Bring asynchronous discussions to life with VoiceThread

Nicole Marcisz, Instructional Designer, ID&T

What is VoiceThread?

VoiceThread is an interactive presentation tool. A single VoiceThread is a collaborative, interactive, multimedia slide show that can hold images, documents, and videos. It allows people to navigate through the slides and leave comments in 5 ways: using voice (with a microphone or telephone), text, audio file (for VoiceThread Pro users), or video (via a webcam). VoiceThreads can be shared with students and colleagues so they can record comments, too. Users can doodle while commenting (drawing annotation overlays), use multiple identities, and moderate which comments are shown. VoiceThreads can also be embedded within other websites and exported and saved to a computer, CD, or flash drive for sending via email or played as an archival movie. And perhaps best of all, VoiceThread is fully integrated with WorldClass (Desire2Learn).

Watch an introduction to VoiceThread.

Adding VoiceThread to a WorldClass course

To add a VoiceThread portal from within a WorldClass course module

  • Log in to WorldClass and enter a course module
  • In the Add Existing Activities dropdown box, click “External Learning Tools”
  • Click "VoiceThread MyVoice Page".

VoiceThread can now be opened directly within WorldClass.

Ideas to consider

  • Utilize VoiceThread to bring an asynchronous discussion to life!
  • Have students create their own VoiceThreads on different topics to share with classmates.
  • Have students create verbal comments on an image, table, graph or diagram.
  • Share a video and have students discuss, review and analyze.
  • Assign specific perspectives to students to promote alternative ways of thinking (especially a devil’s advocate).
  • Share a case study and then slowly dissect the components in different slides for students to analyze and comment while solving the case.
  • Have students share their personal experiences by uploading and commenting on their own personal photos and slides.

Tips on using VoiceThread

  • Avoid placing too much text on a slide to ensure the message is clear, concise and easy to read.
  • Avoid narrating all the text that appears on the slide.
  • Try substituting a visual to lessen the amount of slide text.
  • Don't pack too much conversation into one slide, especially if there are 12 or more students. Consider breaking up the directives into multiple slides.
  • Follow copyright laws and give credit for resources/ Explore Create Commons media sources
  • Be sure to upload an image for your identity. You can actually have multiple image identities (maybe when you play devil’s advocate you can be a devil icon)

Additional resources