VoiceThread - Student Guide | Office of Information Technology

VoiceThread - Student Guide

Last Updated: 11/11/2015

Overview

VoiceThread is an online program through which you can leave comments (text, audio or webcam) around a slideshow of media. Your CU instructor may ask you to comment on a VoiceThread or to create your own VoiceThread.

*Note: All students at the University of Colorado Boulder are eligible for Basic VoiceThread accounts. This account allows you to create up to 50 VoiceThreads and gives you 1 GB of storage.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Getting Started

Think of a VoiceThread as a digital slideshow including photos, video, and/or documents along with any comments (text, audio or video) your instructor has included. You can, in turn, leave your own comments and doodles on the VoiceThread and view comments made by other students in your course.

Logging In

CU-Boulder students can access VoiceThread in one or two ways, depending on what your instructor has set up.

Through VoiceThread:
Go to http://colorado.voicethread.com
Log in with your CU credentials (CU Login Name and IdentiKey password)

Through the VoiceThread Course View in Desire2Learn:
If your instructor is using the VoiceThread Course View, you can access VoiceThread through Desire2Learn. Go to your Desire2Learn course, and you will find the connection to VoiceThread in Content > VoiceThread Course View or in the gold navigation bar. You will need to click this once during the semester to have access to your course's VoiceThread group. You can always visit http://colorado.voicethread.com as well and log in with your CU credentials (CU Login Name and IdentiKey password)

Identities

Show Screenshots: Off
  1. To customize your Identity click on your username (e.g. ralphie.buffalo@colorado.edu) at the top right of the screen and go to My Identities
     
  2. Select Edit
  3. Edit the name and picture associated with your account. You can upload a picture of yourself from your personal computer if you would like.

Display Preferences

  1. To adjust your Display Preferences, click your username (e.g. ralphi.buffalo@colorado.edu) in the top right of the screen and choose Display Preferences from the drop-down. Then select if you would like to work in a light or dark environment. You can also choose here to switch to VoiceThread Universal, which is designed for use with screen readers.

Accessing VoiceThread through Desire2Learn

Most of you will access VoiceThread from a link within Desire2Learn. When you click on the link, the VoiceThread will either a) open directly within Desire2Learn or, b) open in a new window from https://colorado.voicethread.com.

If you are prompted to log in to VoiceThread, enter your CU Login Name and your IdentiKey Password. If you are prompted to confirm your Digital ID Card, do so. You may have to click the original link again after signing in if the VoiceThread does not automatically appear.

If your Instructor is using the VoiceThread Course View from within D2L, be sure to click that link at least once at the beginning of the semester to avoid problems in sharing.

Accessing VoiceThreads outside of Desire2Learn

If your instructor has not shared a direct link to a VoiceThread, go to https://colorado.voicethread.com and log in with your CU Login Name and your IdentiKey Password. If you are prompted to confirm your Digital ID Card, do so.

When you enter VoiceThread, you will be taken to your VT Home page. From the VT Home page, click on the pull-out tab on the left to see the groups you belong to. You should see the name of your course in this list. Click on the course name to see the work shared by your instructor and classmates.

Note: If you do NOT see the name of your course, your instructor may have enabled the VoiceThread Course View but your connection was never established. To establish the connection, go to your Course’s D2L page > Content and then click on the link to the VoiceThread Course View.

If you do NOT see the VoiceThread your instructor intended to share, contact your instructor. It is possible they neglected to share it with your class.

Commenting on VoiceThreads

Show Screenshots: Off
  1. Once you have opened a VoiceThread, the Comment button will appear at the bottom of the screen. Use the left and right arrows in the bottom right corner to navigate to the slide you want to comment on. Or click the Show all the slides button located between the arrows to open postcard view, which you can use to jump to a specific slide or rearrange slides by dragging and dropping them.
  2. Click on Comment and the commenting menu will open with five options. Click on the icon representing the type of comment you want to make.
    1. ABC icon: Type in a text comment.
    2. Telephone icon: Leave an audio comment using your phone if you don’t have a microphone on your computer. Each CU user can make a limited number of phone comments.
    3. Microphone icon: Record an audio comment with your computer’s microphone.
    4. Video camera icon: Record a video comment with your webcam.
    5. Upload icon: Upload a media file with your audio/video comment.
  3. While recording a comment, you can click and drag your cursor across the screen to draw on the slide. Click the pencil icon at the bottom of the screen to change the drawing color.
  4. Once you have recorded a comment, it will appear as a thumbnail on the left side of the screen. Click on a thumbnail to play/view that comment. You can also drag and drop comments up and down to reorder them. When the VoiceThread is viewed, comments will play from top to bottom.
  5. To delete a comment, click on its thumbnail icon on the left side of the screen and then click the trash icon.
  6. When you are finished commenting on the VoiceThread, click the close button in the upper-right corner to close it.

Direct Replies

Show Screenshots: Off
  1. The direct reply feature allows you to easily insert a comment directly after another user's comment. To do this, click on a comment on the left side of a slide and then click the reply arrow in the comment window.

Private Replies

Show Screenshots: Off
  1. The private reply feature allows you to start a private, two-way conversation with someone who has commented on a VoiceThread. To do this, click on a comment on the left side of a slide and then click the Private Reply icon, which looks like a padlock.
  2. Private replies have round frames and display padlock icons. They are linked to show the comment they replied to. 

Threaded Replies

Show Screenshots: Off
  1. If threaded commenting is enabled for a VoiceThread, then when a user replies to a comment, it will start a new branch/thread off the main conversation. To turn on threaded commenting in your VoiceThread, from the VT Home page, hover over a VoiceThread and click Edit.
  2. Next, in the top right, click on Options and then Playback settings.
  3. Finally, click the Enable threaded commenting check box.
     
  4. Once threaded commenting has been enabled, click on a comment on the left side of a slide then click the reply arrow in the comment window to start a thread from that conversation.
  5. Threaded replies have round frames and are linked to show the comment they replied to.
     

Creating your own VoiceThread

Show Screenshots: Off

Go to https://colorado.voicethread.com and log in with your CU Login Name and your IdentiKey Password. If you are prompted to confirm your Digital ID Card, do so.

  1. At the top of the page, click Create.
  2. The first step to creating your new VoiceThread is to add some media to work with. To do this, you can simply drag and drop files from your computer onto the screen. Or you can click Add Media and choose the source: My Computer lets you browse for a file on your computer; Media Sources lets you search for public access media online; Webcam Photo or Webcam Video lets you record new media with your webcam; and URL lets you paste in the direct link to a file.
  3. After uploading, your files will appear in the window. You can add more files by dragging and dropping them into the window or selecting Add Media in the upper left corner. You can rearrange the slides by clicking and dragging them across the screen.
  4. Now give your VoiceThread a title by clicking add a title and description. This will open the Title/Description tab of the Thread Settings menu. You can also title your individual slides by hovering over a slide and clicking the pencil icon when it appears.
  5. If you want to visit this VoiceThread creation page again to change any of these settings, just click on VT Home, hover over the VoiceThread you wish to edit, and click on the Edit icon when it appears.
Note: By default, all CU VoiceThreads are set to private. Be sure to follow the next steps to Share your VoiceThread.

Sharing your VoiceThread with your Course

Show Screenshots: Off
  1. Sharing a VoiceThread with your course is easy. From the VT Home page, click on a VoiceThread and drag it onto the name of your course in the list that opens on the left side of the screen.
  2. Choose if the members of that group will be allowed to view, comment on, or edit the shared VoiceThread. Then click Share to complete the process.

If you do not see your Course name under University of Colorado Boulder, your instructor may have enabled the VoiceThread Course View but your connection was never established. To establish the connection, go to your Course’s D2L page > Content and then click on the link to the VoiceThread Course View.

If your instructor is not using the VoiceThread Course View, get the link to share your VoiceThread by clicking menu > Share > Get a Linkand then email the link to your instructor or your classmates.

For Additional Information on Creating and Sharing VoiceThreads, visit the VoiceThread Instructor Guide.