Using VoiceThread to Record Narration Over Slides

This guide summarizes a solution for instructors who need a tool to allow them to record narration over a PowerPoint presentation. This approach is ideal if you were planning to present slides in your face-to-face course. 

To use VoiceThread, you need access to Blackboard, and a microphone of some kind (e.g. integrated into your computer or a headset) or a telephone. If you want to capture webcam video as part of your recording, you will of course need a webcam.

Here are the steps to create a recording with VoiceThread

These instructions are slightly different for Bb Original courses and Bb Ultra courses.

Blackboard Original Courses

  1. Login to Blackboard and access a specific course
  2. Click on a content area in your course menu, such as Content
  3. Create a link to VoiceThread:
    1. From the Build Menu, choose Build Content, then VoiceThread
    2. Provide a Title and Description (as needed) and click Submit
    3. You should now see the VoiceThread link
  4. Create the VoiceThread presentation:
    1. Click the link you just created
    2. Choose Individual VT from the configuration menu
    3. Click the grey Create new VoiceThread on the top left of the screen
    4. From your computer, drag your PowerPoint presentation to the Add Media area (or click the plus sign, then My Computer to browse for your presentation)
    5. Enter a Title and Description for your VoiceThread video
    6. Wait while the presentation processes, this could take between 1 and 5 minutes depending on the size of the presentation
    7. Once the presentation is processed you will see that each slide is displayed separately.  Click the Comment button at the top of the window to open the presentation.
    8. For any slide that you want to add audio, click the comment bubble at the center of the timeline and choose the microphone icon to begin recording (or use the telephone icon to record via your telephone if you do not have a microphone)  
    9. When you finish your audio for that slide, you can either click the next slide arrow and keep recording or click the Stop Recording link 
    10. Once you are finished recording audio, click Stop Recording, then Save
    11. Click the grey X at the top right to return to the share window 
    12. Click the blue Share with class button then the next Share with class button.

The video will begin processing, and captions will be added automatically when they are ready.

You can click the Return to Course link and close the tab to return to your course
Depending on the length of the video, you can return to the course and click the link to preview the video. This is the same view students will experience.

Blackboard Ultra Courses

  1. Login to Blackboard and access a specific course
  2. Create a link to VoiceThread:
    1. Click the plus icon to add content and choose Content Market
    2. Click the plus icon in the lower right corner of the VoiceThread tile
    3. Provide a Title and Description (as needed) and click Submit
    4. You should now see the VoiceThread link
  3. Create the VoiceThread presentation:
    1. Click the link you just created
    2. Choose Individual VT from the configuration menu
    3. Click the grey Create new VoiceThread on the top left of the screen
    4. From your computer, drag your PowerPoint presentation to the Add Media area (or click the plus sign, then My Computer to browse for your presentation)
    5. Enter a Title and Description for your VoiceThread video
    6. Wait while the presentation processes, this could take between 1 and 5 minutes depending on the size of the presentation
    7. Once the presentation is processed you will see that each slide is displayed separately.  Click the Comment button at the top of the window to open the presentation.
    8. For any slide that you want to add audio, click the comment bubble at the center of the timeline and choose the microphone icon to begin recording (or use the telephone icon to record via your telephone if you do not have a microphone)  
    9. When you finish your audio for that slide, you can either click the next slide arrow and keep recording or click the Stop Recording link 
    10. Once you are finished recording audio, click Stop Recording, then Save
    11. Click the grey X at the top right to return to the share window 
    12. Click the blue Share with class button then the next Share with class button.

The video will begin processing, and captions will be added automatically when they are ready.

You can click the Return to Course link and close the tab to return to your course

Depending on the length of the video, you can return to the course and click the link to preview the video. This is the same view students will experience.

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