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Web 2.0/3.0 Teaching and Learning Tools: Creating a VoiceThread

(Amanda Albright, JoAnn Gonzalez-Major)

Creating a VoiceThread

Video Tutorial

Note: The video tutorial above is slightly out of date as the interface has changed slightly since it was created. The Quick Start Tutorial below reflects the interface as of 3/15/2011.

Quick Start Tutorial

Step 1: Upload/Edit Slides

  1. Log in to your VoiceThread account. https://voicethread.com.
  2. Click on Create.
  3. Click on Upload/Edit.
    Note: Free VoiceThreads can have as many as 50 slides/items uploaded to it.
  4. Per the prompt, upload images, documents and media using the Upload From options:
    • Image illustrating the upload options into VoiceThreadMy Computer – Search your computer for images, documents, and media.
      Note: Multiple items can be selected and uploaded at once by holding down the Command or Control keys while selecting an item.
    • Media Sources – Allows you to import media from other accounts you may have including:
      • Other VoiceThreads
      • Flicker
      • Facebook
      • The New York Public Library – provides access to over 700K free and public use images
    • URL – Allows you to import a document from a website provided the url is a direct link to the document.
      Note: Many online media sources, particularly videos, do not actually reside at the url you see in the browser. Thus the url is not a direct link to the file.
    • My Webcam – Allows you to record your comment with video and audio using your computer’s webcam.
  5. Repeat 4 until all items have been uploaded.

Step 2: Comment on the VoiceThread before sharing

  1. Select a slide.
  2. Click on Comment.
  3. Click on the Comment button in the play bar of the VoiceThread.
  4. Select one of the five (5) comment options:
    Image illustrating the Comment options when creating a VoiceThread
    1. Telephone – Allows the user to post a comment by phone.
    2. Camera – Allows the user to comment with video and audio using a Webcam.
    3. Record – Allows the user to record an audio comment using a microphone input on their computer.
    4. Type – Allows the user to enter a comment using text.
      Note: This is not text to speech. It simply creates a text-based note.
    5. Upload – Not available with a free account.
  5. Follow the prompts presented for each option. Make sure to confirm/save your comment when finished.
  6. Repeat 5 – 9 until comments have been added to all desired slides.

Step 3: Playback and Publishing Options

Whether or not individuals can view and interact with the VoiceThread depends upon the selected Playback Options and Publish Options.
Image illustrating the Playback and Publish buttons in VoiceThread

  1. Clicking [Playback Options] opens a new window. It is here where you can set variables such as wait time, full screen, allow export, and allow others to copy. The image below illustrates this window and the default settings.
    Image illustrating the Playback options.
  2. Clicking [Publishing Options] opens a new window.  It is here where you can set the options to view and comment on the VoiceThread. Owners also have the option to moderate comments. The image below illustrates this window and the default settings.
    Image illustrating the Publishing Options.
    Note: By default all VoiceThreads are private. If you wish the VoiceThread to remain private, simply use the Send Invite option discussed in Step 4 to invite individuals to view and comment on the VoiceThread.

Step 4: Sharing Your VoiceThread

There are three (3) primary ways to share a VoiceThread: url, embed, and invite.
For the purpose of a course where Students will be posting comments to the VoiceThread it will likely be most desirable to

  • Embed the VoiceThread within Blackboard and
  • Send Invitations to your Contacts List from within VoiceThread.
    Note: Sending invitations to users will allow them to view and comment on a VoiceThread that is otherwise set to private.

To Embed the VoiceThread within Blackboard:

  1. Click [Embed] found at the bottom of the VoiceThread screen.
  2. Copy the Embed code.
    Image illustrating the embed code to be copied.
  3. Login to Blackboard and navigate to the content area within the course where the VoiceThread will be embedded.
  4. Click Add Item (Blackboard 8) or Build Content > Item (Blackboard 9.1).
  5. Give the item a Name.
    Image illustrating the item fields in Blackboard to be completed.
  6. In the Text box, enter text introducing the activity/VoiceThread.
  7. Click on the html editor tool indicated by [<>] in the text editor toolbar.
  8. Paste the copied embed code.
  9. Click [Submit].
    Note: Make sure the item is visible to students or that visibility dates are set prior to selecting Submit.

To send an invitation:

  1. Click [Share].
  2. Under My Contacts, click [Add+].
    Image illustrating the process of adding contacts to a VoiceThread.
  3. Enter the Students Dartmouth Email.
  4. Enter the Student’s Name.
  5. Click [Add].
  6. Repeat 2 – 5 until all students have been added to My Contacts.
  7. Select Contacts to Invite individually or by clicking [All].
  8. Click [Send Invite].

VoiceThread Creation FAQs

How many VoiceThreads can I create using my free account?

The maximum number of VoiceThreads that can be created with a free account is three (3). Paid plans are available for Higher Education if the VoiceThread is going to be used to the extend that both the Instructor and Students will exceed the free account limit. The Instructional Technologists in Educational Technology at Dartmouth College would be happy to speak with Instructors about implementation strategies for VoiceThread and account needs.

How many slides can be placed in a VoiceThread?

There is a maximum of 50 slides per VoiceThread. An Instructor wishing to use the free version of VoiceThread for course based activities could feasibly do so either by using one VoiceThread and adding five (5) slides every week for ten (10) weeks. Or use all three (3) VoiceThreads adding 12 - 15 slides a week to an activity. The Instructional Technologists in Educational Technology at Dartmouth College would be happy to speak with Instructors about implementation strategies for VoiceThread and account needs.

How many users can I invite to view/comment on my VoiceThreads?

The free version of VoiceThread allows you to invite up to 50 users to comment/view on the VoiceThread. Individuals invited to participate in the VoiceThread will need to have a VoiceThread account in order to comment. If VoiceThread is being used by Instructors for course activities it is suggested that Students use their Dartmouth email addresses to create their account.

How many comments can appear per slide?

VoiceThread easily displays 35 comments on one page. After 35 it will paginate and provide a [More>] button that will display the remaining comments.

Can YouTube videos be embedded into a VoiceThread slide?

At this time, YouTube videos must be downloaded and then uploaded into VoiceThread to use them in a slide. VoiceThread reminds users to be mindful of copyright and fair use when choosing this option.

What is the maximum file size I can upload into my VoiceThread?

The free version of VoiceThread has a 25MB file upload limit.