Getting Started and Creating VoiceThreads – Faculty and Student Guide

VoiceThread is web-based presentation software that allows users to create and share interactive multimedia slideshows. VoiceThread presentations are used to showcase audio, video, images, and documents while allowing users to comment on them in a variety of ways. The result is an ongoing, asynchronous, digital conversation that can be easily shared with individuals, groups, and/or embedded into different websites.

Logging In

Go to https://jhu.voicethread.com/ and log in with your JHED ID and password.

For more detailed instructions on how to sign in, see Sign in jhu.voicethread.com.

Displays the controls found within the VoiceThread site

Home (top left): Contains links to VoiceThreads that you have created and that you are subscribed to. Also displays any groups you’ve created or are a member of.
Browse (top left): Browse publicly available VoiceThreads
Create (top left): Create and edit your VoiceThreads
In the top right, you can toggle between list and tile views.
In the bottom left, you can find a link to customize your text and background colors.
In the bottom right, you can find a link to get help with VoiceThread.

Displays the controls found within a VoiceThread presentation

Identity icons on the left side indicate comments that have been left by viewers.
The Play/Pause button can be found in the bottom-left corner.
Click the Add Comment button to leave a comment.
In the bottom-right corner, you can navigate to the next or previous slide, or show all slides. You can also zoom in or out.

Setting Up your Microphone

If you intend to use the audio record feature, you will need a working microphone. Please see the following instructions to set up a microphone on your Mac or Windows.

Creating a VoiceThread

  1. Gather the materials that you will be using in your presentation (presentation files, images, videos, etc.).

    Tip: While you can use a PowerPoint file as your presentation, we have found that saving the presentation as a .pdf file before uploading to VoiceThread often works better.

  2. Once you have accessed VoiceThread, click the Create link in the top left.

    The Create link is in the top left corner

  3. In the center of the screen, click to expand the Add Media option menu:

    Add Media options menu

    My Computer: allows you to upload files from your computer (or you can drag and drop files right onto the screen).
    Media Sources: allows you to upload images or files stored in your own account with media sites such as Flickr.
    Webcam Photo: will use your webcam to take a photo and instantly add it to the slide.
    Webcam Video: allows you to record a video using your webcam.
    URL: allows you to enter the address of a particular file on the internet.

    Note: If uploading a video, .mov, .flv, and .mp4 files work best.

  4. When you have finished adding media to your presentation, click the Options link in the upper right corner and select Playback settings to edit/adjust the playback settings for your presentation. Click Update to save.

    Expand the Options menu to edit Playback Settings

    Displays playback settings

    Playback Settings:

    • Allow others to download original media
    • Allow others to export
    • Start playing when opened
    • Allow others to make a copy
    • Enable Comment Moderation
    • Automatically advance to the next slide after x seconds

Adding a Comment to a VoiceThread Presentation

  1. Add a comment to your VoiceThread presentation by clicking the Comment button (in the Create/Edit view).

    Create/Edit view of a VoiceThread - Comment button is in top left

    Alternatively, from the Home screen, you can click on your presentation to play it and comment from there:

  2. Several options for commenting will be visible at the bottom center of the slide. (Click the plus sign to expand the options if they are not visible.) Use the navigational buttons in the lower right to progress to the slide where you want to leave the comment.

    Displays commenting options

    Commenting options:

    • Add a typed comment
    • Record a comment using the telephone (currently not supported by our JHU license)
    • Record a comment using a microphone (60 minutes max)
    • Record a comment using a webcam (60 minutes max)
    • Upload a previously recorded audio comment (.wav or .mp3 files work best)
  3. When saved, the comment will appear as your identity icon, located along the left side of the VoiceThread. Any future comments made by others will be added the same way, with identity icons populating the left perimeter of the VoiceThread.

    When the VoiceThread is played, each slide will play through/display all comments before proceeding to the next slide.

    Each comment also adds a timeline at the bottom of each slide (green bar), the length of which corresponds to the length of the comment. Hover over it for a timestamp of the comment.

Editing a VoiceThread

  1. From the Home screen, hover over the VoiceThread you would like to edit and click the Edit link in the option menu that appears:

    Alternatively, from within the VoiceThread presentation itself, click the option menu in the upper left corner and select Edit.

  2. Add additional media or comments, drag and drop to reorder slides, or hover over any slide to edit or delete.

  3. When finished editing, click Home to locate and play the VoiceThread to view changes.

Sharing a VoiceThread

  1. From the Home screen, hover over the VoiceThread you would like to share and click the Share link in the option menu that appears:

    Alternatively, click the Share link from the top of the Create/Edit screen:

    Or, from within the VoiceThread presentation itself, click the option menu in the upper left corner and select Share.

  2. To share with a group/class, select the group name from the list that appears on the Secure tab.

    Note: If your group/class does not appear in this list, you need to first create a group. See how to create a group.

  3. Once you’ve selected the group(s), use the permission icons on the right side to decide if group members can view, comment, and/or edit the VoiceThread.

    Select the Notify by email option if you want group members to receive an email letting them know that the VoiceThread is available to them.

    Click Share to share the VoiceThread.

  4. You will get a success message when the group is successfully shared.