Collaborative Discussions

VoiceThread and Canvas Assignments

There are two primary ways to create linked VoiceThread assignments in Canvas. The first option uses Individual View, which takes students directly to a specific VoiceThread to view and comment. The second option uses the Assignment Builder, which lets you choose whether students will create their own VoiceThread, comment on one, or simply watch one.

Please note: If you want students to watch or comment on existing VoiceThreads, create and comment on that VoiceThread first, then make the Canvas assignment to which it will be attached to avoid a potential glitch.  See steps for creating and commenting on a VoiceThread.  

Getting Started 

To create a VoiceThread assignment, go to the Assignments tab on your Canvas page, and create a new assignment. 

Add assignment in CanvasSet your assignment up as you normally would. Click on the drop-down menu under “Submissions Type” and select “External Tool.”

Submission type dropdown menu

Once you have selected “external tool,” leave the hyperlink field empty and click on the “Find” button.

External Tool Options menu

Scroll down to “VoiceThread,” and choose this option.

Configure External Tool menu with "VoiceThread" highlightedOnce you have selected your external tool, VoiceThread will prompt you to create the corresponding assignment within their platform. First, you must choose between Individual View or Assignment Builder. 

Voicethread setup menu with "Individual VT" and "Assignment Builder" options highlightedOnce you have created your corresponding assignment in VoiceThread, you simply need to complete the rest of the assignment set-up, such as the due date and availability windows, and then click “Save.” 

Individual View 

If you want all of your students to interact with a particular VoiceThread, you can setup an “Individual View” assignment.

After selecting “individual view” you will need to either select an already existing VoiceThread (1) or create a new one (2).   

Select or create a new Voicethread in the "Link Resource from External Tool" menu

If you have opted to create a new VoiceThread, the application will ask you to add media. You can either drag and drop files or click the + icon to create something new within the VoiceThread app. 

"Add Media" screen in "Create a New VoiceThread" menuAfter you have made your selection, follow the prompts to complete the process and fill in any further assignment details. You will not be able to grade the Assignment directly in VoiceThread, but after viewing the submissions, you can enter grades in the Canvas Gradebook. 

Assignment Builder 

Assignment Builder allows students to submit work directly to you without sharing it with the rest of the class. You can grade your students’ work directly in VoiceThread, and those grades will automatically populate in your Canvas Gradebook. 

After selecting “Assignment Builder,” you will see the three types of available assignments for students to complete: Create a VoiceThread, Comment on a VoiceThread, Watch a VoiceThread.  

  • In each case, you can establish the requirements for commenting in the settings.  
  • “Watch a VoiceThread” assignments won’t be marked complete until students have played any media all the way through and made the required comments. 
  • If you are setting up an assignment for students to Comment on or Watch a VoiceThread, it is best to create and comment on that VoiceThread first, then create the Canvas assignment to which it will be attached.  See steps for creating and commenting on a VoiceThread

Select the option you prefer, and the prompts on the screen will guide you through the process of setting it up.  

Grading “Assignment Builder” VoiceThreads 

Once you save the assignment, it will either load right in Canvas underneath the assignment directions or open in a new tab, depending on how you configured the assignment settings. Once the assignment is published, VoiceThread will list your students on the right-hand side of the VoiceThread box. VoiceThread will separate students into two groups: “ungraded” (1) and “graded” (2). When you click on a student name under “ungraded,” their VoiceThread will appear to the left. Refresh the page to see incoming submissions and open the VoiceThread assignment in a new tab to view the submission in a larger window. 

Voicethread grading interface in Canvas. "Assignment Overview" appears on the left, including assignment instructions, type, comment requiretments, and grade type. On the righthand side, student submissions are divided into an "ungraded" tab and a "graded" tab.See VoiceThread documentation on