VoiceThread Support for Faculty

Welcome to the CI VoiceThread Faculty Toolkit 

Illustration showing the VoiceThread interface

What is VoiceThread?

VoiceThread is a unique, web-based tool that is integrated into CI Learn and available to all CI faculty and students. Unlike standard discussion tools, VoiceThread empowers you and your students to have asynchronous conversations in voice or video from a computer or mobile app around your media files.

View an Example!

Some of the ways CI faculty are currently using VoiceThread include:

  • student presentations (flipped class style)
  • peer review
  • discussions
  • reflections
  • foreign language practice
  • mobile field trips
  • book conversations
  • voice-based instructor feedback

Faculty Showcase

 

Creating a VoiceThread

Log into VoiceThread at CI

  • Sign into MyCI (we recommend using Chrome as your browser)
  • Click on CI Learn
  • Under "Tools" on the left, click on VoiceThread

Create Your Slides

  • Click "Home" in the top left corner of your screen (this takes you to your VoiceThread "Home" page)
  • Click "Create" at the top of the page
  • Click "Add Media"and select one of these options:
    • My Computer - upload files from your computer (click here for details about file types supported)
      • Tips for uploading Powerpoint or Keynote slides.
        • Format your slides for widescreen (16:9)
        • Export presentation slides to images (.jpg or .png) or a PDF prior to uploading them into VoiceThread.
        • Also check out our Guide for Creating Slides
    • Media Options - a great way to search for an add media from VoiceThread's integrated media options, which includes importing slides from your existing VoiceThreads
    • Webcam Photo - Take a still photo using your webcam 
    • Webcam Video - Record a vide using your webcam
    • URL - paste a link to a direct media file or a YouTube video!
  • To add more media, just click "Add Media" again and repeat the previous step
  • Once your media is uploaded, you may drag and drop slides to rearrange their order.
  • Click here for more creating tips.

Add Your Presence

  • VoiceThread's power lies in its ability to bring your rich, human presence to your students -- wherever they may be. Before you share a VoiceThread with your students, take time to narrate the slides with video comments. Here are some tips:
    • On the first slide, welcome your students with a friendly greeting.
    • Be concise. Don't kid yourself, your students won't listen to long comments.
    • Speak slowly and clearly. 
    • Test your recording to ensure it is of high quality.
    • Don't be a robot. Speak naturally and don't feel the need to be perfect -- because you aren't! You're human!
    • Ensure you have light that is facing you (not behind you) so your face is illuminated in the video.
    • Be mindful of what's behind you. You may not want your students to see everything in your video's frame --so check that out first!
    • Find a quiet place. Background noise will distract from your message.

Go to the next tab to learn how to add your VoiceThread to your course in CI Learn! 

 

CI's integration of VoiceThread into CI Learn makes humanizing your students' learning simple! Essentially, you will add a link to VoiceThread and then configure it by selecting one of the 4 VoiceThread Link Options listed below. To learn more, view the videos below or click here to read the instructions.

4 VoiceThread Link Options

  1. Course View. Use this type of link to take students to a view of all the VoiceThreads you have shared with that particular course.
  2. VT Home. Use this type of link to take students to their VoiceThread Home page.
  3. Individual VT. Use this type of link to take students directly to a single VoiceThread)
  4. Assignment Builder. Use this type of link to set up a VoiceThread that integrates with the CI Learn gradebook. From Assignment Builder, you will choose one of the following 3 assignment types: Commenting Assignment, Create a VoiceThread Assignment, or a View a VoiceThread Assignment.

Options 1-3

View the 4-minute video below to learn how to set up a Course View, VT Home, or an Individual VT link in CI Learn.

Option 4

The Assignment Builder link provides faculty the benefit of being able to grade a VoiceThread directly from the CI Learn gradebook. If you set up an Assignment Builder link, you will need to identify the type of activity your students will be completing.

In VoiceThread, the two main activity types are:

  1. Comment - you create a VoiceThread and your students comment in it
  2. Create - your students create a VoiceThread to demonstrate mastery of competencies, submit it to you for grading, and share it with the rest of the class

View the two videos below (a total of 8-minutes) to learn how to set up Comment and Create activities using Assignment Builder.

 

You and your students may choose to access, listen to, and record comments in a VoiceThread from a smartphone or tablet.

To access your CI VoiceThreads from the mobile app, you must follow these one-time set up steps.

  1. Download the free VoiceThread mobile app onto your Android or iOS device
  2. Open the VoiceThread app
  3. Click "Settings"
  4. In the Domain box, enter csuci
  5. Click "Save"
  6. Click "Sign in"
  7. The MyCI log-in screen will appear.Enter your CI credentials and click "Sign in."
  8. Click "Sign in" on the next screen also.
  9. The VoiceThread mobile app will open and take you directly to the "Home" page of your account.
  10. Click on the hamburger icon in the upper left corner
  11. From the next view, select your course title and you will have access to the VoiceThreads shared with that course.

Prefer a visual explanation? Watch the video below.

Providing support and guidance for students is an important element of teaching effectively with VoiceThread. The resources below are provided to save you time and ensure your students have a successful learning experience.

  • Provide the CI VoiceThread student support site. Include the link to the CI VoiceThread Student Support site in your syllabus and in CI Learn.  The support site includes a very useful "Introduction to VoiceThread" tutorial. Have your students watch it before they participate in their first VoiceThread.
  • Start with an ice breaker. As you begin to teach with VoiceThread, remember that students are often nervous about recording voice or video comments that will be heard by their peers.  A good way to introduce students to VoiceThread is with a low-stake, ice breaker activity the first week of class. This provides all students with an opportunity to learn to use VoiceThread and make connections with their peers. And don't forget to participate too! Your active engagement in your VoiceThread activities is an important part of building a community in your class.
  • Include "tips" slides and "how-to" videos in your VoiceThreads . T&LI has you covered here! We know that it's time consuming to create these types of student support resources, so we have made them for you. Click the button below and then log into your Google Account to  make your own copy of slides you can bring directly into your own VoiceThreads! 
     
  • Accommodate students with disabilities. VoiceThread's unique visual and auditory environment supports more learning variability than text-based environments alone; however, it is not immediately accessible to students who have vision impairments or are hard of hearing. If DRP notifies you that you have a student in your class who requires accommodations for these disabilities, T&LI will support you to ensure your course materials are accessible to all your students.  Click the button below to learn more.

Accommodatiing Students with Disabilities

 

General "how-to" support:

Pedagogical support:

Learn from your amazing CI faculty peers!