A brief introduction to VoiceThread & micro- teaching

VoiceThread is a cloud-based application that run in your web browser and on almost any internet connection. VoiceThread allows you to upload, share and discuss documents, presentations, images, audio files and videos into a common space for an asynchronous group conversations. Viewers can comment on VoiceThread slides using one of five powerful commenting options: microphone, webcam, text, phone, and audio-file upload.

Micro-teaching is a teacher training and faculty development technique whereby the teacher reviews a recording of a teaching session, in order to get constructive feedback from peers and/or students about what has worked and what improvements can be made to their teaching technique. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microteaching)

I will be using VoiceThread as a “venue” for a micro-teaching workshop. I’ve decided to use this platform (and not the institutional platform) as it offers lecturers (who were uncertain about letting others see their own webinar recordings) a safe and “mediational space” to externalize their own experience or running a webinar.


Credit: The article that inspired this approach Microteaching in Isolation: Fostering Autonomy and Learner Engagement through VoiceThread.

VoiceThread Instructions

This brief introduction to VoiceThread will should help participants to

  1. Create an account,
  2. Become familiar with the basic VoiceThread interface
  3. Take you through the steps involved with commenting on a video or slide show
  4. Explain how to join a group and
  5. Show you how to create a VoiceThread.

1 | Create an account

1. Go to the address http://www.voicethread.com

2. Find either of these links to “Sign In” or “Register”

a. “Sign In” if you have an existing account or

b. “Register” if you have never used VoiceThread.

2 |The basic Interface

After you’ve logged on, youʼll see the account navigation at the top of the page and the three important tabs at the top: Home, Browse and Create

Home: Once you have logged on, your own account’s page and folder wherein your VoiceThreads are all available

Browse: Review all the VoiceThreads that authors have chosen to publish publicly.

Create: Add media to create a new VoiceThread. After youʼve created a VoiceThread, it will appear in your home tab.

3 | Comment on a Voice Thread

Open the VoiceThread. Comments can be made on slides and videos by clicking on the microphone button. Comments appear directly in the timeline, and you can also respond to comments.

  • Move to the position in the video timeline or onto the slide where you want to comment
  • Record a comment by clicking the plus (+) icon

At the bottom of the slide, you will see a plus (+) icon. Click on this icon to see the commenting options. Choose an option (audio, text, video etc) to respond. With this commenting functionality there are many possible uses, including critiques, reflection, project collaboration, presentations, topic discussions, and more.

4 | How to join a group

Join group that was set up on Voice Thread:. Click on the sign up link that has been shared with you. As soon as you click on this link, you will be added to the group. There you will see a collection of VoiceThreads that have been shared to the group. Open and navigate to the place where you wish to post a comment.

5 | How to Create a VoiceThread

Three simple steps

  1. Create a VoiceThread. Click on the Create Tab to add your media – Powerpoint, images, documents, movie files, PDFs or Excel spreadsheets.
  2. Comment on a slide – Add your own comments to your slides in text, voice, or video format. You may delete your comments at any time.
  3. Share with others. Make your VoiceThread is viewable to others

In summary

These five sets of instructions are a useful way to learn the basics of the VoiceThread interface. After uploading your media (Powerpoint or mp4 files) and adding your own comments to your slides in text, voice, or video format, you will be able to particpate in micro-teaching.

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