Audio and Video Discussions

Audio or video discussions can add a personal element to your course discussions. There are a few different options available when integrating audio or video discussions. When doing video or audio discussions, please encourage your students to keep their recordings brief. Students tend to view/listen to recordings for 6 minutes, on average.


VoiceThread is primarily a discussion tool; it allows students to add text comments, audio comments, or video comments. There are other features like file sharing and presentations.


  • Robust functionality
  • Assignments can be copied in VoiceThread from semester to semester, course to course, or shared between instructors


  • Can be labor intensive to set up
  • Assignments do not copy from semester to semester automatically; must be copied in VoiceThread too
  • Requires high speed internet to function well

Canvas video and audio recording

Canvas has a built in video and audio recorder that students can access through the text-editor available in Discussions. More information on how to make audio and video recordings within Canvas is available here.


  • Mobile device friendly
  • All within Canvas


  • Mac (Safari) users will have to use the Flash recorder
  • Limited to webcam and/or audio recording, only
  • Requires high speed internet to function well, though less so than VoiceThread or My Media

My Media video and audio recording within Canvas Discussions

In addition to Canvas’s audio and video recording being available in Discussions, My Media is also available. Canvas users can click on More External Tools -> My Media, and then select a video or audio recording to embed in the discussion.

It’s also possible to record or upload a video to My Media, and then embed that in the discussion post. More information on My Media is available here.


  • Record screen, webcam, audio, and any combination of these simultaneously
  • Personal recordings can be used in other places, like ePortfolios
  • Video quality adapts to internet connection speeds, to better support users on poor internet


  • Can be labor intensive for students – take into account their time spent in making the videos
  • Requires high speed internet
  • Mac (Safari) users may need to allow 3rd party cookies for videos to appear