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Frequently Asked Questions

*What's New?

 What new features and important VoiceThread functionality do I need to be aware of?

2019 Updates:

Automated Closed Captioning - The University at Albany has upgraded our VoiceThread license to the Platinum level which includes machine generated editable auto captions.

2018 Updates:

  • Richer Video Commenting - Commenting on a video in VoiceThread allows you to insert your comment directly into the video’s timeline while also interacting with it dynamically as you record. After you save your comment, a small blue nib will appear on the video timeline where you recorded. This allows your participants to see exactly which part of the video you commented on. The best part is that you don’t have to learn anything new. It just works!

  •  Pause While Recording - While you’re  recording audio or video in VoiceThread, you might need a quick break. Now you can pick up right where you left off! After you click on “Stop Recording,” just take your break and then click on “Record More” to keep going.

  • No more Flash! - VoiceThread is officially Flash free!  The HTML5 version of VoiceThread offers:
    • Adjustable Playback Speed - Speed up or slow down
    • Greater security  and more responsiveness with less software to install and run.
    • New Infrastructure - All infrastructure has been upgraded to be faster, leaner and more secure.

  • Conversation Channel Detailed View - Allows you to see more details about the comments without any additional work.  View full name, timestamp, duration, and type of comment recorded by each participant by clicking on the  ">>" icon at the top of your conversational channel . The ability to search for commenters is also integrated into this Detailed View, making it very simple to search for commenters by name.  For icon location see #3 on Getting around in a VoiceThread

  • Accessibility - By design VoiceThread already offers multiple means of engagement, representation, action, and expression. VoiceThread also has an updated VPAT and WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.

  • Mobile Accessibility - VoiceThread Universal has been streamlined to be more mobile friendly and to launch seamlessly from the standard VoiceThread mobile app.  Flash has also been eliminated from these pages making it easier for blind users and others who utilize screen readers to interact with VoiceThread.

Fall 2017 Updates:

 

What's Next? VoiceThreads Future Road Map of Technical Enhancements Include (NOTE: We don't have dates for these enhancements but some of you have asked about the following):

New Assignments - Soon there will be "New Assignments" available to try out.  New features will include:

    • Greater variety of assignment types and more collaborative options between students
    • More grading options
    • Enhancement of existing assignment types based on your feedback!
    • Streamlined workflows for both instructors and students
    • Tighter mobile integration
    • This will be the first step of VoiceThreads way to offering self-contained courses within VoiceThread.  Soon you'll be able to run a course in Voicethread that is both simpler and more flexible than the groups you use now.

    Mobile App - Version 4 of the VoiceThread mobile app is on its way! With a fresh look, more sharing options, increased stability and reliability, and more accessibility options, it will make VoiceThreading on the go much easier and more flexible.

  • LTI 1.3 - Version 1.3 of the LTI standard is in development now, and VoiceThread is an early adopter. This will offer deeper LMS integration, more rostering transparency, and even some brand new features. We should be ready for some beta testers by the end of 2018!

Help & Support

 How do I get technical help?


 I missed VoiceThreads Webinar with UAlbany. Can I still watch it?


Yes, you may watch the recordings as many times as you wish.  Recordings are similar but questions vary by audience interaction.


 Where can I find VoiceThread tutorials and their YouTube channel?

Tutorials:

https://voicethread.com/myvoice/browse/threadbox/44/

VoiceThread YouTube channel: (You are welcome to subscribe to the channel so you can receive any new tutorials as VoiceThread adds them).

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXggZ2yUPudu9EKx5ZtrdAw


 Where can I sign up for upcoming Workshops?

Sign up for VoiceThreads free workshops and access archives https://voicethread.com/workshops

Getting Started

 What do I need to view VoiceThread content?
  • Browser requirements
  • Time Zone and Clock Settings must be accurate on the computer or device being used, no matter how you are loading the VoiceThread application.  Should you receive the error below, update your time zone and clock setting on your device.

 What if I already have a VoiceThread account with my @albany.edu address before accessing through Blackboard. What happens to the original account?
 When I click on a VoiceThread link, VoiceThread shows an account verification page and identifies my email @albany.edu address. What should I do now?

