Engage Your Learners with VoiceThread

VoiceThread has changed how I think about writing; rather than thinking of writing as purely text-based, I now think about how writing is oral, aural and textual.” -Lisa Chinn, Ph.D

Integrated with Sakai, VoiceThread offers students an effective way to create and share multimedia conversations using media (images, video, slides, documents) for student or group feedback via text, voice, or video. VoiceThread can be used to create online journals, interviews, oral presentations, and self-reflection assignments.  Students can add media from a variety of sources, including webcam photo and video, and media sources.

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Here are few examples of how VoiceThread is used in teaching:

Lisa Chinn, Ph.D, a lecturing fellow of the Thompson Writing Program uses VoiceThread in her course Writing 101: Literature in the Age of Mass Reproduction.  “I use VoiceThread to really get students engaged in a conversation. Instead of writing a blog post in response to class readings, I’m having students respond using VoiceThread. Their responses are 3-5 minutes in length. I provide a prompt, also via VoiceThread, and students respond to this prompt creating their own VoiceThread. After the initial VoiceThreads are due, they are to respond to at least one other participant in the class, creating a [conversation] thread.” Chinn also encourage students to respond to more than one classmate to foster discussion outside the classroom.

Another tip is to use VoiceThread in the foreign language classroom. Sandra Niethardt, a Ph.D candidate in the Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies and a CIT Bass Online Apprentice,  explains that VoiceThread can be a particularly useful tool to help students continue to practice and develop their active oral skills outside of the classroom. “Students can express themselves orally without the potentially stress-provoking immediacy of a face-to-face conversation in a foreign language, and still engage in a back-and-forth exchange with their classmates.

VoiceThread can be used as a collaborative tool to develop language learning skills, and offers an engaging way to provide peer feedback and instructor feedback. The communication tools are easy to use, shown below:

Add Audio

To get started using VoiceThread, visit a CIT consultant during office hours or learn more at VoiceThread: Start Multimedia Conversations.

Sophia Stone, Ed.D.

Author: Sophia Stone, Ed.D.

Sophia collaborates with faculty to provide pedagogical and academic technology consulting, training, and project management, for campus-based and online initiatives. She consults on innovative teaching practices across academic disciplines, and works with faculty on course planning, course design and development, and assessment strategies. Her research interests include global online education, instructional design, faculty development, distance education, and international learners.