VoiceThread: Overview

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 recording / upload. VoiceThread has a Canvas integration available to everyone at Yale that is automatically enabled.

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?

VoiceThread allows you to create and share 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 VoiceThread 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

When creating / participating in 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
  • Reply to comments using the options above
  • Annotate using video or audio recording to “doodle” on the media artifact

Use Cases for VoiceThread

A non-exhaustive list outlining what instructors can use VoiceThread to facilitate include:

  • Asynchronously discuss images, videos, audio files, and other media artifacts
  • Students can doodle / annotate on presentation media for a more interactive discussion
  • Moderate comments to allow for the option of assessment over discussion
  • Facilitate oral assessments, particularly in language or speech oriented classes
  • Encourage interactive and human element to discussions than a standard text based discussion board

How do I get started using VoiceThread?

VoiceThread Vendor Workshop

What will my students see?

When students click to enter a VoiceThead activity, they will see:

  1. VoiceThread content as the main slide
  2. Navigation arrows to move forward and back to other content slides in this VoiceThread
  3. Comment Wheel to add a general comment on the VoiceThread slide content currently displayed
  4. Playback timeline of comments
  5. Comment Drawer displaying student comments and replies

In the example here, user RS has posted a comment to the content of the VoiceThread slide and user HP has made a direct reply to them.

Additional Resources

Interested in learning more? VoiceThread provides a digital library of successful projects. There are also workshops provided throughout the year, including recordings of those workshops available for you to view.

For more help with VoiceThread, please contact [email protected].