Blackboard VoiceThread for Faculty


VoiceThread is an asynchronous presentation tool that is available in Blackboard. It can be used to enhance student engagement and online presence by providing collaborative spaces opportunities to demonstrate knowledge. Students can create their own 'VoiceThreads' – multi-media presentations with images, documents, and videos. Then other students (and instructors) can navigate the slides and leave comments at any point in the presentation using voice, text, audio file, or video recordings.

VoiceThread has many potential uses for both in-person and online classes:

  • Narrate a PowerPoint presentation with audio or video.
  • Pose a question or topic and use it as a visual discussion board.
  • Encourage student to student interactions.
  • Create digital stories by narrating over images, videos and slides. Or create collaborative stories with VoiceThread's collaboration features.
  • Upload video to VoiceThread and gather reflections.
  • Practice a foreign language.
  • Evaluate, review or critique an idea or a student presentation.

The new VoiceThread assignments are a major overhaul and redesign of the entire experience. Features include:

  • A streamlined interface
  • More control for instructors
  • Editable assignments
  • A "student gallery" so students can easily see classmates' VoiceThreads
  • Better feedback for students

Helpful Links

Note: Starting on July 1, 2022, VoiceThread will be implementing a new data retention policy. Items created by inactive users will be removed periodically to conserve storage space. For more information, please see the UND or VoiceThread policy page.


How to Access VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a web application which can be accessed using any internet browser, so you don't need to download any applications to get started. There are two places that you can access VoiceThread using your browser: directly on the VoiceThread website -or- inside of any Blackboard course (better for assignments). Please see the instructions below for more information about accessing VoiceThread, or skip to the next section to learn how to set up a VoiceThread assignment in Blackboard.

Outside of the Blackboard System

  1. Navigate to
  2. Click Sign in in the upper-right corner.
  3. Enter your NDUS username and password, then click Sign In *If you get a screen asking for Federation Consent, click Yes.

Inside of Any Blackboard Course Site

  1. Log in to Blackboard, open your course, and navigate to the desired content area. In the menu at the top of the page, click Tools. Then, from the drop-down menu, select VoiceThread – UND.
    A screenshot of Blackboard: Select 'VoiceThread -UND' from the 'Tools' menu at the top of the page.
  2. A new window will open, where you can name the link and add a description. You can also attach documents, enable grading, select availability, select the dates available, and tracking. If you want this link to be an assignment, you must enable grading here. Click Submit.
  3. After you have created the link to VoiceThread, return to the content area where you created the link, and click it.
    A screenshot of Blackboard: Click the VoiceThread link you just created to set it up.
  4. A new window will open where you can select the type of VoiceThread link you would like this to be:

Non-Graded Link Options

  • Course View - Link will open this course's group on VoiceThread.
  • VT Home Page - Link will open the main VoiceThread Homepage.
  • Individual VT - Link will open a specific VoiceThread thread.

Graded Link Options - These options are only available if you selected 'enable evaluation' in step 2, above. Select Assignment Builder, then you can select from the three types of assignment. For more information, see the next section.

  • Create - Students create a VoiceThread using a video, image, document, or presentation.
  • Submit - Students are required to make a comment on a VoiceThread.
  • Watch - students must watch or listen to an entire VoiceThread.
  1. Once you choose what type of link you want to show the students, you can create your VoiceThread with Audio, Video, and share documents on your computer.
  2. Now, users can access VoiceThread by clicking the link inside your Blackboard course.


How to Use VoiceThread Assignments

Create a Link in Your Content Area

  1. Log in to Blackboard and open your course.
  2. Navigate to the desired content area in your course.
  3. In the menu at the top of the page, click Tools.
  4. Select 'VoiceThread -UND' from the drop-down menu.
  5. Give the link a name and description (optional). You may wish to include a link to the 'help for students' article or the VT webpage in your link description.
    NOTE: The description cannot contain any line breaks or multiple paragraphs.
  6. If you will be creating a graded assignment, select the radio button next to Enable Evaluation (optional).
    • If you enabled evaluation, enter in the total Points Possible.
  7. Set up any other options, such as due date or display dates.
  8. When you are finished with the link set-up, scroll down and click Submit (in the bottom-right).

