This is week 2 in the UDL Tip of the Week Series from Instructional Technology Services in IITS. UDL Tip is a weekly series highlighting instructional technologies that align with the UDL guidelines, with a focus on easy-to-implement tools.
This series promotes Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is a framework that is useful in designing curricula that meet the needs of all learners. The UDL framework takes a one-size-does-not-fit-all approach to the curricula and it includes flexibility & alternatives and reduces barriers for all students to become expert learners. You can read about UDL Principles and UDL Guidelines by CAST, an organization that works to expand learning opportunities to all individuals using UDL.
There are a lot of ways to implement UDL without any technology. We hope that other departments will join and share the UDL tips from the area of the expertise.
Week 2: UDL Tip of the week from Instructional Technology Services: VoiceThread
- Do you often require your students to make in-class presentations? Do you think some students might appreciate an online alternative?
- Do you usually use text-only discussion in your class? Do you think some students might appreciate the ability to use multisensory modalities?
- Do you want to give your students opportunities to share constructive feedback on their classmates’ projects asynchronously?
If your answer to any of these question is yes, you might want to consider integrating VoiceThread into your classes.
What is VoiceThread?
- It is a multimodal and multisensory program.
- It is a cloud-based program. All you need is a computer or mobile device and internet connection.
- You can upload, share and discuss documents, presentations, images, audio files and videos.
- You can add comments on VoiceThread slides using one of five commenting options: microphone, webcam, text, phone, and audio-file upload.
- It can be used for asynchronous discussions.
- You can share your VoiceThread project with other people and invite them to add comments to it using the comment tools.
- It’s tied to our Moodle. So you do not need to create an account for it.
- You have an option to use the VoiceThread Universal version, which is screen reader enabled.
- You can upload captions to audio and video comments.
- You can download any finished project as a stand-alone movie file.