VoiceThread has recognized your email address and you will be directed to an account verification page like the one depicted below. 

  • The notification means you already had a VoiceThread account under your email address, and the system is now trying to connect that existing account with your Blackboard profile.
  • You will need to enter your VoiceThread password that you originally entered when creating your VoiceThread account.
  • Or use the “Forgot your password or don’t have one?” link to create/reset the password.
  • Follow the instructions provided from VoiceThread
  • You will only need to complete this step once.



 What do my Students need to know to get started using VoiceThread?

Students Getting Started

We recommend that you add this link to your Blackboard course as a resource for students to understand how to use VoiceThread.

 Why am I not automatically signed into VoiceThread when clicking on a VT link?

Make sure your web browser accepts third-party cookies. 

How to Enable Cookies in the Browser

 I click on the VoiceThread link within my course however; I am unable to open the VoiceThread by clicking on the launch link. What do I need to do?

Make sure you have allowed pop-ups for the Chrome and FireFox browsers.

Chrome:

  1. Click on the menu icon (looks like 3 vertical dots) in the top-right corner of the Chrome window.
  2. Select "Settings".
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Advanced".
  4. Find the Privacy and Security section, and click on "Site Settings".
  5. Click on "Pop-ups and redirects."
  6. Click on the "Add" button next to the "Allow" list on that page.
  7. Enter these two exceptions:

Albany.voicethread.com

blackboard.albany.edu

       8. Click "Add" to confirm


FireFox:

  1. Click on the menu icon in the top-right corner of the browser.
  2. Select "Options" from that menu.
  3. Click on "Privacy and Security" on the left.
  4. Scroll down to the "Permissions" section, click on “Exceptions” next to "Block pop-up windows."
  5.  Enter these two exceptions:

Albany.voicethread.com

blackboard.albany.edu

      6. Click "Allow" after each to confirm

      7.Click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.


 How do I verify my audio input device/microphone?

Verify your set up by doing the following:

  1. Right click anywhere on a VoiceThread slide.
  2. Select “Settings…”
  3. Click on the image of a microphone and/or webcam.
  4. Select the correct input source.
  5. Click “close”.

https://docs.voicethread.com/troubleshooting/audiovideo-recording-issues/

Instructor Blackboard Specifics

 Known issues specific to Blackboard
  • If you click on a VoiceThread link and the Blackboard page simply refreshes, make sure your web browser is not blocking pop-ups.  See instructions below for enabling pop-ups.
  • Submitted assignments do NOT show up in the "Needs Grading" area of the grade center.
  • If you delete a VT link/assignment that has grading enabled within Blackboard, the associated grade center column with the assignment does not automatically get deleted  You must manually delete the associated grade center column.
  • Sometimes you may not be able to open a VoiceThread after clicking on a VT link.  You will be brought to a new tab within your browser and see a launch link.  When trying to click on the launch link, Voicethread fails to launch or you don't have the ability to click on the launch link.  You will need to enable pop-ups for your Chrome or FireFox browser.  See instructions below to enable pop-ups:


     Enabling Pop-ups for Chrome & FireFox Browsers

    Make sure you have allowed pop-ups for the Chrome and FireFox browsers.

    Chrome:

    1. Click on the menu icon (looks like 3 vertical dots) in the top-right corner of the Chrome window.
    2. Select "Settings".
    3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Advanced".
    4. Find the Privacy and Security section, and click on "Site Settings".
    5. Click on "Pop-ups and redirects."
    6. Click on the "Add" button next to the "Allow" list on that page.
    7. Enter these two exceptions:

    Albany.voicethread.com

    blackboard.albany.edu

           8. Click "Add" to confirm

    FireFox:

    1. Click on the menu icon in the top-right corner of the browser.
    2. Select "Options" from that menu.
    3. Click on "Privacy and Security" on the left.
    4. Scroll down to the "Permissions" section, click on “Exceptions” next to "Block pop-up windows."
    5.  Enter these two exceptions:

    Albany.voicethread.com

    blackboard.albany.edu

          6. Click "Allow" after each to confirm

          7.Click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.

 How do I (Instructor) use VoiceThread in my Blackboard Course?

