There are two simple steps to using VoiceThread in your PowerSchool courses:
- Adding VoiceThread to your course
- Setting up your VoiceThread link
- Waiting for students to submit work (if you’ve created a graded assignment)
- Grading student work (if you’ve created a graded assignment)
See VoiceThread integration in action!
1. Adding VoiceThread to your course
VoiceThread is integrated into your PowerSchool environment by your administrator, so you can simply follow the steps below to pull it into your course.
- Navigate to your course.
- Click “+Add Content Block”.
- Click the “Content and Assess” tab.
- Click “Activity”.
- Click on “VoiceThread”.
- Give the activity a title and description.
- Click “Save”.
- Click “Publish”.
- Customize the settings for your activity. If you choose to have the VoiceThread activity embedded in the page, make sure the frame height is large enough. We recommend a minimum of 600 pixels.
- Click “Finish”.
After you have added VoiceThread to your course, you’ll need to decide what you want students to see when they click on that link. Start by clicking on the link you’ve just created. This will show you the VoiceThread Setup page, where you can select the option that best fits your needs. These options are detailed below.
Display the collection of VoiceThreads that have been shared with your course. Anything that has not yet been explicitly shared with your course will not appear here.
This is a good option when you want students to find and comment on each other’s work or if you want to allow students to review all course materials prior to an exam.
Display any VoiceThread that you have created. When students click on the link, they’ll see just this one VoiceThread.
This option is the best way to create a VoiceThread discussion board or lecture. Students will not need to look through a collection of VoiceThreads to find the correct one; they will be taken straight to it.
Display all of a student’s VoiceThread content in a single view. This includes all VoiceThreads and all courses that belong to them.
This option is useful if you want to create a simple portal into VoiceThread without directing students to any specific content.
Create a graded assignment for students to complete. You can require them to create a VoiceThread of their own to submit, to comment on a VoiceThread you’ve created, or simply to watch a VoiceThread start to finish.
After you’ve selected the type of assignment you’d like to create, you’ll be walked through the steps to complete the setup process. You can include a description for your assignment, select a VoiceThread you’ve created for the Comment or Watch Assignment, decide whether students are allowed to resubmit their assignments or if the first submission is final, and even require a specific number of comments for the Comment Assignment.
3. Student Assignment Submission
When students click on the link for a graded assignment, they will see the assignment you’ve created. They can immediately create or select a VoiceThread to submit for the Create Assignment, record comments on your VoiceThread for the Comment Assignment, or watch the VoiceThread for the Watch Assignment. As soon as they click on the “Submit Assignment” button, you will be able to grade their work.
Click here for the assignment submission guide for students.
4. Grading student work
When you’re ready to grade a VoiceThread assignment, simply return to your course and click on the VoiceThread link again. This will display the grader.
Click on a student’s name on the right to see that student’s submission. You can click on each comment below his or her name individually to jump directly to it. Enter a grade on a percentage scale (0-100), and hit “Enter” on your keyboard. This grade will immediately be entered into your PowerSchool course gradebook.
* Note: If you have set the assignment to be worth less than 100 points, still grade it on a scale of 0-100, and the score will be adjusted accordingly in your gradebook.
If you have students who have not yet submitted their assignments, click on the “Remind” button to send them an email reminder. Click “Remind all students” to send an email to everyone who has not yet submitted.
Re-using your own assignments
If you have used VoiceThread in the past and want to re-use the same content for another section or semester, you can simply copy those existing VoiceThreads so that you don’t have to re-create anything! This tutorial walks you through the process.
Creating and using template VoiceThreads shared between instructors
Handing off a course from one instructor or instructional designer to another is quick and easy! This tutorial walks you through creating templates for other people and using templates that someone else has created.
Error message: “The authentication failed; the signature on your request did not match the expected value”, “Could not find Org for this launch”, or “Unsupported Signature Method”
Have your PowerSchool administrator check to make sure the Shared Secret and Consumer Key are entered correctly, and that the clock on yourPowerSchool server is accurate.
Can’t see student submission for grading
The student likely did not click the “Submit Assignment” button after completing his work. The student can simply go back into the assignment and click “Submit Assignment” at a later time. He will not need to re-do his work.
You’re not automatically signed in to VoiceThread when you click on a VT link
Make sure your web browser accepts third-party cookies.
When you click on a VT link, you see a page titled “VoiceThread Account Verification”.
This means you already had a VoiceThread account under your email address, and the system is now trying to connect that existing account with yourPowerSchool profile. You’ll only need to complete this step once. To proceed through this page:
- Click on the link that says “Set it here” to set a verification password for your account.
- Proceed through the steps to set a password. This will involve receiving an email from VoiceThread.
- Use that password you just set on the verification page.