Voicethread Commenting Features
Collaboration, instructional technology, TLT, Web 2.0

New VoiceThread Commenting Features

If you haven’t explored VoiceThread since last semester, you will be pleased to learn about the tool’s three new commenting features.  Direct replies and threaded conversations make interaction more interactive and dynamic, while private replies allow participants to engage one another more discreetly.

Direct Replies

Owners and editors of VoiceThreads are able to insert comments directly after someone else’s comment on a slide.  For example, students can reply directly to the feedback left by their classmates or questions asked by their instructor.  To do this, click on the direct reply icon inside a person’s comment window (it looks like an arrow).  Your reply will display directly beneath the original comment, but bumped in slightly.
Voicethread Direct Reply

Threaded Discussions

The threaded discussions feature makes VoiceThread more similar to an online discussion board, with comments branching off an original comment.  This helps to keep robust back-and-forth conversations more organized.

Voicethread Threaded Comment










To use this feature, you must enable it in Playback Settings.

Voicethread Playback Settings

Voicethread Enable Threaded Commenting

Threaded comments are represented by a round identity image (as opposed to the usual square shape).  To start a new threaded conversation, click on the threaded comment button inside a person’s comment window.

Voicethread Create a New Thread

Threaded discussions would be particularly useful if you’d like to encourage multiple students to engage one another about a VoiceThread’s content.  In contrast, a direct reply is a dialog between two people (though the interaction can be seen by anyone who has access to the VoiceThread).  This would be best for asking a single question or offering praise.

Private Replies

The private reply feature allows you to start a private, two-way conversation with someone who has commented on a VoiceThread.  Private comments are represented by a round identity image with a padlock icon.  To start a new private conversation or add to an existing one, click on the private reply button inside a person’s comment window.

Voicethread Private Reply

The private reply option could be especially useful if an instructor would like to include an assessment in a VoiceThread.  For example, an instructor could leave a comment asking the students to reply to a question.  To prevent the students from seeing one another’s responses, the instructor could request students use the private reply option.  That would permit only the instructor to see the students’ comments and would allow him/her to respond directly to each student.

Let us know what you think about these new commenting features.  We’d love to hear your ideas!

Dear TLT, Video, Web 2.0

Dear TLT: Are There Any Note-Taking Apps That Sync With Videos?

Dear TLT,

I am currently in the process of designing my first online course. Do any apps exist that would allow my students to take notes that automatically sync with my lecture videos?


Professor R. Hinkley


Dear Professor Hinkley,

Congrats on designing your first online course! If we understand you correctly, you are looking for a note-taking app that links a note to a specific point on a video’s timeline. So when the note is clicked, the video automatically jumps to the relevant part. There is indeed an online app, called VideoNot.es, that does just that!

VideoNot.es is not only perfect for taking notes on lecture videos, it can also be used to create transcripts for students needing accommodations. Because VideoNot.es is integrated with Google Drive, students can easily create and share notes. Notes can even be exported to Evernote.

For more information, visit the VideoNot.es knowledge base at: https://videonotes.uservoice.com/knowledgebase.



Please contact your instructional technologist, if you have additional questions or concerns, and check out our upcoming training sessions at http://tlt.eventbrite.com.

Best regards,



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Professor Hinkley is from what television show? The first faculty member to email tlt@cofc.edu, with the correct answer, will receive a TLT stylus!

Faculty Showcase, Google Apps, iPad, Pedagogy, Research, Round Table Discussion, Web 2.0

Winter Roundtable Discussion

Please join your colleagues in the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance’s Alumni Center (88 Wentworth) on Tuesday, December 3, at 12:00 PM, for short presentations on technology tools for assessment, research and student learning.  Faculty presenters, Andrea DeMaria, Merissa Ferrara, Michael Hemphill, Mark Hurd, and Jessica Smith, will share their experiences and answer your questions.  As always this event is sponsored by Academic Affairs and Teaching, Learning and Technology (TLT).  Hope to see you there!