Catch Up on Missed Classes with VoiceThread

Was your class affected by the weather? Are you behind on your syllabus, trying to catch up while still ensuring that your students have meaningful learning experiences? Don't wait till the next snow day to engage your students in the course and use new technology to support student learning. Renew and revive your course by simply trying out VoiceThread with your students before the end of the spring semester.

What is VoiceThread?

VoiceThread adds a visual dimension to an online conversation. VoiceThread allows you to have a conversation about objects such as videos, images, documents, and presentations. You can narrate your presentation, and students can pause it at the point where they have a question to make comments using any combination of text, a microphone, a webcam, a telephone, or by uploading an audio file. These conversations are asynchronous, meaning that students can log in and participate at any time. As a result, it's an ideal way to have a conversation either before or after class, or to make up lost class time. The combination of increased interaction and time for reflection helps to create an engaged learning environment for your students.

VoiceThread is an application that runs in a web browser (in Blackboard, so you don't have to leave the familiar class environment). There is no software to download, install, or update. Creating a VoiceThread within your Blackboard shell is as easy as creating an assignment.

VoiceThread can be used in many ways:

  • Record an introduction to a project (think mini-lectures).
  • Extend and document class discussion beyond the classroom space and time.
  • Share an image—an anatomical drawing, a circuit diagram, or a floor plan—and have students mark it up and comment on it.
  • Share a few slides with voice-over instruction and have students leave their questions or comments in regards to a specific slide.
  • Students can present their projects on VoiceThread. Have them create multimedia presentations and engage in reflective discussions critiquing each other's work, without taking up class time.
  • Do you want to ensure that students do their reading prior to class? Have groups of students create short (5 minute) VoiceThreads to present key information and share it the day before class meets.
  • Use VoiceThread as a forum where students can practice using a second language.

Selected Key Features:

  • Upload, share and discuss videos, audio files, presentations, images, and documents. Over 50 different types of media can be used in a VoiceThread!
  • Comment on VoiceThread slides using one of five powerful commenting options: microphone, webcam, text, audio-file upload, and phone.
  • Accessible from Mac/PC (up-to-date version of Adobe Flash is required) and iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch).
  • Seamless integration with Blackboard. Single sign-on (sign in with your NYIT username and password).
  • Share a VoiceThread with your class in Blackboard. Course enrollment: students and instructors are enrolled in private course groups automatically.
  • Share VoiceThreads as easily as sending an email. Receive notifications for new comments on your VoiceThreads.


The Center for Teaching and Learning has purchased an institutional license for VoiceThread – you can access it through your course's Blackboard shell. Try it out and let us know if you like it!

For assistance getting started, please contact the Center for Teaching and Learning.