Configure the Link

  1. Navigate to the content area where you created the link, and click it to open the VT set-up page.
  2. To build a graded assignment, click on the Assignment Builder button. The other options can be used to create non-graded links to VT content.
  3. Choose an activity - Select one of the following options. There are three types of assignment you can create:
    • Create - Require students to create a full VoiceThread. They will upload the slides and record comments, then submit that to you for a grade. You can even allow students to see their classmates’ submissions later so they can engage in peer review and conversation.
      Great for: student presentations; demonstration of a skill (bedside manner, playing an instrument, painting/drawing technique, pitching a business); submitting a paper, wireframe, website, etc. to receive feedback
    • Comment - Require students to post comments on a VoiceThread that you have created. You can decide whether or not students can see one another’s comments.
      Great for: graded discussions; quizzes; speaking practice (public speaking, language practice, poetry out loud)
    • Watch - Require students to watch a VoiceThread in full.
      Great for: non-interactive lecture delivery; compliance and training
  4. Click Continue to move to the next step.
  5. Choose options - availability depends on which kind of assignment you chose in step 3:
    • Create - Select the playback settings you want each student’s VoiceThread to have. Students will not be able to override these settings.
    • Comment - Select which VoiceThread you want to use for this assignment. Students will be recording their comments here.
    • Watch - Select which VoiceThread you want to use for this assignment. Students will be required to watch 100% of all slides and comments.
  6. When you have selected all of the desired options, click Continue to move to the next step.
  7. Finalize - Add a name, instructions, submission message, start date, due date, and set submission/viewing/grading options. Some of the information may sync from the link you set up. Note: You may need to scroll down to see all of the settings.
  8. When you're finished, click Publish to save.

Wait for Students to Submit their Assignment

  1. When students click the assignment link you created, they will see the a VoiceThread interface corresponding with the type of assignment you selected.
  2. VoiceThread will guide them through the process; they follow the steps to complete and submit the required work. For details, visit the assignment guide for students or our Knowledge Base article.

Grade Student Submissions

  1. To grade your students’ submissions, navigate to the course content area you chose in the set up, and locate the assignment. Click the link (similar to the set up process), and you will see the grading interface automatically.
  2. Review the submissions - On the right side of the page, you will see your course roster. If a student is missing from the roster, it means that student has not clicked into your assignment at all yet, but they will appear as soon as they do. Students can fall into three categories:
    • Submitted - Students who have submitted their final assignment.
    • In progress - Students who have started working on the assignment but have not yet submitted.
    • Unattempted - Students who have not yet begun working on the assignment at all.
  3. Grade the submissions - You can enter grades for students who are listed as “Submitted” or “In progress.” Click on a student’s name to see their submission, then enter the grade into the text box or pass/fail selector on the right and press Enter on your keyboard.
  4. Use additional features:
    • Reminders - To remind a student to submit, click on the student’s name, and then click on the Remind button. You can also click Remind Students at the bottom of the list to remind all students who have not yet submitted.
    • Un-submitting - If a student has submitted an assignment but needs to try again, click on the student’s name, click on Additional options beneath the grading area, then click Unsubmit.
    • Changing grades - To see students who have already been graded, click on the Graded tab in the top-right corner, and then click on any student in that list to enter a new grade for them.
    • Student gallery - If you have created a Create a VoiceThread assignment and enabled the student gallery, you will see the student gallery button on the main landing page (Assignment Details area).
    • Edit the assignment - If you need to make changes to how this assignment is configured, click on the menu icon top-right and select Edit assignment.
      IMPORTANT: Editing an assignment that is in progress may make existing student work inaccessible. It is best not to edit an assignment that is already being used, but if you must, keep in mind that selecting a different VoiceThread or even re-selecting the same one can cause student work not to be counted.



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Article ID: 84124
Wed 7/31/19 1:06 PM
Tue 4/30/24 12:00 PM

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VoiceThread (digital presentation tool) for students: Learn about the different assignment types -and- how to complete them by: watching a presentation, creating one of your own, or commenting on another student's submission.