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Get Started with VoiceThread

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Overview of VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a tool for engaging students in asynchronous media-rich conversations via text, audio and video that can be integrated into Moodle at UMass Amherst. For more about VoiceThread, visit voicethread.com

Add VoiceThread to your Moodle Course

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon, top right), top right). Editing links will apear on the page.
  2. In the section that you want the activity to appear, click +Add an activity or resource. The Activity chooser will open.
  3. In the Activity chooser, select External tool, then scroll down and click Add. The Adding an external tool page will open.
  4. On the Adding an external tool page, for Activity Name, enter a name for the activity.
  5. From the Preconfigured tool dropdown, select VoiceThread.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and return to course. You will be returned to your course page.

Creating Content in VoiceThread

In VoiceThread you can Create an Ungraded VoiceThread Link, Add Media to VoiceThread and Comment on VoiceThread.

Create an Ungraded VoiceThread Link

  1. Click on the newly created VoiceThread link. 
    VoiceThread LTI appearance
    A new tab will open and display a white screen with the text "You will be directed to the application momentarily...".
  2. Click Individual VT.
    Individual VoiceThread (click to enlarge)
  3. Select one of your previously created VoiceThreads. If you have not yet created a VoiceThread, click Create new VoiceThread. To add Media or Comments to your VoiceThread, continue to Adding Media in VoiceThread and Adding Comments on VoiceThread.
    Previously created VoiceThread example (click to enlarge)
  4. Click Share with Class.
    VoiceThread share link example (click to enlarge)

Creating a Graded VoiceThread Link

In VoiceThread you can use Assignment Builder to create a graded VoiceThread link for students to complete. Through the Assignment Builder you can require the students to create a VoiceThread of their own to submit, to comment on a VoiceThread you’ve created, or simply to watch a VoiceThread start to finish.

  1. Navigate to your Moodle course page and add VoiceThread to your Moodle Course, for detailed instructions see Add VoiceThread to your Moodle Course.
  2. Next, click on the newly created VoiceThread link. A new tab will open and display a white screen with the text "You will be directed to the application momentarily...".
  3. Click Assignment Builder. The Select a type of Assignment page will open.
    Options for Setting up VoiceThread (click to enlarge)
  4. On the Select a type of Assignment page click on any an assignment type to configure it. The assignments that you can create in VoiceThread are: Create a VoiceThread, Submit a Comment or Watch a VoiceThread.
  5. After you’ve selected the type of assignment you’d like to create, you’ll be walked through the steps to complete the setup process. For information on grading assignemnts in VoiceThread, please see Grading student work.

Adding Media in VoiceThread

Building a VoiceThread starts with adding media. Media can include images, PDF documents, PPTX slides, and videos. For instructions, and imagery that will guide you through the process of adding media to a presentation in VoiceThread, please see the video on how to Add Media to VoiceThread

  1. Click Add Media or drag and drop files from your computer.
    Add Media (click to enlarge)
  2. In most cases you will select My Computer to browse for media already on your computer. Selecting Media Sources will allow you to add media from Khan Academy, Flickr, and the New York Public Library. You can also take a webcam photo or video. To add a URL, enter the web address of an image stored on a webpage (addresses of images will end in the image file format such as .png or .jpg).
    Add media, select My Computer (click to enlarge)
  3. Browse and select the desired media on your computer. 
  4. Enter a VoiceThread title and optional description, and click Save
    Add media thread settings (click to enlarge)
  5. Continue to Comment on your VoiceThread

Note: Information on adding media to VoiceThread presentations from the student perspective can be found on the Add Media to VoiceThread Student Orientation and Resource page. Please share this resource with your students.

Adding Comments on VoiceThread

There are several commenting options in VoiceThread:

  • Text
  • Audio from a microphone
  • Audio from a telephone
  • Upload audio or video from a pre-recorded file
  • Video from a webcam

For instructions, and imagery that will guide you through the process of commenting on a VoiceThread presentation, please see the video on How to comment on VoiceThread.

  1. If building a new presentation, select Comment next click the commenting plus sign (Commenting plus sign)


    If you are working on an existing VoiceThread, click the commenting plus sign (Commenting plus sign)
  2. Select your desired comment format

 Adding Text Comments on VoiceThread

  1. Select the commenting plus sign, next click ABC.
    Icon for Text Comment (click to enlarge)
  2. Type your comment, and click Save.
    Preview for add a text Comment (click to enlarge)

Adding Audio Comments on VoiceThread

You have the option of audio commenting using a telephone, your computer's microphone, or a file upload.

 Telephone
  1. Select the commenting plus sign, next click the telephone icon.
    Audio Comment option using a telephone (click to enlarge)
  2. Enter your telephone number, and click Call Me.
    Instering the phone number to comment (click to enlarge)
  3. Answer your telephone when it rings, and follow the prompts to save your comment.
 Computer's microphone
  1. Select the commenting plus sign, next click the microphone icon.
    Comment using microphone (click to enlarge)
  2. Click Allow to permit VoiceThread to access your microphone.
    Permitting VoiceThread to access your microphone (click to enlarge)
  3. You may also be prompted by your browser to grant VoiceThread access to your microphone, again, click Allow.
    Browser Extension permission for VoiceThread (click to enlarge)
  4. After the permission is granted Voicethread will start a 5 second countdown. Wait for the countdown to finish, and then begin to speak. If you wish, annotate the image using the pencil.
    Pencil icon used to annotate to VoiceThread(click to enlarge)

    When you are finished, click Stop Recording.
    Stop Recording button
  5. Listen to your comment. If you are satisfied, click Save.
    Save Comment option in VoiceThread (click to enlarge)

 Upload File Comments on VoiceThread

  1. Select the commenting plus sign, next click the file upload icon.
    File upload Comments (click to enlarge)
  2. Browse for and select an audio file on your computer. Once the file has finished processing, click OK to save your comment.
    File upload confirmation (click to enlarge)

Adding Webcam video Comments on VoiceThread

  1. Select the commenting plus sign, next click the video camera icon.
    Webcam video comments in VoiceThread (click to enlarge)
  2. Click Allow to permit VoiceThread to access your microphone and camera.
    Permitting VoiceThread to access your camera (click to enlarge)
  3. You may also be prompted by your browser to grant VoiceThread access to your microphone and camera, again, click Allow
    VoiceThread browser permission to access your camera (click to enlarge)
  4. After the permission is granted Voicethread will start a 5 second countdown. Wait for the countdown to finish, and then begin to speak. If you wish, annotate the image using the pencil.
    Pencil icon used to annotate in VoiceThread(click to enlarge)

    When you are finished, click Stop Recording.
    Stop Recording button
  5. Listen to your comment. If you are satisfied, click Save.
    Save comment option in VoiceThread (click to enlarge)

Once you have created a VoiceThread you can continue to share your VoiceThread with the course or individual students. For more information, see Share VoiceThread.

Note: Information about commenting on VoiceThread presentations from the student perspective can be found on the Comment on VoiceThread Student Orientation and Resource page. Please share this resource with your students.


More Help with VoiceThread

For more help with VoiceThread, see VoiceThread How-to.