Consult with Educational Technology Consulting (formerly Faculty Technology Resources) to understand pedagogical use cases, technical how-to's, and how to get tech support:

 How do I integrate my VoiceThread into Blackboards Grade Center?

Found in the “Assignment Builder” portion of VT.

http://docs.voicethread.com/vt-in-your-lms/instructors/blackboard-2/

                                                     

 From the Instructor view - Why don't I see my full grade roster of students within the graded assignment 'Not Submitted' area of VoiceThread?

The "Not Submitted" section will only show the full roster once every single student has clicked into VoiceThread at least once.  It doesn't have to be one specific assignment, if there are other VT links in a course it only takes one time to make the student roster sync.  From that point on any assignments you have set up utilizing the "Assignment Builder" option will depict a synced roster when the instructor goes to grade and views "Not Submitted" vs. "Submitted".

 Instructor view shows that no students have submitted a VoiceThread assignment however; you see students have actually made comments on the VoiceThread. Why isn't the Instructor view depicting students as having submitted the assignment?

This typically happens when students have made a comment on the VoiceThread but have NOT hit the 'submit' button after their comment.  Students are reminded to hit submit, but it can often be overlooked.  VoiceThread is smart enough to realize that the students did their work, so nothing is lost.  Have your students do the following:

  • Go back to the VoiceThread and click on the 'Assignment' link
  • Click Submit
  • Student names should now appear under the 'Submitted' area within the instructor view

Think about sending a gentle reminder to students to click on the 'submit' button after commenting.

 Why can't I see student submissions for grading?

The student likely did not click the "Submit Assignment" button after completing his work.  The student can simply go back into the assignment and click "Submit Assignment" at a later time.  The student will not need to re-do their work.

 What does the Student "My Grades" area reflect for those VoiceThreads graded that also contain feedback from the Instructor to the student within the actual VoiceThread?
  • Students currently need to visit the actual VoiceThread to hear any comments made by the instructor.  “My Grades” within Bb will only display the actual grade received for the assignment. 
  • VT hopes to have tighter integration with the grade center overtime.
 How do I set up a VoiceThread assignment that will allow my students to create their own VoiceThread for grading within the Blackboard grade center?

There are four simple steps to using VoiceThread in your Blackboard courses.  Please see the following article which will walk you through the steps and various scenarios. 

https://voicethread.com/howto/blackboard-2/#add

Scroll down to #2 Setting up your VoiceThread link. Note the 'Assignment Builder section'.  This is the section where you can require students to create a VoiceThread of their own to submit, to comment on a VoiceThread you've created, or simply to watch a VoiceThread.  You will select 'Create a VoiceThread'.  You will then be walked through the steps to complete the setup process.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Note: Peer Review Process:  After a student has created a single VoiceThread for submission (i.e. project VoiceThread etc.) Should you wish to have students conduct peer reviews on those 'individual' VoiceThreads you would need to set up another VoiceThread link in Blackboard in order for your students to be able to see each others VoiceThreads that were submitted.  *(In essence, a two step process, if you wish to include a peer review process of individual student VoiceThread submissions)

To set up:

    • Create a new VoiceThread link. This new VoiceThread link would need to be set up with the 'Course View' option.  This is a collection of ALL VoiceThreads shared with the course.
    • Instructor/Students click thumbnail of VoiceThread to participate, review and comment.
    • Please Note:  Regarding peer review workflow:  The instructor can't grade the peer review in the actual VoiceThread interface as it is set up as Course View. 
      • The instructor can still enter grades directly into the Blackboard Grade Center. 
      •  Direct integration from the VoiceThread interface does not work in this case.
      •  VoiceThread recognizes the need for this and is hoping to offer direct gradebook integration with Course View/Peer Review set up in the future.
 Can Blackboards Student View feature also help depict a true sense of a VoiceThread created by an Instructor?
  • Using the “Student View”   feature can be a bit problematic because the system is trying to associate two different Blackboard profiles with a single VoiceThread profile.
  • Student View presents an error message within VT.   It requests a VT password which can be confusing since a user doesn’t need to create one to create their VT within Blackboard.
  • Details about how to complete the password verification process when you don't have a VT password can be found here:

http://docs.voicethread.com/troubleshooting/using-the-account-verification-page/

 Can Blackboards Instructor demo student (Netid_S) log on be used with VoiceThread?

