This is a guest post by VoiceThread Certified Educator Donna Hanks.
VoiceThread has completely changed the teaching and learning dynamic of my online courses! Classes are more engaging, student participation is rich with information and providing feedback is simple yet meaningful!
I initially started using VoiceThread as a replacement to the traditional discussion board in my online Supervisory Management course. Rather than have students type out their thoughts to a question, self-assessment or case study, I have students use VoiceThread. VoiceThread allows students to easily prepare a video post detailing their analysis and ideas while making connections to concepts covered in the chapter. This has been a game changer in terms of student engagement, information richness and quality of peer to peer interactions. The quality of student posts far exceeds the quality of discussion board posts I was previously seeing.
In 2015 I started using VoiceThread in my online Project Management course. Not so much as a discussion board replacement but as a repository for project deliverables. Prior to VoiceThread students uploaded project deliverables to BlackBoard, I would correct them, write or type feedback using a rubric and return deliverables to the student. VoiceThread has changed all that! Students now upload their project deliverables to VoiceThread, prepare a video post to explain their deliverables, analyze how the information applies to the chapter concepts and sell me as to why they believe their work is an effective approach for the given project.
I then prepare a video post back to the students with my feedback and suggestions while using the pen functionality in VoiceThread to write corrections or suggestions right on the deliverables. All of this interaction is captured in one location! And did I mention? This is a group project so multiple students are working on the same project deliverables at the same time. VoiceThread provides a 360 degree approach to student learning!
Feedback I often hear from students is they feel like they are actually part of a class and not floating by themselves in an online world. They get to see their classmates each week and seemingly talk to them throughout the semester. Students are motivated by the opportunity to collaborate in VoiceThread so they look forward to completing their own work and interacting and learning from their peers. When was the last time a student told you they were excited to participate in a discussion board?
VoiceThread fosters a learning environment that is robust, interactive, relevant, and may I say…fun! So much so that I plan on using it to flip a classroom this spring for a course I teach on campus! I can’t wait!
So, if you are looking for a platform to jazz up your class, improve engagement and enhance student learning, my question would be…Why not VoiceThread??
About the Author:
Donna Hanks is a Business & Technology Instructor/Team Leader for Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City, South Dakota and VoiceThread Certified Educator. She can be reached at donna.hanks [at] wdt.edu.