VoiceThread is an online collaboration and sharing tool that can be used within Blackboard.

What is VoiceThread  VoiceThread logo

VoiceThread allows you to share images, documents and videos to which others can add voice or text comments. You can draw on the screen while you are talking to highlight what you are talking about.

Video demo Video demo of VoiceThread

You could use VoiceThread in a number of ways in your teaching, for example:

  • Provide audio feedback on students’ submissions. The student work could be a document or a media file such as an image, podcast or video.
  • Hold asynchronous (not real time) audio discussions with your students; like a discussion forum but with talking rather than typing. This could be particularly useful in language teaching.
  • Enable students to share videos or annotated documents with their peers.

See the VoiceThread Higher Education page for examples and demos of how it can be used.

How to use VoiceThread

Points to watch out for

If you are using Voice Thread for an assignment, be aware that student submissions will not show up as Needs Marking in the Grade Centre.

When marking in VoiceThread, you always mark out of 100 even if the number of points for the VoiceThread assignment is less than this. Blackboard will automatically convert the mark to the correct value.

When providing feedback to a student, you may want to use a Private Reply to prevent other students from seeing your feedback. If you don't want students to be able to see each others' comments, you can use Comment Moderation

If you have problems recording audio or video, see VoiceThread's page on Audio/video recording issues..

Other members of staff will not be able to edit your VoiceThread unless you explicitly give them permission:

  1. Open the VoiceThread and choose Share from the menu on the top left
    VoiceThread Share
  2. Click the Members link under the name of your Blackboard course and choose the member of staff who needs edit permissions
  3. Click Edit on the right so that it turns green, then click Share
    VoiceThread edit

Known issues

You will receive an email notification when someone comments on one of your VoiceThreads. However this link will not take you to the VoiceThread unless you are logged into Blackboard and have opened a VoiceThread already.

VoiceThread may not work correctly when using Internet Explorer, so it is best to use another browser such as Chrome.

When you click a VoiceThread link in Blackboard, you may see a screen with a Launch button for a few seconds.  Do not click Launch as this can cause problems, simply wait for the VoiceThread to open..

If you see a VoiceThread Account Verification message, this is usually because you have a VoiceThread account already and the system is trying to connect this to Blackboard. In this case, set the password and login as directed. You should only see this message once.

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