Critical Analysis of H5P Branching Scenario Simulations

Recently, our team (Shelley Dougan, Patrick Guichon, Sandra Norum, and myself) critically analyzed branching scenario simulations and hosted a live virtual presentation for fellow MALAT classmates.

Branching scenario simulations use features such as video, still images or graphics, sound, and special effects (Bell et al., 2008), to give learners the opportunities to make choices, reflect, adjust; and therefore construct their own knowledge. With branching scenario simulations, students are guided through a series of questions and their choices directly affect the outcome of the realistic, authentic problem-based learning scenarios. 

Our first step to analyzing branching scenario simulations was to view Skills Practice: A Home Visit by Ryerson University to address efficiency, effectiveness, equity and engagement of the delivery technology within the context of a nursing school. We then created our own branching scenario simulation to offer recommendations and considerations for using H5P branching scenario simulations in our respective teaching contexts. 

  • Shelley – Higher Education in X-Ray Technology
  • Patrick – Higher Education in Computing
  • Sandra – Curricularist with at-risk youth
  • Wendy – Grade 9 Science

Just as empathizing with your learners is important for design-thinking methodology (d.Stanford, 2021), so too is it important to empathize with your learners and consider your context when analyzing the use of H5P branching scenario simulations (Heemskerk et al., 2005). Feel free to experience our branching scenario simulation, critically analyzing the delivery technology and how it applies to our teaching contexts. Explore all branches to see four unique points of view. 

Here is the link to our interactive branching scenario.

For a brief overview of our findings, you can view our infographic. Within the infographic, be sure to explore all the active links.

Whether you are teaching in higher education or K-12, when incorporating H5P branching scenario simulations into your teaching and learning environments, consider if you have enough time to design and build activities most effective for learning. Although H5P is a viable option for creating branching scenarios, the time and resources needed to create may be a barrier for you. As well, consider your learners. Are you meeting all learners’ needs? Will they relate? Will they be engaged? Empathize with your learners and think about H5P efficiency, effectiveness, equity, and engagement. Branching scenarios can be very interactive and engaging, but may not be the right fit for your context. Keep in mind, even if you don’t think branching scenario simulations will work in your context, there are several other ways to incorporate using H5P in your courses. Check out the H5P website, and be on the lookout for the upcoming H5P OER Hub!


Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215.

Bell, B. S., Kanar, A. M., & Kozlowski, S. W. J. (2008). Current issues and future directions in simulation-based training in North America. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19(8), 1416-1434.

Bland, A. J., Topping, A., & Tobbell, J. (2014). Time to unravel the conceptual confusion of authenticity and fidelity and their contribution to learning within simulation-based nurse education. A discussion paper. Nurse Education Today, 34(7), 1112–1118.

Brackenreg J. (2004). Issues in reflection and debriefing: how nurse educators structure experiential activities. Nurse Education Practice, 4(4) 264–70.

Brame, C. J. (2016). Effective educational videos: Principles and guidelines for maximizing student learning from video content. CBE Life Sciences Education, 15(4), es6.1-es6.6.

Cardoza, M. P. (2011). Neuroscience and simulation: An evolving theory of brain-based education. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 7(6), 205-208.

Calvete, E., Orue, I., & Hankin, B. L. (2015). A longitudinal test of the vulnerability-stress model with early maladaptive schemas for depressive and social anxiety symptoms in adolescents. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 37(1), 85-99.

CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines Version 2.2.

Core, M. G., Georgila, K., Nye, B. D., Auerbach, D., Liu, Z. F., & DiNinni, R. (2016). Learning, adaptive support, student traits, and engagement in scenario-based learning. In Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC).

Dickey, M. D. (2005). Engaging by design: How engagement strategies in popular computer and video games can inform instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(2), 67-83.

Digital Education Revolution. (2008). Success through partnership. Achieving a national vision for ICT in schools. Strategic plan to guide the implementation of the digital education revolution initiative and related initiatives. 8 May 2021. Retrieved from

Drenoyianni, H. (2006). Reconsidering change and ICT: Perspectives of a human and democratic education. Education and Information Technologies, 11(3), 401-413.

d.Stanford (2021). Get Started with Design Thinking.

