VoiceThread for Instructors
VoiceThread is a web-based tool which allows users to compile a variety of media such as images, videos, audio clips, presentations, and documents, into a single space for discussions. With VoiceThread, conversations may take place synchronously or can happen asynchronously through contributed comments with microphone, text, webcam, telephone, or uploaded audio file.
At the University of Arizona, VoiceThread is integrated with the main Learning Management Systems (D2l, Blackboard, and Canvas). Users may choose to access the tool through their LMS course site (recommended for class use), or outside the LMS through the UA's VoiceThread site arizona.voicethread.com .
VoiceThread is a tool which enables conversations and media-sharing in a virtual space. With that in mind, we encourage you to think about the types of conversations and sharing you want to do.
- Which conversations need to happen synchronously and which can happen asynchronously?
- How are interactions encouraged student-student, student-class, instructor-student, instructor-class?
- Would these conversations and interactions benefit from living in a webspace?
- How might a visual discussion board differ from a traditional discussion forum?
VoiceThread is available for use in all University of Arizona courses through the LMS course site or through the UA's VoiceThread url arizona.voicethread.com with UA credentials.
To access VT, go to your course site and click on the VT external tools link or to Arizona's site (http://arizona.voicethread.com/) and log in with your UA credentials.
The Platform Basics
VoiceThread is a web-based application
and can be accessed through any major browser, from a mobile device, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. It requires no software downloads or installs, however for best results, users are encouraged to have the most updated version of Adobe Flash installed on their machines and have a decent internet connection for upload, download, and streaming. For Safari 10.0 users, please follow the steps here to enable Flash in your browser.
VoiceThread organizes by groups
VoiceThread doesn't require, but does encourage user groupings. In VoiceThead, groups allow conversations to flow more freely and for content to be shared securely.
Some groups are automatically created, such as a class roster group from an LMS course site, With LMS Courses
If accessing VoiceThread from an LMS course site, VT will add all users going from a specific course site to a VT group specific to that course. For example, if I am using VT in my course, Online Learning 101, all of the individuals on my class roster will be members of the VT group Online Learning 101. This means any content I share with group Online Learning 101, will be visible to every individual on my class roster.
Other groups must be manually created, such as sections within classes or groups outside an LMS class
Groups may be created and managed by any VoiceThread Pro Account holder. (At UA, instructors and admins are granted Pro Accounts, students are granted Basic Accounts). Outside the class roster example, as an instructor in Online Learning 101, I can create additional groups to share content with specific groups of students, perhaps for a single section in a large class. In addition, my students can create groups of individuals with which to share content. For example, if my course, Online Learning 101, has multiple sections, led by multiple TAs, a separate group may be created for each TA and her/his section.
Voicethread values ownership
All VoiceThread content is owned by the individual who created it. An individual can determine by whom and when their content is accessed through sharing and with whom they engage in conversation through comment moderation. VoiceThreads are private by default, and must be shared to be viewed by any other user or group.
Creating a VoiceThread
The best way to learn about VoiceThread is to try it out! To create a VoiceThread
- Go to to the VT platform (either through your LMS course site or the UA site http://arizona.voicethread.com/). This will take you to your VT Homepage
- From the top navigation bar, select the "Create" button
- Add any media of your choice
- Select playback and threaded commenting options
- Add your own comments to the media
- And once ready, Share your VT
Sharing a VoiceThread
Because of the value VoiceThread places on ownership of content, each VT must be shared before it is accessible by anyone other than the creator. VTs can be shared a handful of ways:
Share with a group - only members of this group may access the content
Share with an individual - only individual may access content
Share with an open URL - anyone with the link may access the content
Unshare - revoke access to a VoiceThread
We encourage you to talk with an Instructional Designer about incorporating tools into your course. Feel free to reach out to OIA or ODL to meet and talk about the best tools for your class.
Please work with the DRC learn about accessibility with Voicethread and VoiceThread Universal
Katy Holt, Office of Digital Learning