Yes, however; please be aware that the instructor demo student id is associated with the same email address that is associated with your Instructor pro license in VoiceThread.  You can't conduct testing (i.e. testing a private reply) to yourself.  In essence, you are replying to yourself due to the logon identifier being associated with the same email address and therefor you would not see the private reply option.   This option could be a bit quirky depending on what you are doing.

 Can I be an Instructor teaching with VoiceThread and also be a student taking a course using VoiceThread?

Yes!  Role is established on a per-course basis. An instructor can be an instructor in one course and a student in another.  The VoiceThread account will remain a "Pro" license throughout, but the instructor will have the appropriate student permissions when they are enrolled as a student in a course.

 Can I share my VoiceThread with a Guest Lecturer and allow the guest lecturer to comment on the VoiceThread, even though they are not officially enrolled in my Blackboard course as a guest?

Yes! A guest lecturer will need to register for their own free account.  Registering for their own free account will allow you as the Instructor of the course to share your VoiceThread with the guest lecturer securely or send them the link that allows anyone to comment.  Either way, they'll be able to record their comments on your original VoiceThread.  There are limitations to a free account.  Compare your pro license vs. free account specs.

 Can you create a VoiceThread to share and not utilize student licenses?

Yes! The only way to create a VoiceThread and not utilize licenses is to create a 'public' VoiceThread.  Anyone who has the link to this VoiceThread would be able to view and listen to the VoiceThread however; they won't be able to leave comments.

  1. Open the VoiceThread you want to use
  2. Click on the menu icon in the top-left corner
  3. Select "Share"
  4. Click on the tab labeled "Who has access"
  5. Select "Anyone can view" from the menu
  6. Click "Save Changes".

Once you do this, anyone who has the link to that VoiceThread will be able to see it, regardless of whether they have a VoiceThread account.  You can place the link in any course like any linked website using the weblink option.  You would not set it up using the LTI integration - (i.e. where you see the VT Logo, as this method utilizes licenses for each person who clicks on the VoiceThread!).

NOTE:  **This is not the recommended method of utilizing VT as it doesn't allow for the managing of accounts and gathering analytics for UAlbany's VT usage.

Other Categories:

Accessibility

 Is there a way within VT to reply via voice/mic combined with text for those with accessibility issues?

  • There is not currently a way to mix voice and text comments. You need to record a voice comment first and then follow up with a text comment (or vice versa). That is the simple way to include a transcript.
  • The closed captioning option requires you to actually create a caption file, which is a little more involved than simply creating a transcript.
  • Read more about closed captioning:

 http://docs.voicethread.com/web-application/accessibility-web-application/closed-captioning/



 I have a Student who uses screen-reading software can this student use VoiceThread?

 Yes! VoiceThread has an interface (VoiceThread Universal) specially designed for screen reading software. See http://voicethread.com/about/features/accessibility/

 How do I increase the size of a text comment?

 If text comments are too small to read comfortably, just use the increase/decrease button at the bottom of any text comment to adjust the size.

Closed Captioning

 What is the Closed Captioning service within VT?

VoiceThread now includes machine generated captions for audio comments and embedded audio content, such as an uploaded video.  Audio content will be captioned automatically.

 Where can I find information on VoiceThreads Closed Captioning functionality?

Please visit Using Closed Captioning for more information on the automated captioning service as well as editing captions.

Please watch the short tutorial explaining how the Instant Captions feature works.  You will see how to access the caption edit screen and make changes too!

 Will captions automatically be visible on my VoiceThreads?

No. Closed Captions are turned off by default.  For VoiceThreads that have been captioned, viewers can turn on closed captions by clicking the CC button at top right of the screen

 Will all of my existing VoiceThreads be auto-captioned?

All NEW comments and media will be captioned automatically.  Pre-existing comments and media will not be auto-captioned, but you can make copies of your pre-existing VoiceThread(s). The comments on the copied version would be captioned.  This is a time saver for instructors to re-use previously created VoiceThread’s but now have captioning included!

