When asked what skills students lack, business leaders around the world routinely point to poor communication skills in recent graduates. VoiceThread can help. With the diverse set of commenting options: audio, webcam, and text, teachers and students can customize their communication around course content to reach their educational goals. Research has shown that VoiceThread can increase student engagement and learning outcomes.
VoiceThread can be used in business classes by instructors to deliver lecture content and to replace outdated text-discussion boards, but the most dramatic impact occurs when students use VoiceThread to improve their communication skills. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Abigail Alexander.
When I joined my current institution as an Assistant Professor of French in 2019, I was relatively outspoken against online, asynchronous language courses. However, after incorporating VoiceThread into my courses in spring 2020, I have become an avid believer in online asynchronous French courses, which I now offer every semester. My university’s subscription to VoiceThread (a collaborative learning space that allows language students to record themselves speaking and better replicate the in-person classroom experience) has enabled me to offer engaging online asynchronous language courses in which students gain just as much speaking proficiency as their in-person language course peers and therefore meet the course’s learning outcomes with ease. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Curtis Izen of Baruch College.
Before using VoiceThread, all my discussion board requirements consisted of text-based posts and replies to weekly research questions. The results were not exemplary. Students completed the assignments, but I wasn’t confident they fully understood the concepts they were expressing. Quite often, the text appeared to be copied from another source. Different size fonts, font sizes, and the appearance of the discussion board was challenging to read or traverse. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Raelynne M. Hale.
Ending the Semester - The Importance of a Goodbye Another thing I noticed about a lot of online courses was that many courses just seemed to end, without any sort of closing message. Many final messages to students were reminders about final exams and projects, which are very important messages, but I wanted to make sure students also reflected on the semester and everything they had learned and to have an opportunity to say goodbye to their online classmates. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Raelynne M. Hale.
Interactive Weekly Lectures through VoiceThread
The second type of VoiceThread that I use on a regular basis in my fully online, asynchronous courses is an interactive lecture. This lecture includes informational slides that I narrate to teach students about new topics as well as interaction slides where students are asked to leave text, audio, or video comments. Students may be asked to contemplate a question and to type a personal response, or they may be asked to participate in a class discussion where they share an original view or listen to another classmate’s ideas and elaborate on their thoughts. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Raelynne M. Hale.
When I began redesigning my courses online in 2018, I longed for a way for them to be interactive, engaging, and fun like my in-person courses. I wanted to make sure that students could see and hear one another each week and that they could interact with the content and me, while having the feel of being “in class” despite being on the other side of a computer screen. … Continued
The quote above is from Paul Lockhart’s essay A Mathematician’s Lament. In the essay, Lockhart argues that the way mathematics is taught in schools is often ineffective and uninspiring. He believes that students should be encouraged to think creatively and to explore mathematical concepts for themselves. He also argues that discussion is an essential part of learning mathematics, as it allows students to share their ideas and to learn from each other. … Continued
This is a guest post written by Nursing Educator and VoiceThreader, Joe Gomulak-Cavicchio EdD.
My first experience with VoiceThread came as an Educational Technology master’s student. I was learning about how to use it with K-12 students. However, I was thrilled to see it being used when I moved to higher education and jumped at the change to use VoiceThread in my own class. I knew when I was developing my completely asynchronous course, Integrating Technology in Nursing Education, it was going to play a prominent role. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, AJ Fitzgerald.
A common complaint about secondary and post-secondary education is that it’s simply not practical enough. Students commonly wonder aloud amongst their friends, “Why are we learning this?” Here on the internet, memes abound about how infrequently the average adult uses high school subjects like calculus and cellular biology in real life. The commenters often ask why they couldn’t have learned something useful instead, like taxes. … Continued
This is a guest post by Educator and VoiceThreader, Bonnie Jean Nicholas.
