VoiceThread is a platform for creating rich, asynchronous conversations around media including images, video clips, documents, and slide presentations. Students and instructors can comment on the posted content using text, audio, video, or drawing. Each comment forms another layer added to the timeline of the voicethread slide, and additional slides can be added to continue the discussion around other pieces of media.
Voicethread has a very visual interface, with media in the center and small profile pictures of commenters on the side, which helps it to feel more socially interactive than a traditional discussion board. The various formats for comments―audio, text, or video―allow students with different abilities and interests to communicate their understanding in the way they prefer. It also enables students to practice certain skills, for example speaking and listening a foreign language. On videos, comments are tied to a timestamp, making it easier for the instructor and students to reference specific details or to go back and review the original video and the related questions and comments. Comments can also be threaded to encourage more back and forth among the commenters.
VoiceThread can be used to create a virtual space for faculty and students to introduce themselves at the start of the semester using video or audio clips. In this way, VoiceThread can foster social cohesiveness in a course, particularly if classes meet infrequently or involve remote participants.
Instructors can post a video clip to VoiceThread and have students respond with text, audio, or webcam responses along the timeline and draw over specific frames to highlight interesting elements.
Students can create multimedia presentations in VoiceThread using a webcam video of themselves, recording their screen, presenting photos or slides with audio comments, or combinations of all of these. Other students can use VoiceThread’s commentary features to record their reactions to the presentations, leave feedback, or suggest changes.
Voicethread is a convenient platform for students to create a digital exhibit with an “audio walking tour.” Students can upload images or other multimedia to a series of voicethread slides. Then on each slide, they can record an initial audio or video comment that gives additional context to the visual. Students in art courses might, for example, present their own work, while students in a history course evaluate others’ work, or students in a business course present a marketing pitch.
For guides on getting started with VoiceThread, using VoiceThread in Canvas, and other support, see the Georgetown VoiceThread Support site. The multimedia experts in the Gelardin New Media Center provide individual training and group workshops on using VoiceThread. For more information, see the list of upcoming Gelardin workshops or schedule a consultation with a Gelardin New Media Center Multimedia Specialist. VoiceThread also regularly provides Voicethread online webinars. For a consultation on teaching with VoiceThread, including best practices, please contact CNDLS.