**Please note:  This might take some time to caption depending on the length of the comments within the VT.

 How long do captions take to be generated?

Captions can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to be generated on average.  Caption generation also depends on the length of the comment as well as length of video.  Plan on 1-2 minutes to caption every one minute of video.

 What is VoiceThread Universal?

VoiceThread Universal is an HTML version of VoiceThread that is made for full screen readers. Websites designed for a visual experience can be difficult to use with screen readers because there is a great deal of extra information to make it visually pleasing.  VoiceThread Universal is different. Its clean interface and clear instructions make using it with screen readers a pleasant experience.

 Will captions always be displayed when you are viewing a VT slide at VoiceThread Universal?

Yes!

 If I upload media with captions already included will VoiceThread over ride those captions or will they remain?

It depends on how the original captions are embedded: Can they be turned on or off?

  1. If the captions are part of the actual video, meaning they cannot be turned on or off but are rather ever-present, then they will still appear in VoiceThread.  This uploaded media would be captioned automatically through VoiceThread and so the media would have two sets of captions:  one that is just part of your original video and one that VoiceThread generated. You can always delete the VoiceThread-generated ones.
     
  2. Media files with captions that can be turned on or off in your media player have an attached caption file that will NOT be uploaded to VoiceThread.  These files would be auto-captioned when uploaded to VoiceThread by default.  You would have to upload the caption file manually as a second step.  Since the caption file wouldn’t appear in VoiceThread by default, you could just rely on the automated captioning to provide the caption for you (however; you might need to make edits as appropriate).


 Can you over ride VT’s auto captions with an uploaded captioned file?

Yes, you can override an automated caption with a manual file upload. There can only be one caption file associated at any one time, so any file you upload will overwrite what is already there.

If a recording already has a caption file, then auto-captioning will not be triggered for it at all. The automated captions will not overwrite the ones that are already there.

 Can Faculty and Students edit their own Captions?

Yes, faculty and students have the ability to edit their own captions.  Someone may edit a caption if either of the following is true:

  1. The person recorded the comment.
  2. The person is editor or creator of the VoiceThread where the comment was recorded.

**For clarification – People do not need full edit access (that an owner of the VT would set up) to a particular VoiceThread in order to edit their own comments.  See 1 & 2 above.

 How do I edit captions in my VoiceThread(s)?

Once a caption has been added to a slide or comment in VoiceThread, you can always edit it to make changes or correct any mistakes.  

  1. To begin, open the Closed Caption window, and then click on “Edit Captions” near the bottom.
  2.  This will open the caption editor, where you can make manual changes to the text. Make sure you save before closing the editor, and those changes will be visible in the VoiceThread instantly.

More details on editing: https://voicethread.com/howto/closed-captioning/

 Can you change the color of the automated captions?

No. This is not an option at this time.  When developing your VoiceThread slides keep in mind the text captioning color is currently yellow.  The contrast of the text with a light background is not ideal and it will cause difficulties for those that are visually impaired.

 Can the size of the captions be adjusted for audio and web cam comments?

 Adjustments for sizing of captioned words is flexible by stretching the size of the captioned box or moving the captions to another location on the screen.

 I understand that captions are machine generated and not 100% accurate. What words are least accurately captioned at this point in time?

Punctuation, capitalization, grammar, acronyms, number/letter combinations as well as human names.

Words with more than one interpretation or spelling are often incorrect (i.e. their/there/they’re) as well as words that can sound very similar when spoken (i.e. air/are).

 With captioning inaccuracies noted, what are some best practices or tips to improve accuracy?
  • Speak clearly and speak up.
  • Minimize background noise when recording
 What steps do I need to take if I am notified that a student in my class requires media captioning due to disability?

Students need to report their need for assistance to the Disability Resource Center (DRC) https://www.albany.edu/disability/.  The DRC will inform you if you need take any measures.  You should confer with the DRC to learn of all possible accommodations that might apply to the situation.

While your VoiceThread content will be auto-captioned, it’s likely the captions will require editing for accuracy, including those of your other students.  You may need to take the time to edit your captions and inform your class that each student should ensure their captions are as accurate as possible.  For further guidance:

  • Contact the Disability Resource Center at 518-442-5490 or email DRC@albany.edu .
  • Contact the Educational Technology Center to learn more about Captioning in VoiceThread 518-442-4288.

