VoiceThread for SPS Instructors

NEW VoiceThread Assignments

The new VoiceThread Assignments are just around the corner.  Here are links to detailed descriptions and options for trying out the new assignments early:

Join a live training session to see updates to the workflows, new features, and options for VoiceThread assessments.
The New VoiceThread Assignment Workshop

For further VT workshops visit the VT Workshop page.

Introduction to VoiceThread

What is VoiceThread?

VoiceThread is an alternative to traditional discussion boards; it is an interactive collaboration and sharing tool that enables users to have a discussion centered on media such as images, videos, presentations, and documents. Users contribute comments using microphone, text,  webcam, telephone, or uploaded audio files. VoiceThread is available from within your Blackboard course sites, and you can create VoiceThread assignments with grade center integration.

For an idea of the types of things you can do with Voice Thread, browse the VoiceThread library.

Why use VoiceThread?

  • To create interactive class introductions
  • To upload video mini-lectures and invite interactive responses
  • For group presentations that provide practice with public speaking
  • To address multiple learning styles


  • A More dynamic alternative to text-based discussion boards
  • Over 50 different types of media can be used in a VoiceThread
  • Seamless integration with Blackboard and grade center
  • Five commenting options: microphone, webcam, text, audio-file upload, and phone
  • Three assignment options: Create a VoiceThread, Comment on a VoiceThread, Watch a VoiceThread

Getting Started

  • Step-by-step Instructions on adding VoiceThread to your course, setting up a VoiceThread link, and Grading student work available from VoiceThread’s Blackboard Support Page here.
  • If you do not see “SPS VoiceThread LTI One” in the drop down menu when you click on “Build Content” in your course, you must make VoiceThread available. To do so, navigate to the “Control Panel” located below your course menu in the lower left hand corner. Click on “Customization” and then “Tool Availability.” On the next page, tick the box all the way to the right next to “SPS VoiceThread LTI One” and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Submit.”

Please Note: Your CUNY SPS VoiceThread account is configured to be used from within Blackboard (see Overview Video). To activate your CUNY SPS VoiceThread account, simply access VoiceThread from within a Blackboard course site. All instructors and students automatically have VoiceThread accounts that are activated the first time VoiceThread is accessed from within Blackboard.

Special Features

  • Replying to Comments: You have several options for replying to comments: You can use direct reply, private reply, threaded comments, or moderated comments. You can find information on these options and more on VoiceThread’s commenting help page.
  • M/5 Commenting: When leaving a voice or video comment, you can either comment on each individual slide or create a lecture using several or all of the slides at once, which is called an M/5 comment. An M/5 commentallows you to narrate an entire collection of media in one unbroken comment. After choosing to make a microphone or webcam comment, begin speaking as usual. As you speak, use the navigation arrows in the bottom-right corner of the VoiceThread to advance from one slide to another. For further instructions,see  VoiceThread’s help page on M/5 comments.
  • Doodling: When leaving a voice or video comment, you can doodle on the media you are discussing. To learn how, see VoiceThread’s Doodling help page.
  • Editing: To edit an existing VoiceThread, See VoiceThread’s editing help page.
  • Copying: If you want to reuse a VoiceThread in a later semester, you can copy it with or without comments. To copy an existing VoiceThread, see VoiceThread’s copying help page.
  • Allow Users to Add Files: You may want to allow students to add files to your VoiceThread. To learn how, see VoiceThread’s help page on allowing users to add files.
  • Zooming: You can zoom into the media, either when viewing a VoiceThread or while recording a comment. See VoiceThread’s zooming help page



Additional Resources:

Faculty and students can also access VoiceThread from the Web and via the VoiceThread app on Android and iOS. Note that you will need to reset your Password the first time you are accessing VoiceThread outside of Blackboard.