UH Hilo Distance Learning

VoiceThread - Laulima Student Engagement Tool

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About VoiceThread

Access this helpful infographic for an overview of the new features and enhancements.

VoiceThread is a learning tool for enhancing student engagement and online presence. With VoiceThread, instructors and/or students can create, share, and comment on images, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, videos, audio files, documents, and PDFs, using a microphone, webcam, text, phone, and audio-file upload. VoiceThread is a cloud application, so there is no software to install. The only system requirement is an up-to-date version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Safari, Edge, and Explorer are not recommended.

VoiceThead is located under the Laulima's external tools options in the lessons menu. If you do not have this option and would like to utilize VoiceThread, contact Cindy Yamaguchi at cynthiae@hawaii.edu.

Desktop and Mobile Applications

Desktop Web Application - Instructions

Mobile Application Instructions

Tutorials and Training

Overview and Basics

Using VoiceThread in Laulima (our branding of the Sakai LMS)

Laulima will automatically enroll all your students into your VoiceThread course, eliminating the need to manually enter your students into two separate systems. Additionally, by utilizing VoiceThread’s quiz option, grades are directly entered into Laulima’s gradebook.

To use VoiceThread, you will need to use Laulima’s Lessons tool. Then, depending upon your course’s organization, you’ll need to select one of the following ways to integrate your VoiceThreads:

  1. Adding a Lesson button in Laulima’s tool menu with links to all of your VoiceThreads.

  2. Adding a link to individual VoiceThreads within weekly lesson pages. .

Note: If using VoiceThread’s Assignment tool, be sure to Set Up Laulima’s Gradebook to correctly accept the grades.


Instructor Guides

Student Guides

Access this helpful infographic for an overview of the new features and enhancements.


VoiceThread offers a variety of professional development opportunities to help you learn how to use VoiceThread. Visit VoiceThread’s workshop website for their schedule of offerings and to register.

Real Course Examples

The following link will take you to a webpage where you can view categorized examples created by other VoiceThread users:

VoiceThread Higher Education

Best Practices for Student Success

  • Given that VoiceThread may be a new tool to them, provide a description for your students explaining what VoiceThread is and how you will be using it in your course. Below is some generic text you are welcome to adapt:

    “VoiceThread is an online tool that allows us to converse with video, text, and/or voice in response to images, documents, and videos. In this course, we will use VoiceThread to [explain purpose]. You do not need to create personal VoiceThread accounts. When you click on the links in our Laulima course, you will be automatically logged in to a class VoiceThread. Please familiarize yourself with the tool prior to [add date]. You can access tutorials and support materials here: VoiceThread Support for Students . As always, please ask if you have questions.”

  • Next, provide your students with a link to this helpful infographic for an overview of the new features and enhancements.

  • Finally, start with a fun low-stakes activity early in the semester to introduce VoiceThread to your students. Here are some ready-made tutorials:

  • How to Comment on a VoiceThread

  • Creating a VoiceThread
  • Making an Annotation (aka Doodling) on a VoiceThread


Accessibility has been built into the new VoiceThread and will work with screen readers, and screen reader users will be working with the same experience as everyone else. For a breakdown of the new enhancements, view VoiceThreadʻs blog.

However, the older VoiceThread Universal will continue to be available for some time as change is best managed in a self-paced manner.

Accessibility Features (Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act)- Features

  • VoiceThread Universal (Screen Reader-Friendly Version of Your Site)

  • Automatic Caption Service (Closed Caption)

    • Every audio or video recording you create in VoiceThread will be captioned automatically. You don’t need to do anything at all to initiate the process. The moment you save your recording, the captioning process will begin. Captions should appear in 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the length of your recording.
  • Universal Design for Learning Tools for vision, hearing, ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia.

Download a copy of VoiceThread's Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) .

Updated 04/10/2024