Collaborative Class VoiceThread

 How can students work on a collaborative class VoiceThread and each student has the ability to add content?

You will need to make sure that students have been given editing rights. Here is the simplest way to do that:

1. Open the VoiceThread.

2. Click on the menu icon in the top-left corner.

3. Select "Share".

4. Click on the name of the Course Group from the left.

5. Make sure the green "Edit" icon is highlighted on the right.

6. Click "Share" to confirm.

As soon as you do this, all students in your course will have edit-level access. Just make sure that the students know that this means they can also delete content from the VoiceThread, so they'll need to be careful and respectful of classmates' work.

Commenting Features & Abilities

 How do I listen to and view comments?

To learn how to play and move between comments, see a detailed conversation view, adjust your playback speed, move/adjust the comment bubble around on screen and increase the text size of a comment see Listening to and viewing comments.

 My students commenting ability is limited to "Private Comment". How can I change the settings to allow them to comment publicly?

 The "Public", or threaded reply feature is off by default.  It must be enabled by the instructor or explicitly in order for students to have access to it.

Please note:  Whether or not threaded commenting is turned on, people can still comment the normal way using the big "+" button  at the bottom of the VoiceThread.  This never goes away regardless of the other settings for the VoiceThread.

 Is there any way to prevent entries/comments from automatically playing?

You can disable the option to 'Start Playing When Opened' from the Thread Settings menu under 'Playback Options'. See https://voicethread.com/howto/what-does-each-playback-setting-mean/ However; once started, VoiceThread doesn't currently have a way to prevent it from moving from one comment to the next once it has been started.  This is an option VoiceThread is considering offering in the future.

 When recording via webcam is there a way to shrink the size of the webcam video during playback so it doesn't cover portions of my slides?

Currently it is not possible to shrink the default size of the webcam.  When creating your slides think about the sizing of your webcam image and where you want to place it so it doesn't hinder viewing what you are trying to convey (i.e. text & graphics).  NOTE:  you can move the webcam image around on the page, you just can't change the default size.

 Can you set up discussions within VoiceThread without students having the ability to NOT hear other students comments/replies before making their own? (Similar to post first option within Blackboard)

 There isn't a way to do exactly this yet, although VoiceThread hopes to offer this in the future.  Comment moderation is a great compromise.  The difference is that when you have Comment Moderation enabled, the instructor must manually reveal hidden comments.  As soon as he/she does this, all students will see them.  VoiceThread currently doesn't have a way to release comments to some students and not others.  For more information on Comment Moderation please visit https://voicethread.com/howto/using-comment-moderation/.

 Can commenting be turned off for some slides and enabled for others within the same VoiceThread?

All permissions apply to a full VoiceThread, so you're not currently able to allow commenting on some slides and not others within a single VoiceThread.

 Is there a way to turn on email notifications when there are comments submitted from students?

Instructors can absolutely turn on email notifications! Here is the workflow for managing those settings:

https://voicethread.com/howto/instant-email-notifications-2/


 My comments are gone after just recording. Does VoiceThread automatically delete comments?

VoiceThread wouldn't delete any comments however; if you notice your comment is not present it could be that there was a problem when they were saved originally.  The most likely culprits would be:

  1.  A browser error where the VoiceThread connection dropped while trying to save the comment.
  2.  A drop in the internet connection

Some good ways to prevent this type of thing from occurring would be to make sure your web browser is up to date and that you are on as strong an internet connection as possible. 

 Can I get back comments that were accidentially deleted?

Unfortunately VoiceThread doesn't have a way to retrieve deleted comments.  Once a comment is deleted, it is truly gone.

Download/Export

 Can you download/Export a VoiceThread?

Yes! Our UAlbany license agreement with VoiceThread includes unlimited exports however; the number of credits will appear in the interface, but the number will never get down to zero.  It will keep replenishing as needed, so you will never run out. 

For an overview on exporting https://wp.voicethread.com/howto/overview-of-exports/

For guidance on how to conduct an export https://voicethread.com/howto/how-to-export/

 Can you control the size of a video box after an export?

