Using VoiceThread for Teaching and Learning

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Do you sometimes feel that your written feedback is not as effective as the verbal feedback you give to your students? Research suggests that students want specific and detailed feedback from their instructors (Balaji & Chakrabarti, 2010). Sometimes written feedback can become white noise to students who often admit they don't read it. Students are able to detect nuance more effectively, understand content more thoroughly, and engage with the instructor at a more personal level through audio feedback than through written feedback. Audio feedback is an option that saves time, cuts through the ‘noise,’ and is preferred by students (Ice, Curtis, Phillips, and Wells, 2007). This is not to say that written feedback is not valued, but voice is particularly impactful in our text-based world.

Additonally, how often do you get to hear students talking to each other outside of class or in an online course? Giving students multiple modes for expressing themselves can increase the students' voice, interaction and engagement within the course.

VoiceThread is a web tool that allows you to humanize interactions in an online environment. VoiceThread extends the classroom by allowing users to have asynchronous conversations or discussions around audio and visual media. VoiceThread transforms stale, text-based discussions and feedback by infusing your content and conversations with human presence, just as if the instructor and students were all sitting in the classroom together, but without scheduling a specific time to meet.

VoiceThread adds a more personal element to the online experience when utilizing the features of commenting via voice. By hearing and seeing the instructor and classmates during a VoiceThread, a familiarity develops that feeds deeper participation. Utilizing VoiceThreads can give you and your students a "voice."

VoiceThread Resources

VoiceThread Workshop Recordings

Two VoiceThread workshops were offered during Spring 2019. Links to the workshop recordings are available here.

Sample VoiceThreads

Formative Assessments

Free eBook

VoiceThread and Brightspace

Image credit: "Value of Voice" by jflorent is dedicated to public domain under CC0 and is a derivative of image by Jorge Guillen from Pixabay.