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Use VoiceThread presentations

  • Online & Hybrid Teaching
  • Technology & Software

Last modified: December 9, 2023

Increase engagement and interaction in your course by using VoiceThread presentations and assignments.

What can you do with VoiceThread?

VoiceThread is a cloud-based tool for creating, sharing and commenting on presentations. When you create a VoiceThread, you can include video, audio, and uploaded media such as PowerPoint slides and PDFs and more. Both instructors and students can create VoiceThreads. Examples of VoiceThreads include:

  • Uploading a PowerPoint presentation (or other media) and adding audio via the commenting feature. You can also use the drawing tool to mark up your content as you comment.
  • Audio can be input via microphone, webcam or even by phone. Drawing tools are also available to create markup during the presentation. An instructor or student could create a presentation this way and then either allow or not allow further comments by viewers
  • Within the Blackboard interface there are a variety of ways a Voicethread can be used, including as a gradeable assignment (see below).
  • Your UAS licensed Voicethread account will be associated with your email: Once you've created a Voicethread you can post a link to it in any of your courses. In addition to using VoiceThread within Blackboard you can create VoiceThreads to share elsewhere.
  • VoiceThread can be an interactive alternative to traditional discussion boards.

Video Tutorials

John Ingman, instructional designer for the Sitka Campus and resident VoiceThread guru, developed the following series of trainings on VoiceThread:

You can also view these Tutorials from VoiceThread:

  • Creating a VoiceThread
  • How to Comment
  • Commenting on a Video
  • Doodling
  • Sharing Your VoiceThread
  • Comment Moderation

Examples and Inspiration

To see additional examples of VoiceThreads go to and click on "Browse" in the upper left. Examples are divided into categories including "Higher Education" which is further divided by subject. Some relevant examples:

Using VoiceThread with Blackboard

View a summary of how VoiceThread works through the Blackboard interface.

Using the VoiceThread UAS link within "Build Content" you will create a VoiceThread link then edit that to build the type of VoiceThread you want to include in your course.

There are four types of VoiceThread links that can be created using the Blackboard interface.

  • Course View: A link to all the VoiceThread associated with that course
  • Individual VT: a link to just one VoiceThread, e.g., a specific lecture or presentation.
  • Home:  Displays the full VoiceThread account of the person who clicks on the link: i.e., you’ll see your account, your students see their account
  • Assignment Builder: Allows you to create a gradeable assignment.  This may be assigning students to create a VoiceThread, assigning them to comment on a Voicethread, or assigning them to watch a VoiceThread from start to finish. (To see this option, you must set up grading and assign a point value when you first create the VoiceThread using the Blackboard tool.)

You can also go directly to VoiceThread and sign-on with your UA credentials at  This allows you to create and share VoiceThreads, but does not allow you to create graded assignments.

Captioning VoiceThreads

You can add closed captioning to any video or audio slide, or to any video or audio comment. It can take up to 4 days for captioning to occur. The captions are machine-generated and will need editing, so allow time for captioning and editing. This PDF document on Using Closed Captioning includes instructions for:

  • Viewing captions in VoiceThread
  • How to add a caption to a slide or comment
  • Editing captions