French, P. (2020). Intro to H5P for Mohawk College.

Gagné, M., & Deci, E. L. (2005). Self‐determination theory and work motivation. Journal of Organizational behavior, 26(4), 331-362.

Gilakjani, A. P., Leong, L. M., & Ismail, H. N. (2013). Teachers’ use of technology and constructivism. International Journal of Modern Education & Computer Science, 5(4).

Gordon C.J., & Buckley T. (2009). The effect of high-fidelity simulation training on medical-surgical graduate nurses’ perceived ability to respond to patient clinical emergencies. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 40(11), 491–500. (2021, May 7). Content Type Accessibility. (2021, May 6). H5P OER Hub.

Hayden, J., Smiley, R., Alexander, M., Kardong-Edgren, S., & Jeffries, P. (2014). The NCSBN National Simulation Study:A longitudinal, randomized, controlled study replacing clinical hours with simulation in prelicensure nursing education. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 5(2) Supplement, S3-S40.

Harper, K. A., & DeWaters, J. (2008). A quest for website accessibility in higher education institutions. The Internet and Higher Education, 11(3-4), 160-164.

Helyar, S., Griffiths, P., & Norman, I. (2013). “The damage I could do…” Qualitative evaluation of a low-fidelity medical administration simulation that generates error as a learning experience for pre-registration nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 4(2), 11-19.

Heemskerk, I., Brink, A., Volman, M., & Ten Dam, G. (2005). Inclusiveness and ICT in education: a focus on gender, ethnicity and social class. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21(1), 1-16.

Hodges, C. B. (2008). Self-efficacy in the context of online learning environments: A review of the literature and directions for research. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 20(3‐4), 7-25.

Holmstrom, A. (2019). Radiography students’ learning of plain x-ray examinations in simulation laboratory exercises: An ethnography research. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 50(4), 557-564.

Issenberg, S.B., McGaghie, W.C., Petrusa, E.R., Lee, G. D., Scalese, R.J. (2005). Features and uses of high fidelity medical simulations that lead to effective learning: a BEME systematic review. Med Teach, 27(1), 10–28.

Karimi Moonaghi, H., Derakhshan, A., Valai, N., & Mortazavi, F. (2003). The effectiveness of video-based education on gaining practical learning skills in comparison with demonstrating methods effectiveness among university students. Journal of Medical Education, 4(1), 27-30.

Kaufman, D., & Ireland, A. (2016). Enhancing teacher education with simulations. TechTrends, 60(3), 260-267.

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1998). Engagement theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Educational Technology, 38(5), 20-23.

Killam, L. A., & Luctkar-Flude, M. (in press). Virtual Simulations to replace clinical hours in a family assessment course: development using H5P. Clinical Simulation in Nursing,

Knowles, M. (1973). The adult learner: A neglected species. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED084368.

Lapkin, S., & Levett-Jones, T. (2011). A cost-utility analysis of medium vs. high-fidelity human patient simulation manikins in nursing education. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 20(23-24), 3543–3552.

Luctkar-Flude, M., Tyerman, J., Ziegler, E., Carroll, B., Shortall, C., Chumbley, L., & Tregunno, D. (2020). Developing a sexual orientation and gender identity nursing education toolkit. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 51(9), 412–419.

McGaghie, W. C., Issenberg, S. B., Cohen, E. R., Barsuk, J. H., & Wayne, D. B. (2011). Does simulation-based medical education with deliberate practice yield better results than traditional clinical education? A meta-analytic comparative review of the evidence. Academic medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 86(6), 706–711.

Masha’al, D., & Rababa, M. (2020). Nursing students’ perceptions towards branching path simulation as an effective interactive learning method. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 15(4), 218-225.

Moonen, J. (1997). The efficiency of telelearning. Journal of asynchronous learning networks, 1(2), 68-77.

Mutekwe, E. (2014). Improving learning equity through a social constructivist approach to teaching and learning: Insights from the Vygotskian socio-cultural approach. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(27), 1093-1093.