I teach language and settlement to newcomers to Canada in a government-funded language program. Part of teaching settlement means guiding students as they develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to find success in their new country. Presentation skills are important transferable skills, so students in my classes give mini presentations on different topics every week throughout our term. … Continued
This is a guest post Grace Hu, an international graduate student and VoiceThreader.
It was an asynchronous course last spring that I first used VoiceThread. Our professor uses VoiceThread as a tool for class discussion. The professor presents the topic and prompts using the VoiceThread slideshow feature. Typically, each slide will discuss one issue. We need to post our views on each prompt by Friday and then respond to at least three of our peers by Sunday. … Continued
This is a guest post by educators and VoiceThreaders, Monika Myers, and Mike Ulrich.
Like many academics, we are both introverts who are quite happy never meeting new people. But, the nature of teaching requires us to occasionally step outside our isolating offices to meet new students and help foster a community within our classes. Establishing a welcoming and inclusive classroom culture on day 1 of a semester pays significant future dividends. … Continued
This is a guest post by online Math Teacher and VoiceThreader, Audrey McLaren.
I can’t say that this year has been a normal one for me, but it’s been closer to normal than 2020 was for most teachers. I’ve been teaching online for 12 years. I work for LEARN, a non-profit organization in Quebec, Canada, that has been providing synchronous online math and science instruction for Quebec’s English high school students for almost 20 years. … Continued
This is a guest post by Nursing Educator and VoiceThread, Dr. Carol Persoon Reid.
Poster Sessions are a staple at most professional conferences, and nursing is no different. Students in the capstone course of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program were assigned to create a poster to highlight the scholarly project each completed in the clinical practicum portion of the course. The Poster Session was to be an opportunity to showcase the culmination of a semester-long 180-hour clinical practicum and provide an opportunity to practice presenting and attending a conference poster session. … Continued
Do your students use emoji when they post messages on your class discussion boards? Do they sprinkle smileys into their emails? If you’ve taught a class in the last ten years, you probably answered yes to both questions. So, why do they do it?
Writing is tough.
Communications experts claim that at a large percentage our of communication is non-verbal, which means that with each written message we send we are only signaling a percentage of our intended ideas. … Continued
This is a guest post by VoiceThread Certified Educator, Curtis Izen.
In my online and f2f business information courses, I have used VoiceThread for a variety of assignments. This includes an “ice breaker” (Ice Breaker), transforming discussion boards (Transforming Discussion Boards), group PowerPoint (Group PowerPoint), individual research assignments to be shared for the entire class to learn from (Sharing your Research) , using comment moderation in a Microsoft Excel assignment (Using Comment Moderation) as well as students needing to create their own VoiceThread from scratch (Creating your Own VoiceThread). … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Curtis Izen.
In my online and f2f business information courses, I have used VoiceThread for a variety of assignments. This includes an “ice breaker” , transforming discussion boards, group PowerPoint, individual research assignments to be shared for the entire class to learn from, and using comment moderation in a Microsoft Excel assignment.
Through all these assignments, I created the initial VoiceThread. … Continued
Online courses have many advantages, but they often lack that human connection we find in traditional, face-to-face courses. Why is this the case? Many online courses are designed to distribute information in ways that are limited by the tools used. We use platforms that allow instructors to upload documents and create text-based tests but we are missing the human element. In a face-to-face class, we can see and hear each other but this social interaction usually disappears once we teach online. … Continued
This is a guest post by professor of Law & Ethics and VoiceThreader, Matthew Phillips.
Today was the first day of classes for my university, but it was also a snow day. I drove into work anyway, in part because I’m just that stubborn and in part because I wanted to be ready for my classes, which were having their first meetings tomorrow (what was to be the second day of school). … Continued
This is a guest post by VoiceThread Certified Educator Curtis Izen.
In my online and f2f business information courses, I use VoiceThread for a variety of assignments. This includes an “ice breaker”, transforming discussion boards, group PowerPoint and using individual research assignments to be shared for the entire class to learn from.
