VoiceThread fills the social presence gap found in online learning interactions

VoiceThread offers a natural online interaction that lends itself to students presenting & defending their work before experts and peers.

— Educause Learning Initiative

One of the things I felt was missing from our curriculum was the real seminar like we had back in college where you read some heavy material and then sit around the table and dig into it together as a class. ... Because the seminar-style course [I was] desigining would be delivered completely online with no face-to-face component, [I] needed a way to recreate the seminar table virtually...

— Adena Schutzberg, Penn State University

Over 40 of the top 100 universities already have a VoiceThread enterprise license.

— As ranked by US News and World Report

Those in multi-sensory environments always do better than those in unisensory environments. They have more recall with better resolution that lasts longer, evident even 20 years later.

— John Medina, author Brain Rules

RESEARCH

Over the last decade a great deal of research has been conducted on the impact of multi-sensory interaction on learning in general, and VoiceThread in particular. Below are abstracts and links to some of this research, and a more complete listing can be found here.

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Abstract

In today’s digital world, Extension professionals are using a wide variety of tools to gather feedback and data from program participants and stakeholders (Rowntree, Wittman, Lindquist, & Raven, 2013). Through online asynchronous discussion boards, chat rooms, and even online live synchronous discussions, the Internet has changed the manner of qualitative data collection forever (Stancanelli, 2010). VoiceThread (http://voicethread.com) is a multimedia platform used by primary and secondary school educators around the world as a storytelling and collaborative tool that also offers promise as a tool for qualitative program evaluation. The unique features of VoiceThread provide a rich backdrop for conducting virtual focus group interviews.

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This paper discusses how synchronizing Web 2.0 technologies, particularly by using VoiceThread, is able to help English speaking teachers to improve their formative feedback in the teaching of speaking skills. This study shows that the use of VoiceThread able to become one of the solutions to help teachers who want to provide specific, clear and accurate feedback on oral performance activities. This study is an action research, which involves six EFL learners at one of the universities in Indonesia. Before VoiceThread can contribute to improving teachers’ formative feedback, this study found that teachers need to do the following five matters, they are: (1) Making learners profile; (2) Making lesson plan; (3) Understanding formative feedback; (4) Determining assessment rubric, and (5) Implementing VoiceThread. Implementing VoiceThread is not only designed to help teachers improve their formative feedback, but also make their students able to notice and learn their teacher’s formative feedback afterward. To achieve these objectives, the result of this action research study indicates that giving formative feedback by using VoiceThread is worthwhile since it is a mechanism that combines the asynchronous learning and face-to-face. Thus, this can be considered as an action research on blended learning.

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The current study investigated the effects of the use of VoiceThread (VT) on the listening comprehension and attitudes of college students of Arabic as a foreign language. Thirty-five students in two 10-week classes of beginning Arabic participated in this study. The instruction in both classes was the same except that, for one group, the instruction was supplemented by the use of VT to enhance listening and speaking skills during the 10 weeks. Upon completion of the class, students using VT showed superior listening skills. Moreover, an Attitude and Engagement survey showed that the students enjoyed using VT and viewed it as a valuable tool that enhanced their language learning.

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A sense of belonging to a learning community has been identified as one of the factors contributing to greater student satisfaction and persistence in online education pro-grams. Using the community of inquiry framework as a theoretical guide, the purpose of this study was to explore the role of VoiceThread, a web-based platform that facilitates cloud communication, in creating a sense of community for U.S. adult learners in the online environment. This study surveyed 39 students in a College of Education fully online master’s program and in a blended doctoral program regarding their experiences using VoiceThread in their courses. Results indicate that students perceive VoiceThread positively in the creation of online community. Students reported feeling more connected their classmates due to the tool’s ability to add voice to online activities. Students also felt more connected to their instructor due to VoiceThread’s ability to humanize, or make the instructor seem real.

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This article describes a VoiceThread /FTC project carried out with advanced ESL students at the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute in the National Capital Region. This project is the culminating activity of a series of tasks created with the “backward design” approach in mind. Backward design is a method of designing educational curriculum by setting goals before choosing instructional methods and forms of assessment (Wiggins & McTighe). In this unit, the overarching goal is an oral presentation on Art, which will be recorded by the students using VoiceThread.

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This case study presents how VoiceThread, an online application used to create multimedia presentations and conversations, was used to enable first year students to give and receive feedback. In the process, the presentation skills of the student are enhanced.

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The movement to advance the clinical nurse leader (CNL) as an innovative new role for meeting higher health care quality standards continues with CNL programs offered on-line at colleges and universities nationwide. Collaborative learning activities offer the opportunity for CNL students to gain experience in working together in small groups to negotiate and solve care process problems. The challenge for nurse educators is to provide collaborative learning activities in an asynchronous learning environment that can be considered isolating by default. This article reports on the experiences of 17 CNL students who used VoiceThread, a cloud-based tool that allowed them to communicate asynchronously with one another through voice comments for collaboration and sharing knowledge. Participants identified benefits and drawbacks to using VoiceThread for collaboration as compared to text-based discussion boards. Students reported that the ability to hear the voice of their peers and the instructor helped them feel like they were in a classroom communicating with “real” instructor and peers. Students indicated a preference for on-line classes that used VoiceThread discussions to on-line classes that used only text-based discussion boards.

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