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VoiceThread increases student interaction and engagement in an online setting.


VoiceThread is a tool that enables instructors to create online instructional materials made up of any combination of PowerPoint or PDF slides, images, documents, and/or videos. Comments can be added to any uploaded media by instructors and students in the form of video (webcam), audio, or text.

Tailor class content for multiple disciplines and diverse instructional needs in your online courses. For example:

  • Introduction Activity: Have students record video introductions.
  • Syllabus Overview: Review the syllabus using “doodle” tools to highlight points.
  • Group Discussions: Share documents, images, or video for discussion.
  • Group Projects: Assign a VoiceThread to a group and have them edit or add content.
  • Language Learning: Have students record comments to practice conversation.
  • Art/Design/Film/Theater Critique: Create a VoiceThread in which students upload and discuss work.
  • Case Studies (e.g. Health): Build a case study. Have students anticipate/discuss outcomes.

How to Use

There are 2 ways VoiceThread can be added to a Canvas course:

  1. Create a direct external tool link in a module.
    This is a non-graded activity link, and is ideal for sharing a presentation created in VoiceThread. The link directs students to one of the following
    1. the instructor's VoiceThread home (library)
    2. the VoiceThreads for a particular course
    3. an individual VoiceThread.
      Read more about VoiceThread links
  2. Create an assignment that uses VoiceThread as an External submission tool.
    This is a graded activity that links to the Canvas gradebook. 
    Assignment types include: Watch, Comment, or Create.
    Read more about assignment types

Tool Information

  • Functionality
    • Scale 
      • VoiceThread is a cloud application, so there is no software to install.
      • VoiceThread runs in a web browser on a computer or mobile device, as long as there is an adequate internet connection.
    • Ease of Use: Easy to use, user friendly.
    • Hypermediality: Supports multiple document and presentation file types: DOC, DOCX, PDF, ODT, XLS, XLSX, ODS, PPT, PPTX, Keynote, ODP.
  • Usage and Account Set Up
    • Sign up/Sign InVoiceThread registration and sign in
    • Cost of Use
    • Archiving, Saving, Exporting Data
      • Videos are saved by exporting completed projects.
      • Video can be played offline, stored on a computer, burned to DVD, or downloaded to an .mp3 player or mobile phone.
    • Data Privacy and Ownership
      • All content belongs to the person who created it.
      • Adjust settings to make data private or public.
      • Settings are private by default.
  • Technical
    • Integrates with Canvas
    • Operating Systems: No software required
    • Web Browser: Up-to-date version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
    • Additional Tech Requirements: None
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