This semester, I wanted to try an assignment utilizing a feature in VoiceThread that I have yet to explore. … Continued
This is a guest post by VoiceThread Certified Educator Donna Hanks.
VoiceThread has completely changed the teaching and learning dynamic of my online courses! Classes are more engaging, student participation is rich with information and providing feedback is simple yet meaningful!
I initially started using VoiceThread as a replacement to the traditional discussion board in my online Supervisory Management course. Rather than have students type out their thoughts to a question, self-assessment or case study, I have students use VoiceThread. … Continued
This is a guest post by Nursing Educator and VoiceThreader Kimberly Davis.
I attended the online VoiceThread Basics Training this past spring and was quickly hooked! One of the features that really appealed to me about using VoiceThread was the idea that students could use multiple modalities to express themselves. I teach Concepts of Professional Nursing, an introductory nursing course, where students have traditionally used a written discussion board post to answer how this class has shaped their professional identity. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dana Heimlich, MS,Ed.
I love VoiceThread! I love it so much that I’m always tweeting my gratitude to them–which is how I ended up writing this guest blog post (seriously). I’m very excited to share my experiences in the hopes that it might inspire you to give VoiceThread a try!
I discovered VoiceThread years ago as a high school German teacher. … Continued
We are proud to announce a new online course for language teachers! Join us and discover how to design powerful VoiceThread lessons and assessments for your language learners. This week-long course is designed to give you a genuine learning experience through lesson analysis, discussion, and creation.
There is a live info session webinar before the course starts, but the course is asynchronous, so you can participate when you have time throughout each day. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Jessica Gonzalez.
I learned about VoiceThread when I started my new job in 2015. I work in the Center for Teaching & Learning at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX. Primarily, my office works on teaching best practices with the faculty. VoiceThread, I came to understand, was an online tool that professors could use to add a human connection to their online coursework. … Continued
Have you ever asked students what they don’t like about online courses? If you have or if you’ve ever researched the complaints online students have, you’ll notice one major trend: students want to know the instructor is present, engaged and interested in them.
Since the advent of online courses, students have craved a strong social presence from their instructor. Sure, most students love autonomy and the freedom to direct their own learning, but no one wants to shout into the darkness. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dr. Karen Wells.
Teaching graduate-level biological sciences in the online classroom can be challenging! As an online instructor, I’m always looking for ways to “translate” enriching experiences from the brick-and-mortar classroom into the virtual classroom. One essential component for graduate-level instruction is the Journal Club: students critically read and evaluate the primary literature and then engage in a presentation and discussion of the research. … Continued
This is the 5th installment in our VoiceThread A to Z series. In the first 4 posts, we discussed ways to start your year, use VoiceThread for storytelling, presentations, and as a discussion board replacement. You can find those posts here: VoiceThread A to Z posts. This post will focus on using VoiceThread for formative and summative assessments.
It can be difficult to find the time to give students personal feedback on their papers. … Continued
This is our fourth post in the VoiceThread A to Z series. In the first post, we discussed ways to use VoiceThread for early semester activities and in the second post we discussed creating presentations and our third post dealt with storytelling lesson ideas. This post will focus on using VoiceThread as a replacement for text-based class discussions. Upcoming posts will focus on other innovative lesson design and assessment ideas. Stay tuned! … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Curtis Izen.
Students taking my online Principals of Management Information Systems course are required to contribute in weekly VoiceThreads, submit case study assignments, work on a group project and complete an individual research paper. The majority of their efforts are shared or developed with the entire class as it’s completed. Classmates are able to contribute their knowledge to other peers, who in turn, learn from their findings and insight. … Continued
This is our third post in the VoiceThread A to Z series. In the first post, we discussed ways to use VoiceThread for early semester activities and in the second post we discussed creating presentations. This post will focus on incorporating storytelling into your curriculum. Upcoming posts will focus on other innovative lesson design and assessment ideas. Stay tuned!
