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January 12, 2016

Using VoiceThread to Improve Online Discussions

Learn how Associate Professor Christine Coughlin integrated VoiceThread into her course to enhance her students’ online discussions.

By Christine Coughlin, EdD, RN
Associate Professor
College of Nursing and Public Health

voicethread_logoSince my arrival at Adelphi, I have been teaching blended courses.  From the start, it has been a struggle to have rich dialogue with the students.  The discussions never seemed as lively as live discussions could be and it was difficult to assess the students’ learning from these discussions.  

In June, I participated in an online course given by the Faculty Center for Professional Excellence to learn about online teaching.  One of the most important tools I discovered in this course was VoiceThread.  

This semester, I incorporated VoiceThread into my course curriculum to capture my weekly discussions.  Each week I would begin the dialogue with a question based on the week’s assignment that required a response from the students.  The students would apply the week’s topic to their own life experiences. For example, when I was introducing qualitative research methodologies, I asked the students to share a potential research question based on their work experience.  Their responses indicated they could apply their learning to real life.

VoiceThread brings the process to life. Real time discussions would not be possible due to the student’s schedules but having the asynchronous video discussion has proven to be invaluable.  And for an added bonus, I can now put a face to each name.  The entire process has been very rewarding for me, as a teacher.

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