Welcome Activities with VoiceThread

Most of you already use welcome activities in the first week of your course, normally in the form of a discussion forum or a blog where students type a paragraph introducing themselves.

With VoiceThread, you and your students see and hear each other, and this creates an experience closer to meeting in person, which helps your course start off on a more personal note.

View Ellen’s video for an overview, and see below for step-by-step instructions for creating a welcome activity in VoiceThread.

Create a Welcome Activity

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

To create and share your welcome activity in VoiceThread, you’ll need to complete the following:

  1. Create a VoiceThread link
  2. Upload a Welcome slide in .pdf format
  3. Add voice or video comment to your Welcome slide
  4. Share with class

Step 1: Create and Configure a VoiceThread Link

Decide on a content area where you would like your Welcome Activity to appear. For example: Start Here (Syllabus) or Weekly Sessions. Then:

  1. Hover over Build Content.
  2. Click UMB VoiceThread.
  3. On the Create UMB VoiceThread screen, name your link.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Find and click on your VoiceThread in the content area menu.
  6. DO NOT click the Launch Icon that appears. Wait for the link to launch automatically.
  7. 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 a Welcome Slide

  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 PDF file to upload.
  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 a Comment to Your Welcome Slide

This is where you introduce yourself, explain the Welcome Activity and prompt your students to participate by introducing themselves.

  1. To record your Welcome Comment, first 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. When you are done recording, click Stop Recording.
  5. The comment automatically begins playing back. If you are satisfied with your comment, click Save. If not, click Cancel to record a new comment.
showing the locations for step three. With a slide open, the Comment Fan appears after clicking the comment icon.

Step 4: Share Your Welcome Activity

Now, share your Welcome Activity with the class.

  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.

Once you have introduced yourself and shared your Welcome Activity, your students may begin introducing themselves. For instructions on student participation, see the Student Comment Guide.

showing the locations for step four.

Get Help

Questions? Contact us at elearning@umb.edu or visit the VoiceThread Official Help Site.