Which types of courses can use storytelling as a lesson design framework? … Continued
This is the second post in our VoiceThread A to Z series. In the first post, we discussed ways to use VoiceThread for early semester activities. Now we can move on to the different ways you can use VoiceThread for the week to week lesson design in your course. This post will focus on instructor-created mini-lecture content and student-created presentations. Upcoming posts will focus on other innovative lesson design and assessment ideas. … Continued
We frequently hear from instructors who use VoiceThread for one specific purpose in their classes, but haven’t thought about how VoiceThread can be a complete solution for online or blended courses. In this blog series, we will work through all the different use cases throughout the school year. Over the next few posts in the VoiceThread A to Z series, you’ll see how to use VoiceThread from day 1 through the final day of classes. … Continued
This is a guest post by Instructor and VoiceThread Certified Educator, Dr. Kathy Melago.
With modern technology, the job interview process frequently begins with a phone or video interview. As the head of our music education program, I work closely with our students as they look for jobs and prepare for interviews. While I have conducted live mock interviews in the past, one thing I had not done previously was to help students practice phone and video interviews, yet those are usually the screening interviews that actually get applicants to the in-person interviews. … Continued
This is a guest post by Instructor and VoiceThread Certified Educator, Curtis Izen.
One of the issues with online pedagogy is truly knowing and identifying who your students are. The students are in an analogous situation. As instructors, we are supplied with a list of names, id numbers, etc., but very little about the individual. The students probably know very little about the instructor other than what they see on Rate My Professor or social media. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dr. Maureen Cuevas.
Teaching in an online asynchronous format for the national MSW program at Our Lady of the Lake University, I have come to depend on Voice thread in every class I teach. And as we redevelop our courses to make them more interactive, I recommend to every faculty member that they try to use the incredible power of this tool in each class. … Continued
Is your EdTech toolbox getting crowded? There are literally hundreds of tools for educators to use for a wide variety of purposes ranging from class discussions to lecture capture to portfolios and a dozen other categories. There are expensive learning management systems and “free” tools supported by advertising dollars and student data collection. There are tools dedicated just for assessment and tools designed for presentations. There are so many options. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Curtis Izen
Students taking my online Principals of Management Information Systems course participate in discussion boards, group projects and case study assignments. Discussion boards are a large component of the course. It is at this juncture where students have the greatest opportunity to express their own ideas in writing while responding to other classmates. Many examples I have seen over the years are done writing directly in the text editor of the discussion board. … Continued
This is a guest post by language educator and VoiceThreader Araceli Trujillo.
As an online Spanish instructor, I can say that VoiceThread has revolutionized my course design and teaching. VoiceThread is a tool that enables students to practice their listening and conversational skills for language courses in a fun and engaging way. They can listen to dialogues and comment orally on images and videos. VoiceThread allows language teachers to replicate to a certain extent what is done in an in-person classroom. … Continued
How do you prevent students from cheating in an online course? We come across a number of posts every week discussing strategies, explaining how students can google answers to multiple choice tests, pay other people to act as them during an online exam and even write papers for them.
When instructors don’t see or hear students during a course, the ability to cheat increases dramatically. Others have come to this same conclusion, but the solutions they promote involve various strategies previously found in books by George Orwell. … Continued
While it can be easy to get students to comment on each others’ work, it is not always easy to get them to leave thoughtful, quality comments. Frequently, the student commenters mean well and they try to be encouraging, but their feedback to each other is lacking real substance. They might simply leave a comment like: “nice job, Mike!” or “Interesting post, Debbie!” but add no real value to the discussion. … Continued
How do you define the word “learning”?
If a student passes a test by cramming the day before, but they can’t remember the concepts months later, can we truly say they have “learned” the material? We know that when students cram for an exam, the information they consume is not going to be stored in long-term memory. To transfer information from their short-term to their long-term memory, students need repeated interaction with concepts over time. … Continued
This is a guest post by music educator and VoiceThreader, Eric Lindsay.
