VoiceThread is an interactive collaboration and sharing tool that enables users to add images, documents, and videos to which other users can add voice, text, audio file or video comments – all asynchronously.

What can you do with it?

1. Learning Activity

(i) Set the tone: establish a learning community

Unit convenor / lecturers use VT to record video welcome messages and invite online / external students to post a video response (comment) introducing themselves and explaining why they are taking a unit / course.

(ii) Apply

Unit convenor / lecturer posts image / video (e.g. medical scans of a rotating human skeleton) and invites the students to label anatomy or pathology using VT’s annotation tool.

Screenshot of VoiceThread of an x-ray of a human hand

Example: X-ray image for students to label or discuss pathology

(iii) Analyse

Unit convenor / lecturer posts foreign language texts and invites students to use VT’s audio/video (comment) to recite text with correct pronunciation and identify examples of the weekly topic grammatical points.

(iv) Evaluate

Unit convenor / lecturer posts PDF of a weekly unit reading and invites students to use VT’s audio/video (comment) to summarise and evaluate the reading (criteria varies depending on discipline and purpose).

Screenshot of a VoiceThread of a painting with icons at left displaying text, audio and video comments from students

Example: Art (image) with text, audio and video comments curated (at left)

2. Assessment Task

(i) Basic: Create

Student uploads presentation slides (i.e. PowerPoint, rich/multimedia, etc.) and uses VT’s audio/video to record their presentation. The marker then provides feedback by making comments.

Screenshot of video annotated at a specific timestamp

Example: Video annotated at specific timestamp

(ii) Intermediate: Create and Evaluate

See (i) Basic (above) plus:

Peer review/marking enabled through peer comment (text, audio, video)

(iii) Advanced: Create, Evaluate, Analyse, Apply

See (i) and (ii) (above) plus:

– Students share their created VT’s with the class group

– Unit convenor / lecturer creates a separate VT link to the Course View so that all students can access all student submissions and make comments, including uploading additional media slides

How do I use it?

Watch the tutorial videos on the VoiceThread YouTube channel, including:

Access the VoiceThread training webinar recordings:

  • Basics 1 – upload, comment, share (49:54)
  • Basics 2 – groups and secure sharing (56:05)
  • Basics 3 – moderating comments, private and threaded replies and copying (43:41)
  • Advanced Skills (47:14)
Screenshot of a student video VoiceThread and accompanying multimodal comments

Example: Student Video and Comments (text, audio, video)

How do I set it up?

At present, only faculty Learning Designers can create VoiceThread links in your iLearn unit.

Contact Bec or Bev: fohs.lds@mq.edu.au

More MQ Examples?

Check out the fruitful experiments and interactive applications by the Department of International Studies, Faculty of Arts:

(i) Visit the Faculty of Arts Toolbox iLearn unit

(ii) Click on the self-enrol button at the bottom of the list of convenors

(iii) Scroll down to Topic 12 ‘Communication and Collaboration’

(iv) Select the VoiceThread entitled ‘Copy of International Studies Presents – example uses from S1 2017

Posted by Beverley Miles

Beverley is a Senior Learning Designer in the Academy of Continuing Professional Development in Education, Faculty of Arts. She is the founder of the Macquarie Undergraduate Research Internship (MURI), co-director of the Telemachus Ancient History Mentor Program (Tele's Angels), and member of the Archaeology of Death and Burial TV team led by A/Prof Ronika Power – bringing digital multimodal text types to assessment with Adobe Education.

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