Last Updated: March 13th, 2018

Tool Types: ,


VoiceThread is a cloud based web application that allows users to post media such as a document, slide show, video, or photo collection that can be commented on by a community and then converted into a flash-based animation. Comments can be made by microphone, webcam, text, audio file or telephone. Once the user is finished commenting on the media the VoiceThread is converted into a Flash animation including the original media and the commentary.

In addition to a single user, a VoiceThread can be made by a group of users. Users can write (or doodle) on the media while commenting, can utilize multiple identities, and can choose which comments are shown in the slideshow.

Application to All Courses

The application of VoiceThread will be similar in regular, large enrollment, online and hybrid courses. Although the tool is targeted for online projects, the functions of the tool make it useful in all types of courses. Some of the uses and benefits of VoiceThread include:

  • Discuss content asynchronously around images, websites, videos, and more.
  • Gauge areas in which students are succeeding or in areas in which they may need remediation.
  • Hear the student’s tone and enthusiasm level as well as intonations especially useful for language learning.
  • Formatively evaluate student speech and comments.
  • Replaces static lecture with interactive lecture that both the instructor and student can participate in in an asynchronous time frame.
  • Gains the attention and motivates learners who learn by auditory, visual, and kinesthetic means.
  • Encourages collaboration among students and instructors.

Teaching Methods

  • Utilize in language classes for language practice, asynchronous conversations, presentations or speeches, storytelling, reflection, and more. Divide students into small groups or pairs to have asynchronous discussions on a topic or create a presentation on a topic in the foreign language.
  • Create interactive assignments in which the students can collaborate on a presentation, timeline, report, or more.
  • Create debate topics and assign students to a topic or debate point. Utilize a VoiceThread to debate asynchronously and illustrate points using various media.
  • Assign students a new topic or a reading and ask them to create a presentation. Have students respond by posing questions, providing additional information or resources, discussing interesting points, and so on.


Getting Started

  • Instructor and students must register on the website: voicethread.com (registration is free) and create an identity. University of Florida instructors and students can contact e-Learning Support Services for information about registering with VoiceThread.
  • Use the media upload interface to upload from Flickr, Facebook, a website, or your personal computer.
  • Each VoiceThread commentator will be given a unique identifier (usually a thumbnail image) based on the identity that they created.
  • Add comments through microphone, audio file, webcam, mobile device, telephone, or keyboard.
  • A “doodling” function allows the commentator to mark directly on the media such as to outline an image, underline text, draw circles, and so on.
  • Once a VoiceThread comment is made a link to email or embed will be given to the user which can then be emailed, posted to a discussion board, or embedded in a blog or website.
  • If the user chooses the VoiceThread can include the option of public comment allowing the public to view the VoiceThread and comment on it as well.

Additional Resources

Articles – Journal and Academic

Articles – Blogs, Websites, Wikis

Accessibility Statement

Keep accessibility in mind as you develop course content and build assignments and assessments. Many online tools are not fully accessible, so it’s important to think about how you will make the assignment accessible if requested. The Disability Resource Center and the UF Accessibility page will guide you in making appropriate accommodations. You can also find out more about accessibility at our toolbox page on Accessibility in the Online Classroom.

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