Developing your first online course isn’t easy. You worry about engagement and retention. You’re not sure whether the online portal will be easy for students to navigate. You wonder if you’ll need to make changes to delivery formats mid-semester and whether it’ll confuse everyone. In short, it can feel like it’s your first time in the classroom again. In a way, it is. … Continued
Massive, open, online courses don’t live up to the hype. People are starting to realize that while MOOCs are open, and they are certainly massive, most of them are not actually courses. They are really just curated spaces where people can access content. They more closely resemble YouTube playlists or online textbooks than genuine, human learning environments. The drop-out rates are massively high because most MOOCs don’t follow the basic formula for learning. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dr. Jaimie Hoffman
The Idea Last summer I was inspired to dream about what could be possible if I could connect my students with students in another country in a common learning experience using technology. This was an exciting possibility both because gaining international perspectives is a key pillar of my institution and because I think it is an important outcome of the undergraduate experience. … Continued
When Matthew Phillips, a business instructor from Wake Forest University, learned one morning that his evening class would be canceled, he turned to VoiceThread as a “just-in-time solution” to hold class anyway.
Even though he’d never done it before, he quickly created a VoiceThread, tweeted the link to his students, and then actively participated with them that evening. “Since Wake Forest University has a campus license,” explained Mr. Phillips, “we didn’t really have any problems. … Continued
This is a guest post by Susan Bertolino, University Professor and VoiceThreader.
Online education is a part of the college experience. More departments are choosing to include online classes in their course schedule. Many instructors are trained to use Web Ex as a mode of conducting synchronous learning, in which college students meet with their instructor via the internet for class discussion, questions, outlines of assignments and other necessary components of active learning. … Continued
This is a guest post by Alissa Harrington, VoiceThreader and Instructional Designer at Stevenson University.
VoiceThread is so flexible and simple to use, that we often overlook some of its powerful built-in features. Below are three ideas to incorporate into your VoiceThread experience:
1. Insert an Active Link– An easy way to share a file* or website with students during a VoiceThread presentation is to copy the source URL and paste the link in a text comment. … Continued
*This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dr. Scott Taylor.
Internet learning is fast becoming the modality of choice for higher education students. With the advent of Internet coursework must come a multifaceted way to engage and stimulate students. A linear delivery of instruction (i.e. a narrow and restrictive use of electronic communication like email and threaded discussions) will not compel students to apply skills on higher cognitive levels. … Continued
This is a guest post by Boise State professor, Yu-Hui Ching.
I am an assistant professor of Educational Technology at Boise State University. I have been using VoiceThread for discussions and ice-breaking activities in my online courses for two years. My students and I enjoy VoiceThread because we can see and hear each other, which helps us build a more connected learning community.
In my recently published research article, I tackled a problem that concerns many online instructors – how to guide students to provide quality peer feedback. … Continued
This is a guest-post via VoiceThread by Lori Rusch. She is an Art History instructor and shares her ideas about using VoiceThread below. We’d love your comments either on this blog post or in the actual VoiceThread!
This is a guest post by VoiceThread user Timothy Lloyd.
Recently, I was asked to do a guest blog by VoiceThread. I teach an honors level biology course at Norwin High School in North Huntingdon PA. I would consider myself to be a digital dinosaur, I still have a dumb phone (and I like it) and when my computer at home has issues, I consult my son (whom I often refer to as my IT department) to fix it. … Continued
What is FOMO? FOMO is an acronym that stands for Fear Of Missing Out. It describes the compulsion people feel to constantly check in with friends on social media to see if they’re missing anything good. FOMO cuts to the heart of modern behavior in a world full of distractions.
Those very distractions make it a challenge to teach online because teachers don’t have the captive audience they once had. … Continued