On June 1, 2022, UWGB faculty, staff, and students will lose access to VoiceThread. After this date, you will no longer be able to create new VoiceThreads or access and reuse old VoiceThread projects in Canvas or on the VoiceThread site. You can, however, download and store past projects in a different application or format before June 1 (see instructions below).
We feel confident about moving forward and being able to help you meet your teaching and learning goals. Instructors have used VoiceThread for several purposes, but we think those same instructional goals can be met with other tools. Please consult the list below to find your particular use(s) of VoiceThread and read about alternative tools or strategies. Still, this blog post is intended only as a reference document. Before you begin modifying your course or activities, we would encourage you to reach out to CATL for a brief consultation about your specific situation, rather than simply reading this information. You can reach us by email (CATL@uwgb.edu), phone (920-465-2541), or by filling out our consultation request form.
Alternatives to VoiceThread by Activity Type
Discussions or Critiques Using Audio or Video Recordings
The most common use for VoiceThread is to facilitate discussions that incorporate audio and video recordings, such as having online students record introduction videos and respond to those of their peers. The good news is that you can still have discussions this way using two tools you are likely already familiar with: Kaltura and Canvas discussion boards. Click the case below for more details.
Facilitate a student discussion with audio and video comments
Use a Canvas discussion board with Kaltura (My Media) audio/video embeds
- Set up a Canvas discussion board.
- Provide instructions on the following in the discussion board description:
Narrated Presentations or Lecture Videos
Some instructors used VoiceThread to record lectures that permit students to add comments on slides. You can instead, however, provide opportunities for student interaction with a pre-recorded lecture by turning your video into a PlayPosit bulb (see this article for a few easy ideas). If you’re simply looking for a lecture recording tool, Kaltura Capture and PowerPoint are great options. Click on the use cases in the accordion below to learn more. You can also read more about recording with Kaltura and PowerPoint in this guide.
Student-Created Narrated Presentations
Recorded student presentations are a common method to assess learning, especially in asynchronous online classes. Depending on your assignment learning outcomes, a video link submission to a Canvas assignment may be all you need, however, if you would like students to view and/or comment on peers’ presentations, there are ways to accomplish this using Canvas discussions or PlayPosit peer review assignments.
Record student presentations with no peer review
Use PowerPoint or Kaltura Capture, Kaltura (My Media), & a Canvas assignment
- Set up a Canvas online submission assignment with “Website URL” checked as the online entry option.
- Provide instructions on the following in the assignment description:
Record student presentations that permit peer reviewing and comments
Use PowerPoint or Kaltura Capture, Kaltura (My Media), & a Canvas discussion board
- Set up a Canvas discussion.
- Provide instructions on the following in the discussion description:
Record student presentations that permit small group peer reviewing and feedback
Use Canvas Groups, Kaltura Capture, Kaltura (My Media), & a PlayPosit peer review assignment
- Set up Groups in Canvas; students will have to review the presentations of the other members in their group, so use that information to determine an appropriate group size.
- Create a Canvas assignment with “external tool” as the submission type.
- Set up the PlayPosit peer review assignment in the External Tool pop-up window.
- Provide instructions on the following in the Canvas assignment description:
- How to record a video with Kaltura Capture and upload it to Kaltura (My Media) (most PlayPosit assignments will use Kaltura videos, though you can also use YouTube or Vimeo video links).
- How to submit a PlayPosit peer review assignment, how to view and assess peers’ submissions, and how to view peer and/or instructor feedback on your own submission; this PlayPosit peer review guide for students is an excellent resource to link.
Exporting & Saving VoiceThreads for Future Use
Considerations Before Exporting
VoiceThread, by design, is meant to foster student engagement and discussion. If you are thinking about exporting a VoiceThread to reuse in a future course, first reflect on the purpose of the VoiceThread activity and whether the recorded video version would accomplish the same goals as the original activity. What modifications would you need to make for the video to still be an effective learning experience? Will the video be embedded in a PlayPosit bulb or Canvas discussion to allow for student interaction? Would it be better to redesign the activity and adapt it for another tool entirely?
If you are able to give sound pedagogical reasoning to support exporting and reusing a video of a VoiceThread, or perhaps would just like to keep them for archival purposes, read on.
Guidelines for Exporting VoiceThreads
VoiceThreads can be exported as video files (.mov) that include all slides and comments played in sequence. You can export as many threads as you wish, but it will take an investment of time.
If you used VoiceThread simply to present your own content (e.g., lectures), your downloaded exports can be uploaded to your Kaltura My Media library and shared with students in future classes. As a bonus, machine-generated English captions will be added automatically when you upload the video to Kaltura.
If you have a VoiceThread that includes student comments and you wish to reuse it as a video presentation in a future class, before exporting it, you should first create a copy of the VoiceThread that includes no comments or only instructor comments. Export that “clean” copy to comply with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) law. By law, you cannot share student comments from one class (not even the identities of those students) with another class in the same or future semesters.
Please refer to this knowledgebase article on exporting VoiceThreads and downloading those exports. Note that UWGB’s license includes an unlimited amount of “export credits.”
TIP: To quickly access your personal VoiceThread home page and see your library of threads, first launch any VoiceThread in Canvas, then navigate to voicethread.com/myvoice.
Please export any VoiceThread content you wish to keep a copy of before June 1, 2022.
Please remember that CATL is here to help! If you would like help adapting your VoiceThread activities and assignments, we encourage you to request a consultation, email CATL@uwgb.edu, or call us (465-2541). A CATL team member would be happy to assist you.