Want to create group conversations around images, documents and videos?

VoiceThread (VT) 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!

Check out our previous EdTech Spotlight post for tutorial videos, examples and guides.

1. Add the VT tool to iLearn unit

Request VT be added to your unit via your faculty Learning Designers: fohs.lds@mq.edu.au (or equivalent in other faculties).

A Individual VT link will be created first, placed in Topic 0. This can function as a low-risk introductory activity. Simply record your welcome and introduction and invite students to post a reply introducing themselves.

Then the VT activity / assignment links will be created for the number you requested.


– Unit convenors will need to direct all enrolled students to access a VT link (e.g. the Individual VT ‘welcome’ link) once at the beginning of each session to activate their VT account

– If you have a large cohort, we recommend you create individual slides for each tutorial group to submit their introduction responses

– iLearn Groups do not transfer over to VT; groups must be re-created in VT

2. Create a VT activity or assignment

(a) The newly created VT activity link(s) in your iLearn unit will take you to the following menu – select “Assignment Builder”:


– If you would like to create a VT to present unit content and embed the video in your iLearn unit you can select “Individual VT” or do the same from your VT Sandbox:

(b) There are three (3) activity options:

Option 1: students create a VT
Option 2: students add comment(s) to a VT
Option 3: students watch a VT

Selecting any of the three (3) options requires a brief text description of the task.


– The best activity to use is Option 2: Submit a Comment

– If you want to facilitate small group collaboration, we recommend you create individual VT activity links for each group; you can use iLearn Groups and apply selective release in the Common Module Settings for each VT link

(c) Click on the Create Assignment button.

3. Edit VT activity settings

(a) Access VT via any VT link

(b) Select your newly created VT activity

(c) Click on the “Option” (wheel icon) at top right > Playback Settings:

(d) Add a brief title and task description:

(e) Select the settings relevant for your activity:


– Always select Start playing when opened
– For multimodal discussions, select Enable threaded comments.
– For iterative discussion or creation, select Allow commenters to add slides to this VT
– For private student comments, select Enable Comment Moderation (see guide)
– For short answer comments, select Limit each comment to X minutes and X seconds
– For single submissions only select Don’t allow commenters to delete their own comments (see guide)
– Comment Method > Telephone is only available in the USA

(f) Click “Save” at bottom right

Contribute: Active students

To assist students to make their contributions with ease we have created a Student User Guide for VT (using H5P; see Teche post introducing H5P tool) that can be embedded in your iLearn unit:

There is also an MQ PDF guide.

Marking: Peer and Teacher Feedback


– If you want to use VT for unit assessment, it can be linked to the iLearn Gradebook. The point value can be set in the VT link Grade settings; note however, that the mark in VT is pre-set to out of 100.

– Staff roles in iLearn do not transfer over to VT (i.e. VT does not recognise staff). The VT creator must share the VT assignment with the marking team in VT (see guide).

– It’s not possible to set a rubric to a VT assignment, but… you can add your rubric (e.g. select text from or the rubric image or file) in VT when you’re providing your audio, visual and/or annotated feedback!

For settings for peer commenting / peer review, see guide.

For more guides, check out

For important Tips and Tricks, check out:

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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