Information Communication, 3 modules) are the same for both courses. The remaining weeks cover basic environmental science or biomedical applications topics (6 modules each). These modules will incorporate one-minute videos, assessment questions, and currently existing open-source materials. She will create one-minute videos as small interventions to help students further understand the concepts when they answer a question incorrectly. She will use H5P ( to make the modules. This is an open-sourced software program. To fully develop these modules, she is requesting funding for Adobe Creative Suites and a web camera with microphone. She will also be applying for the MSU Libraries Open Educational Resources Award Program for supporting summer salary lines.

One of the biggest barriers to higher education is financial costs. While many open-sourced materials exist, few include adaptive learning- justifying the continuing need for copyrighted textbooks. By creating these adaptive learning modules and making them open-source, we will be overcoming this costly barrier. Additionally, the norm is providing the same resources and assessment questions for each student, which assumes that each student is the same. On the other hand, adaptive learning allows students to “create their own adventure” for their learning, based on their current understanding of the concepts. Moreover, she will create the modules in H5P (an open technology), which uses HTML5 and easily formats for most browsers and mobile technologies. H5P provides many different types of assessment questions and lists which ones meet accessibility standards.

These adaptive learning modules will allow students to check their understanding of the content. When students answer a question incorrectly, they are directed to a video followed by another assessment question, and so on. Therefore, students learn at their own pace and are working to meet each objective instead of just being assessed on if they met the objectives. Then during class, each student is better prepared to work in their teams. Currently, in her courses, students engage with the same materials and take the same assessment, allowing some students to be more prepared than others. This adaptive learning technique, on the other hand, requires students to meet each objective before moving to the next objectives, making students better prepared to work in their teams during class time. CISGS created an end-of-semester student survey that elicits students’ ideas of their learning gains and materials that helped in those gains. They will include questions that request feedback on students’ ideas of how the adaptive learning modules’ videos, questions, and paths affected their learning gains. They will use a mix of this feedback and how students did on the assessment items to improve the modules for the following year. At that time, they will also present these modules to CISGS faculty and at the National Association of Biology Teachers Professional Development Conference.

Project Update:

Andrea continued her project through the spring and summer by familiarizing herself with the H5P tool and developing adaptive learning modules. She created modules for each week of her two courses during the summer so students can have consistent learning tools. During the fall, she plans on making them into adaptive learning modules using the pieces that she has already created. Currently, she is making already-available videos interactive and creating quizzes. She hopes this project is more than a series of modules for her classes but that it will be readily available to people around the world.

Learn more about Andrea Bierema

March 2020 campus was closed down due to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. Courses were moved to remote teaching for the spring 2020 semester and fully online courses for the Summer and Fall of 2020. This impacted many students and educators in the way that they both taught and learned.