VoiceThread for Faculty

Modified on Tue, 05 Apr 2022 at 07:10 PM

VoiceThread logo


What Is VoiceThread?

VoiceThread is an application designed for people to have discussions about shared digital media. The tool can be used both individually and collaboratively. VoiceThread allows users to combine images, video, text, and audio to enable multimedia conversations. Using the tool students can, among many things: 

  • Collaborate asynchronously on class presentations.
  • Create a mixed-media portfolio of work.
  • Comment on peer work in a variety of ways (including text, audio, and video).
  • Collect and re-mix research for a range of audiences.

VoiceThread is integrated into Canvas and provides an easy way for instructors and students to create, share, and provide feedback on a variety of audio, video, and text content. Each VoiceThread discussion consists of slides – just like a presentation – and each slide contains a piece of digital media, like an image, video, or document. These slides can be commented on by anyone with permission to access to the VoiceThread discussion. Users can share comments in many forms including audio, video, and writing. The tool also provides the option to “mark-up” digital media by highlighting and drawing on items in a shared slide.

Adding VoiceThread to a Canvas Assignment

  1. Create an Assignment in Canvas . When you reach the Submission Type area, please select External Tool, and then scroll down the Configure External Tool options until you reach VoiceThread (it will be near the bottom of the list).
Recommended: Click the "Load in new tab" check-box.

    2. After selecting VoiceThread, finish applying the rest of the assignment settings below the Submission Type area and save the assignment.

    3. Go to Canvas assignment saved in step 2 and click the Load Tool in a New Window button to open VoiceThread.

    4. In VoiceThread, you will find a screen with options labelled "Choose an activity type." 

Voicethread Activity Type screen, Assignment Builder, Individual Voicethread Courseview or VT HomePage

Two popular use cases for VoiceThread in SAS Online Learning courses are individual presentations or group presentations. For either of these, we recommend selecting Course View.

For instructions on how to set up VoiceThread for either type of assignment please see the sections below. 

We do not recommend Assignment Builder. For information on Assignment Builder, please see our VoiceThread Assignment Builder article.

Using VoiceThread for Individual Presentations

  1. Add VoiceThread to your Canvas assignment following the instructions under "Adding VoiceThread to a Canvas Assignment." Select Course View for activity type when prompted.
  2. Link to the following instructions for students to the assignment details in Canvas: VoiceThread Instructions for Individual Student Presentations.
  3. Click Save or Save & Publish for the Canvas assignment. Your students will now see this empty course view shell when they open VoiceThread through the Canvas assignment. Students will follow the instructions linked to step 2 to complete the assignment in VoiceThread. 

Using VoiceThread for Group Presentations

  1. Place students in groups. You could use the Canvas Groups feature; however, this feature does not sync automatically with VoiceThread, so you could also just post a list of group membership to the assignment details in Canvas (in step 2).
  2. Add VoiceThread to your Canvas assignment following the instructions under "Adding VoiceThread to a Canvas Assignment." Select Course View for activity type when promptedAssign to everyone (do not use the "Group Assignments" function). 
  3. Link to the following instructions for students to the assignment details in Canvas: VoiceThread Instructions For Group Presentation
  4. Click Save or Save & Publish for the Canvas assignment.
  5. Open VoiceThread from the Canvas assignment. 
  6. Create a VoiceThread for each group with the students names of each group listed in the description so student know where to add their slides. 
  7. Students will then add slides (PowerPoint, videos, audio comments, etc.) to their group presentation. Students can also comment on one another's slides (it is recommended that you direct students to do this in the instructions added to the assignment details in Canvas). 

More Information about Using VoiceThread

For information about using the tool please consult the following information:


Help with VoiceThread

  • After 8pm ET Monday-Friday, Weekends, & Holidays: contact VoiceThread support--click the Contact VoiceThread Support button that appears at the bottom of the page in the preceding link.
    • Please note: If you have contacted VoiceThread support and the issue is not resolved by 9am on the next business day, please email online-learning-support@sas.upenn.edu. In your email, please send the same information you shared with VoiceThread support, and, if applicable, the response you received from VoiceThread support.

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