A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in several ways – text, voice, audio file, or webcam. Faculty can create and share a VoiceThread with students and colleagues for them to review in presentation mode or to record comments for increased engagement and feedback. Users can doodle (annotate) while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation.
With VoiceThread, faculty and students can:
- Demonstrate procedures to help students prepare for a practical exam
- Explain decisions when selecting subjects for a painting’s composition
- Flip a classroom experience to support multiple learning styles
- Foster greater community in large, lecture-based classes
- Interpret linear composition of a painting or note other elements
- Debate the pros and cons of a controversial issue
- Practice foreign language skills during role-play
- Report on field experiences
- Critique a classmate’s composition
Adding VoiceThread to your course
- Navigate to the “Content” area for your course.
- Click on the “Build Content” or “Tools” menu.
- Select “Wentworth VoiceThread” from the menu.
- Give the link a title and description if you’d like.
NOTE: The description cannot contain any line breaks or multiple paragraphs.
- If you will be creating a graded assignment, remember to enable grading. This option is called “Enable Evaluation”.
VoiceThread is integrated into your Blackboard environment by your administrator, so you can simply follow the steps below to pull it into your course.
Setting up your VoiceThread link
After you have added VoiceThread to your course, you’ll need to decide what you want students to see when they click on that link. Start by clicking on the link you’ve just created. This will show you the VoiceThread Setup page, where you can select the option that best fits your needs. These options are detailed below.
Note: If you want VoiceThread integrated with your gradebook, you must use the Assignment Builder.
Display the collection of VoiceThreads that have been shared with your course. Anything that has not yet been explicitly shared with your course will not appear here.
This is a good option when you want students to find and comment on each other’s work or if you want to allow students to review all course materials prior to an exam.
Display any VoiceThread that you have created. When students click on the link, they’ll see just this one VoiceThread.
This option is the best way to create a VoiceThread discussion board or lecture. Students will not need to look through a collection of VoiceThreads to find the correct one; they will be taken straight to it.
Display all of a student’s VoiceThread content in a single view. This includes all VoiceThreads and all courses that belong to them.
This option is useful if you want to create a simple portal into VoiceThread without directing students to any specific content.
Create a graded assignment for students to complete. You can require them to create a VoiceThread of their own to submit, to comment on a VoiceThread you’ve created, or simply to watch a VoiceThread start to finish.
After you’ve selected the type of assignment you’d like to create, you’ll be walked through the steps to complete the setup process. You can include a description for your assignment, select a VoiceThread you’ve created for the Comment or Watch Assignment, decide whether students are allowed to resubmit their assignments or if the first submission is final, and even require a specific number of comments for the Comment Assignment.
Student Assignment Submission
When students click on the link for a graded assignment, they will see the assignment you’ve created. They can immediately create or select a VoiceThread to submit for the Create Assignment, record comments on your VoiceThread for the Comment Assignment, or watch the VoiceThread for the Watch Assignment. As soon as they click on the “Submit Assignment” button, you will be able to grade their work.
Click here for the assignment submission guide for students.
Grading student work
When you’re ready to grade a VoiceThread assignment, simply return to your course and click on the VoiceThread link again. This will display the grader.
Click on a student’s name on the right to see that student’s submission. You can click on each comment below his or her name individually to jump directly to it. Enter a grade on a percentage scale (0-100), and hit “Enter” on your keyboard. This grade will immediately be entered into your Blackboard course gradebook.
* Note: If you have set the assignment to be worth less than 100 points, still grade it on a scale of 0-100, and the score will be adjusted accordingly in your gradebook.
If you have students who have not yet submitted their assignments, click on the “Remind” button to send them an email reminder. Click “Remind all students” to send an email to everyone who has not yet submitted.
What is VoiceThread?
- VoiceThread is a platform for asynchronous group conversations around images, documents, videos and presentations uploaded to the site. Once a user shares a VoiceThread, others can comment on it verbally (with a microphone), by recording a video with their webcam, with text, or by uploading an audio file. Additionally, others can review the comments and see who made them.
What type of VoiceThread account do I have?
- All instructors at Wentworth are eligible for Pro accounts (create an unlimited number of VoiceThreads, with unlimited storage, manage groups). Please contact Voicethread Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org if you believe your account type is incorrect.
Are there file size limits when uploading content?
- No single file can be larger than 3 GB. If your presentation or video is larger than that, try breaking it up into smaller files and uploading them individually.
Do I need to sign into VoiceThread while using it inside Blackboard?
- No. VoiceThread Blackboard should automatically detect who you are and be pre-logged in. If you are having authentication issues inside of either platform please contact email@example.com.
In the Blackboard integration, what is the difference between “Individual VT, Course VT and VT Home?”
- These portals serve different purposes, Individual shows a single VoiceThread that you specify, Course shows an overview of only the VoiceThreads shared with the current course window, and VT Home shows all VoiceThreads that the user has created. VT Home’s display can potentially contain different content for each user since each user has different VoiceThreads connected to their profile.
Inside Blackboard, is there a way to prevent students from creating new VoiceThreads?
- Not at this time. Created VoiceThreads will have an account name attached so you will know which student has uploaded. If you are the instructor you can remove VoiceThreads shared with the class. Hover over the VoiceThread you want to remove and select “Remove” from the options.
Can I make graded assignments with Voicethread?
- Using Blackboard, you can create a graded assignment. When you create your Voicethread module in your course (see Blackboard guide) simply select "yes" under grading and enter the number of points possible. You can then configure the assignment from there.
Can I share VoiceThreads outside of Blackboard?
- Yes there is a “share” link to share VoiceThreads around the web. However, for recipients to comment they will need a VoiceThread account. They may also need to be part of the group that the VoiceThread is shared with, depending on privacy settings. More detail on sharing can be found here.
What file types does VoiceThread support?
- Text documents: DOC, DOCX, PDF, ODT, XLS, XLSX, and ODS files.
- Presentations: PPT, PPTX, ODP, and PDF files. Uploading text documents and presentations will turn each page or slide into a single slide in VoiceThread, so a 12 page word doc will become a 12 slide VoiceThread, a 20 slide powerpoint becomes a 20 slide VoiceThread. PDF is recommended for best compatibility.
- Images: JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP files. Uploading a series of images will create a slideshow.
- Audio files: MP3 or WAV formats.
- Video: Most MOV, WMV or AVI files. For best results use H.264 encoding.
VoiceThread allows the use of multiple file types to create a VoiceThread.
In comments, what content can be added using URL links? Can I add Youtube or Vimeo videos?
- You can only upload URLs that point directly to image or video files. Such as “www.example.com/files/image1.jpg” or “www.example.com/files/video.mp4”. You cannot use URLs directly from YouTube or Vimeo. To include a YouTube video in a VoiceThread, you'll need to use a 3rd party application like http://www.clipconverter.cc/ to download the video as an MP4 onto your computer, then you can upload that video file into VoiceThread. You should only do this after clearing any copyright or fair-use concerns.
Can the drawing tools be used with text comments?
- Not at this time; the drawing tool can only be used with video and audio comments.
Can I annotate/comment on video content at a specific time?
- Yes. You can interact dynamically with video content as you record your comment. Please see further instructions here.
Why am I unable to see someone's comment on a Voicethread?
- The comment may have been added as a private reply or comment moderation may be turned on. If you own the VoiceThread, double-check to make sure your playback settings are correct. If you are a professor, you may avoid these problems by creating assignments using VoiceThread's Assignment Builder.
Please contact Learning Innovation & Technology for assistance using this product in your course. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, stop by Beatty 318, or call 617-989-5428.