VoiceThread is a learning tool that helps facilitate student engagement and online discussions. Instructors and students can use VoiceThread to create and share various types of media artifacts including images, videos, audio files, documents, and more. They can then collaborate and discuss these items by leaving comments via text, phone, video, or audio upload.

VoiceThread has a Canvas integration available to everyone at Yale that is automatically enabled. Start using it simply by creating an External Tool Assignment and follow the prompts set forth by the assignment builder. If you would like to test it out, we encourage you to practice in your early course sandbox. To request an early course sandbox, please complete the following form.

Why Use VoiceThread

  • Easy ability to discuss images, videos, audio files, and other media artifacts
  • Students can doodle/annotate on the media for a more interactive discussion
  • Allows for offline commenting via phone
  • Moderated comments allows for the option of assessment over discussion
  • Provides a space for oral assessments, particularly in language or speech oriented classes
  • Brings a more interactive and human element to discussions that a standard text based discussion board

VoiceThread Workshop

Creating and Sharing Media Artifacts

VoiceThread allows you to create and share all sorts of media artifacts that can act as the focal point of your interactive discussion thread. You can create a video or audio recording directly in the interface, upload files from your computer, or find artifacts from various online sources such as Google or the New York Public Library. Below is a list of common files that you can use with VoiceThread.

  • Images
  • Video files
  • Audio files
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Word documents
  • PDFs
  • Many more file types

Comment, Discuss, and Annotate

When creating a VoiceThread, you can insert a comment. Shared VoiceThreads allow both you and your students to leave comments, as well as reply to each other to create a dialogue and start building a community. While recording a video or audio comment, you can also annotate and draw on the media artifacts by using the "Doodle" pencil tool. Below is a full list of how users can interact with a shared VoiceThread.

  • Comment
    • Text entry
    • Phone/dial in recording
    • Video or audio recording or upload
  • Discuss: Reply to comments using the options above
  • Annotate: Use video or audio recording to “doodle” on the media artifact

Additional Resources

Interested in learning more? VoiceThread provides helpful how to guides and videos, as well as a digital library of successful projects. There are also workshops provided throughout the year, including recordings of those workshops available for you to view. You can also read one Canvas instructor's experience with VoiceThread in a Canvas blog post on "Why use VoiceThread in your online class?"