Within VoiceThread you can control the size of the video box however; you are unable to make size adjustments within an exported file.  VoiceThread doesn't currently have a way to move comments or re-size the video box in an export, however they are planning to offer more export layouts in the future.Scenario: Once you have exported your VoiceThread, if you created a video narration, the small "talking head" can at times block a bit of text on a slide. (depends on how much text you have included on the slide). Audio only narration blocks the text for just a moment when a new slide opens.

Groups

 Can you set up Groups in VoiceThread?

Yes! The best workflow for a project will depend on the specific requirements of that project, but some basic information about creating Groups is here:

http://docs.voicethread.com/web-application/groups-and- contacts/creating-groups/

You can have as many students as you’d like comment on a single  VoiceThread. If you share a VoiceThread you’ve created with your course group, then all students in that group will be able to view it and record comments.

Please Note:  Blackboard and VoiceThread's integration automatically creates one large group for your course.  It will be the name of your course and show up within VoiceThread automatically.  However; Instructor created Blackboard groups Do Not translate into VoiceThread.  You will need to follow the workflow indicated in the link above to create groups within VoiceThread.


 How can I Have my students work on a VoiceThread as a small group?

1. Have one student be the "group leader". That student will be responsible for creating the VoiceThread initially. He/she should create the VoiceThread and add at least one slide to it.

2. Once the VoiceThread has been created, have that group leader give editing rights to his/her classmates. The instructions for this are illustrated here:

https://voicethread.com/howto/sharing-with-an-individual/

*Make sure that the student clicks on the pencil icon to give "edit" access to his/her 4 or 5 group mates.

3. If he/she also wants to allow the rest of the class to see the VoiceThread, he/she should also share the VoiceThread with the whole Class Group and give them editing privileges. This step is optional.


A screencast depicts the exact workflow. Please note: The example depicted is representative of an account set up for Faculty Technology Resources.  The process is the same. You can download that here:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/29207921/Albany_sharing.mp4


Retention Life Cycle

 What happens to my VoiceThreads that are created within a course once the course is over?
  • Everyone continues to own their own VT content for as long as they have an active account
  • Nothing is ever deleted unless YOU choose to delete it
  • Even disabling a course in VoiceThread doesn’t delete any content; it just “unshares” that content with the members of the course even though it still belongs to you.
  • You simply log into VT home page with your email address and password that you used to set up your original account.

VoiceThread Navigation - Button Functionality

 What are all those buttons and options on an open VoiceThread? Can you help me navigate my options?

We sure can! The first time you see an open VoiceThread it can be a bit overwhelming with buttons and icons placed in various locations on the page.  From an open VoiceThread, you can listen to comments, record comments of your own, and even access the settings for that VoiceThread.  Check out the helpful "Getting around in a VoiceThread" diagram which provides a great detailed explanation of all of your options.

Technology Integration with VoiceThread & Functionality:

PowerPoint Importing & Features Maintained

 Can you upload a PowerPoint with already added Voice over ? What is the behavior of animations already set up within the Powerpoint??

Yes!  If you already have a PowerPoint with audio created, you can now import the PowerPoint along with the audio into VT.

Note: VoiceThread isn't currently able to preserve video embedded on slides; ONLY AUDIO will work. (i.e. if you have the camera icon on your PowerPoint slide, it will not import successfully into VoiceThread).

Note: PowerPoint animations are not preserved in VoiceThread.  Each slide is treated like a static image at this point.

Note:  Sometimes images and words might overlap within the layout of your PowerPoint once imported into VoiceThread. This seems to vary by PowerPoint.  A workaround is to save your PowerPoint as a PDF file and import the PDF file into VoiceThread instead. 



YouTube Integration

 Can I include an external URL video (such as YouTube video) in my VoiceThread assignment for comments?

Yes! Import a video from YouTube into VoiceThread using the URL option when creating slides. 

Note:  Some videos (for example, official music videos) have specific licensing and cannot be pulled into VoiceThread.

Note:  If you enter the URL for a full website instead of a media file, VoiceThread will pull the largest media file from that site.  The full website will not be imported.