ENHANCING ONLINEDISCUSSIONS WITH VOICETHREAD Jozenia Colorado, Ph.D. Tuesday, April 3, 2012
What is VoiceThread? http://www.voicethread.com An online tool used to have conversations or discussions around media. Instructors can upload content in the form of graphics, videos, presentations, and articles in the form of PDF files. Interact with the media, students can discuss the content by text, audio with a microphone, or using a webcam.
Why Use VoiceThread? Provides multimodal method of discussion Provides a collaborative environment Featured in the 2009 K-12 Edition of the Horizon Report as a “Collaborative Environment.” “collaborative environments provide the means for students to work with peers both local and distant, practice creative teamwork, and develop peer relationships” (Johnson, Levine, Smith, & Smythe, 2009). May enhance Social Community in the Classroom
Social Community in the Classroom Students with a stronger sense of community should feel less isolated and have a greater satisfaction with their academic programs (Rovai, 2002) Increasing collaborative engagement tends to reduce the feeling of “isolation” that is usually experienced by distance learners (Palloff, & Pratt, 2005). 80% of students strongly agreed or agreed that VoiceThread contributed to establishing a sense of community in the class (Pacansky- Brock, 2010).
Purpose Evaluate the use of VoiceThread as an online discussion tool Focused on Learner Reaction to the use of VoiceThread in terms of Student satisfaction, Features, Effect of VoiceThread on social community, and How VoiceThread was used in the course.
Method Mixed Methods Once Course, Two Different Semesters Made Changes on How Used After First Semester Instrument Survey Comments
First Semester Combined with Blackboard Discussion Board One embedded voice thread Seven Linked VoiceThreads Text-based discussions Media Discussed: PDF, Video Instrument: Survey and Comments
Second Semester Linked to VoiceThread Text-based Discussions were in the Blackboard Discussion Tool Only Used to Discuss Videos Instrument: Survey and Comments
Level of Satisfaction 54.5 43.5 32.5 First Semester 2 Second Semester1.5 10.5 0 As a Discussion Tool Ease of Use Features in general
Use PreferencesIf given the choice, how would you like VoiceThread used in your online classes? As the ONLY discussion tool Use in combination with the current, built-in written discussion board tool when appropriate I would not use VoiceThread at all
Builds Social CommunityDo you think using VoiceThread helps build Social Community among your classmates? Yes Neutra l
Builds Social Community Better than BB Discussion Board Do you think using VoiceThread helps build Social Community among your classmates more than the current, built-in discussion board? Yes Neutra l
Voice Thread Features What features did you like about VoiceThread?90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%0% Picture with Doodling Feature Microphone Web Cam Feature Comment Feature
Ways to Improve What features should be added or improved?100%90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10% 0% None, I like it just the Ability is! Reply to Specific Blackboard Integration way it to User
Student Comments The print was small and I was less prone to read others responses. Not mobile friendly. Need ability to post pictures/charts/photos/graphics Main problem is the ability to reply to a specific user. Other than that VoiceThread seems to be great.
Student Comments:Replying Text vs. Audio or Video Students are more likely to reply in text due to: Self- consciousness to posting in audio or video Takes more time and preparation to reply in audio or video Do not have a webcam
Instructor Comments Enjoy seeing picture with comment To embed or link? Permission links broken or reset: Open Voice Thread in New Window Doodling did not work for one student Difficult to manage or track student participation Cannot reply to one person
Instructor Comments Preparation time Teaching Students how to use VoiceThread Encourage student use of video or audio Use more with media than with basic discussion items such as articles and reactions to readings