Narrating Your Syllabus with VoiceThread

By providing a narrated syllabus at the beginning of the semester, your course starts off on a more personal note. Your students are able to see and hear you and are given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments with their own voice and/or video.

View Ellen’s video for an overview. Follow the steps below to narrate your syllabus.

Narrate Your Syllabus

Before you start narrating your syllabus, take a moment to create a photo identity to better establish your online presence in the course.

To narrate and share your syllabus with VoiceThread, complete the following:

  1. Create and configure a VoiceThread link.
  2. Upload your syllabus.
  3. Add extra slides, if needed.
  4. Record your narration.
  5. Share your syllabus.

Step 1: Create and Configure a VoiceThread Link

Select the Start Here (Syllabus) content area. Then:

  1. Hover over Build Content.
  2. Click UMB VoiceThread.
  3. On the Create UMB VoiceThread screen, name your link.
  4. Under the Attachment heading, click Browse My Computer to attach a PDF version of your syllabus. This way, your students can have a standard copy along with the Narrated Syllabus.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. Find and click on your VoiceThread in the content area menu.
  7. DO NOT click the Launch icon that appears. Wait for the link to launch automatically.
  8. On the VoiceThread setup screen click Individual VoiceThread
showing locations for step one. UMB VoiceThread is under the Build Content menu. Name and Submit are on the Create UMB VoiceThread page.

Step 2: Upload Your Syllabus

  1. In the upper left corner of the screen, click on Create new VoiceThread. Note: If you have already created VoiceThreads, they will appear below the Create new VoiceThread button.
  2. Click Add Media.
  3. Click My Computer, and select a file to upload. Note: Be sure the file you are uploading is in PDF format.
  4. While your file is uploading, Name your VoiceThread and add an optional description.
  5. Click Save.



showing locations for step two. Both Title box and Save button are on the Thread Settings page.

Step 3: Add Extra Slides if Needed

The initial image or PowerPoint PDF uploaded creates your VoiceThread, but you may always add more slides by doing the following:

  1. Click the large + next to your slides.
  2. Click My Computer and select a new slide to add.


showing the locations for step three.

Step 4: Record Your Narration


  1. To begin the narration, click Comment.
  2. Click the Comment Bubble in the bottom center of the slide to open the Commenting Fan.
  3. Click either the Microphone Icon to leave an audio comment or the Video Icon to leave a video comment. Note: A security prompt may appear. Click Allow.
  4. During recording, you may use the Colored Pencil feature to annotate the slide while commenting. Click Fade to toggle whether the pencil “markings” stay or slowly fade from view.
  5. When you are done recording, click Stop Recording.
  6. The comment automatically begins playing back. If you are satisfied with your comment, click Save. If not, click Cancel to record a new comment.
  7. Click the Arrow in the lower right corner to advance to the next slide. Note: Start a new comment on each slide. Follow this process: Comment, Save, Advance to the next slide, repeat. Make sure to save before advancing to the next slide.
showing the locations for step four. With a slide open, the Comment Fan appears after clicking the comment icon, and the colored pencils appear during recording.

Step 5: Share Your Narrated Syllabus

  1. Click the X in the upper right corner to close your VoiceThread.
  2. To share your VoiceThread with your Blackboard course, click Share with class.
  3. To finalize the sharing, click Share with Class again.
  4. To return to your Blackboard course, click Return to course.

Students may now comment or ask questions about the syllabus. For instructions on student participation, see the Student Comment Guide.

showing the locations for step five.

Get Help

Questions? Contact us at or visit the VoiceThread Official Help Site