VoiceThread is an online platform that allows you to put digital media such as images, videos, and documents at the center of an asynchronous conversation. VoiceThread allows people to contribute to discussions using a keyboard, microphone, web cam, telephone, or uploaded audio file.

The university has licensed VoiceThread for use in any course in Blackboard. Through the Blackboard integration, faculty and student accounts are created automatically when you link your course to VoiceThread. Any content created by you or your students can be restricted so that it is only visible to members of the course.

VoiceThread can help students feel a greater sense of being part of a community, be more aware of the faculty role in their learning experience, and engage more actively with instructional content and their peers. 

Sample Uses of VoiceThread

  • Create opportunities for students to have a discussion that takes place around a digital artifact or series of digital artifacts, such as an image, a video, a piece of text, and so on. You could also do this with a discussion forum, but VoiceThread allows for the media to be at the center of the discussion, and permits audio in addition to text discussion. 
  • Deliver a recorded online lecture that features slides with audio. Students can ask questions or comment on the content (asynchronously) throughout the presentation, via microphone or text.  
  • Feature video clips which students comment on. As the videos play, comments that have already been added appear at the appropriate time in the video; that is, if a student comments on something that is said in the video at, say, 2:35, then his or her comment appears at that moment. You and your students can also annotate (draw) over the video as it plays.
  • Have students introduce themselves to one another by creating an original VoiceThread with images of themselves or of things or places they connect with.
  • Assess student participation and performance using VoiceThread, based on watching a presentation, commenting and discussing, or creating their own original presentation. Grades are automatically passed back to the Blackboard Grade Center.

Using VoiceThread in Blackboard Ultra Course View

There are multiple VoiceThread tools in the Ultra Course View Content Market, so it is easy to be confused. While the Division of IT determines how to simplify the available options, please follow the instructions below carefully.

  1. Determine where you would like to place the link in your course (such as in a folder or learning module) and click the plus (+) icon to add content
  2. Click Content Market to view the list of available tools
  3. Scroll down to and click VoiceThread (Deep Linking)
  4. In the new tab, choose one of the available options to determine how the link should behave:
    • Course View - Display the collection of VoiceThreads that have been shared with your course.
    • VT HomeDisplay all of a student’s VoiceThread content in a single view, including all VoiceThreads and all courses in which they are enrolled.
    • Individual VTDisplay a single VoiceThread that you have created. When students click on the link, they’ll see just this one VoiceThread. 
    • Assignment BuilderCreate a graded assignment for students to complete. You can require them 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. Start by selecting VoiceThread (graded) in Blackboard if you are going to use the Assignment Builder, so that points are passed back to the Blackboard Grade Center. 
  5. If you are using either the Individual VT or the Assignment Builder option, follow the prompts in VoiceThread to select, review, configure, and publish the link. Note that you have not finished the process for either of those options until you have clicked the Publish button

Support for VoiceThread

If you have any other issues with using VoiceThread, review the Troubleshooting tips or submit a support ticket directly with VoiceThread.

Some content adapted from VoiceThread, Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo, and is used under a CC-BY-NC license.

Login to Blackboard

Get Help

Technical Support and Student Help

Division of IT Service Desk


Teaching Support and Faculty Help

Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning


Back to top