Using VoiceThread

AOI | Learning Innovations
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Weekly Tip: Using VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a web-based tool for having asynchronous conversations around media such as images, presentations, videos, documents and lectures. Students and instructors can upload their media files then add their comments using voice, video, and text. VoiceThread allows users to share what they have created and engage with others in a dynamic discussion. It can be used for a variety of activities including discussion boards, speaking practice, presentations, portfolio building, office hours, or assessment.

VoiceThread is particularly useful for enhancing an assignment or building portfolios.

Start by simply inserting a step where students submit an assignment in VoiceThread along with self-assessment comments.

This helps the instructor to:

  • Understand students’ misconceptions.
  • Enter students’ learning processes and guide them.
  • Model feedback and metacognition within the discipline.

This helps students to:

  • Practice metacognition
  • Learn to articulate their thought processes and to identify struggle points.
  • Receive timely feedback
  • Communicate how they are meeting the learning objectives within the assignment.

Other iterations of this could include adding a peer-assessment component by having students share their VoiceThread links on a discussion board.

This helps the instructor to:

  • Build capacity (more students can be involved in the process)
  • Select examples that provide a good model of the instructor expectations
  • Model peer review and metacognition within the discipline. (the instructor can randomly select a few students’ submissions for this purpose)
  • Model out loud how they will apply rubric criteria to an assignment.

This helps students to:

  • Apply the rubric criteria to the work they are assessing which helps them internalize and transfer that criteria to their own work.
  • Participate as members of the discipline.
  • Be more conversational when reviewing.
  • Communicate how others are meeting the learning objectives within the assignment.

The practices above are the essential building blocks of a portfolio. We will talk more about using VoiceThread to build portfolios in a future tip.

This series of videos and teaching tips is presented by Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI). We invite you to join the conversation. Share your tips and ask questions through this blog. If you would like these posts to be sent directly to your email each week, subscribe to the listserv by emailing

For more information or to schedule time with an instructional designer or emerging technologist, contact or request training on demand. You can also visit the Spark Faculty Innovation Studio in room 102 any time from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, during the academic year.