Onstott, K. L. (2019). Perceived impact of virtual scenario-based branching simulations among radiology program students. (Publication No. 1637) [Doctoral dissertation, Boise State University Theses and Dissertations]

Porter, J. R., & Kientz, J. A. (2013). An empirical study of issues and barriers to mainstream video game accessibility. Proceedings of the 15th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on computers and accessibility.

Rekhari, S., & Sinnayah, P. (2018). H5P and innovation in anatomy and physiology teaching. In D. Wache & D. Houston (Eds.), Research and development in higher education: (Re) valuing higher education: volume 41: Refereed papers from the 41st HERDSA Annual International Conference 2-5 July 2018 (pp. 191-205). Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Inc.

Rogers-Shaw, C., Carr-Chellman, D. J., & Choi, J. (2018). Universal design for learning: Guidelines for accessible online instruction. Adult Learning, 29(1), 20–31.

Ryan, E., & Poole, C. (2019). Impact of virtual learning environment on students’ satisfaction, engagement, recall, and retention. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 50(3), 408–415.

Ryerson University. (2015). Skills practice: A home visit.

Sapkaroski, D., Mundy, D., & Dimmock, M. (2020). Virtual reality versus conventional clinical role-play for radiographic positioning training: A students’ perception study. Radiography, 26(1), 57-62.

Selwyn, N., & Aagaard, J. (2021). Banning mobile phones from classrooms—an opportunity to advance understandings of technology addiction, distraction and cyberbullying. British Journal of Educational Technology, 52(1), 8-19.

Skvortsova, S., Onopriienko, O., Britskan, T. (2019). Training for future primary school teachers in using service H5P teaching mathematics In E. Smyrnova-Trybulska (Ed.). E-learning and STEM education. “E-learning”, 11, (pp. 277-294). Katowice-Cieszyn: Studio NOA for University of Silesia 2019.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) (2021. May 7). How to meet WCAG (Quick Reference).

Wentzel, K. R., Muenks, K., McNeish, D., & Russell, S. (2017). Peer and teacher supports in relation to motivation and effort: A multi-level study. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 49, 32-45.

Zhang, D., Zhou, L., Briggs, R. O., & Nunamaker Jr, J. F. (2006). Instructional video in e-learning: Assessing the impact of interactive video on learning effectiveness. Information & Management, 43(1), 15-27.

Attribution for Sandra Norum videos

Ryerson University. (2015). Skills practice: A home visit.

Photo by Anderson Rian on Unsplash

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash

Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash

Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash

Photo by Sanchez Amezcua on Unsplash

Photo by Raúl Nájera on Unsplash

Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

Photo by Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash

Photo by Brian Lundquist on Unsplash

Photo by Denin Lawley on Unsplash

Attribution for Wendy Grymaloski videos

Wendy Grymaloski Engagement video

Ryerson University. (2015). Skills practice: A home visit.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

Photo by on Unsplash

Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Attribution for Wendy Grymaloski

Wendy Grymaloski Effectiveness video

Ryerson University. (2015). Skills practice: A home visit.

Photo by javier trueba on Unsplash

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Photo by Cyntonn on Unsplash

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Photo by Austin Pacheco on Unsplash

Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

Photo by on Unsplash

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Attribution for Wendy Grymaloski

Wendy Grymaloski Equity video

H5P. (2021). Branching scenario [photograph]. H5P.

Ryerson University. (2015). Skills practice: A home visit.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Photo by Shoaib SR on Unsplash

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Photo by Tamarcus Brown on Unsplash

Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

Photo by on Unsplash

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Attribution for Wendy Grymaloski

Wendy Grymaloski Efficiency video

Ryerson University. (2015). Skills practice: A home visit.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash

Photo by airfocus on Unsplash

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

Photo by on Unsplash

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

Attribution for Shelley Dougan videos

H5P. (2021). Branching scenario [photograph]. H5P.

Photo by Leon on Unsplash

Photo by on youtube

Ryerson University. (2015). Skills practice: A home visit.

Featured Image: “H5P Branching Scenario” by H5P

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *