7 Tips for Using VoiceThread in Online Courses

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Planning to use VoiceThread in your online course? Check out these 7 tips to make the most of your assignments.

  1. Provide clear, specific guidelines for your students regarding what you expect from their contributions to the voicethread: How many comments should they add to the voicethread? How often should they post? Should they add text or audio or is either one fine? Would you like them to include personal stories or dry facts? Should they simply answer the prompt, or would you like them to propose further questions to their peers?
  2. If your time is limited, consider asking students to comment via text rather than audio. When you are grading the voicethread assignment, it takes longer to listen to each student’s audio than it does to read through text.
  3. Check in on class voicethreads while they are still in progress, and give feedback on what the students wrote. Consider redirecting the discussion or offering counter-arguments to students’ ideas.
  4. Provide a tutorial for your students that teaches them how to use VoiceThread.
  5. Better yet, create a “getting to know you” voicethread at the beginning of the class. This will serve the dual purpose of helping students become familiar with the technology, and also helping them feel more connected and comfortable with their classmates. You can post one main slide with information about yourself and your interests, and ask students to add to the voicethread by writing about themselves.
  6. Restrict access to class voicethreads so that they are not public to the web; only your students should be able to see them. Keeping the voicethreads private will help students feel more comfortable adding their personal thoughts, stories, and opinions.
  7. Ask your students to email you at the end of each voicethread assignment, writing what new thoughts or perspective they gained from their peers’ comments.

For more tips and ideas for using voicethread, see Michelle Pacansky-Brock’s eBook: How to Humanize Your Online Class with VoiceThread

Source: VoiceThread Use Cases at Penn State

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