Using VoiceThread

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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.

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