http://lclc.uic.edu  lclc@uic.edu

Using Voice Tools in
Blackboard 9

Whenever making audio recordings for class purposes, always test the application to be sure it is functioning as you expect! Record 5 seconds, stop, and play it back BEFORE making your actual recording.

Contents

  1. Voice Tools for Language Instructors
  1. Practical Uses
  2. Accessing Voice Tools
  3. The Recording / Playback Interface
  4. To Create a Content Area Button for Voice Tools
  5. To Add a Voice Tool to a Content Area
  6. To Edit an Existing Voice Tool
  1. Voice E-mail
  1. To Create a Voice Email
  1. Voice Board
  1. To Create a Voice Board
  2. To Add Threads to an Existing Voice Board
  3. To Play and Respond to Existing Threads
  1. Voice Announcements
  1. To Add a Voice Announcement
  2. To Edit a Voice Announcement
  1. Voice Authoring
  1. To Add Voice Authoring
  1. Voice Presentation
  1. To Add a Voice Presentation
  2. To Add a New Voice Presentation Slide
  3. To Comment on a Voice Presentation Slide

Voice Tools for Language Instructors

Practical Uses

Through Voice Announcements students can practice listening to the target language. Voice emails are useful for listening practice or oral homework submission. Students can use Voice Board to discuss a specific topic or instructors can use these as a medium for oral exams. The possibilities are limitless!  

Often, the LCLC explores more options for these voice tools than we are able to include in the handout.  If you have other ideas or want to learn how you can combine voice tools for an even more integrated approach in the classroom, please come by GH 301 for additional assistance.

For Information on how to utilize Voice Board and Voice Presentation for administering oral exams see Oral Testing Pedagogy document.

Note: we recommend the use of Mozilla’s Firefox browser.

Accessing Voice Tools

Voice Tools Fall into Two Categories:

The Recording / Playback Interface


Most
Voice Tools in Blackboard 9 will use the interface diagrammed below:

Rec button  used to begin recording

  1. Ticker (red dot): shows progress within the recording
  2. Running Clock: shows duration of recording at this point in time
  3. Maximum Recording Time: the longest the recording can potentially be. This time limit will vary depending on the tool in use
  4. Playback Volume: volume control
  5. Volume Reception/Production: the sound level of the message. Also, indicates that the microphone is working properly and that sound is being recorded

To Create a Content Area Button for Voice Tools

  1. Click on the Create Item icon (plus sign in the upper left

    hand corner)
  2. Click Create Content Area from the drop-down menu
  3. Title the new button

  1. Click Submit
  2. The new button will now appear in your Content Area menu
  3. Rename or Delete the link by clicking on the double carat drop-down menu that appears in the far right side of the new button

To Add a Voice Tool to a Content Area

  1. Make sure the Edit Mode switch is turned on. If it is turned off , click it once to turn it on

  1. Click on the More drop-down menu

  2. Select which Voice Tools to to include in the Content Area button by choosing them from the drop-down menu

  3. Fill out the information necessary in the screens that follow

  4. Click Submit

To Edit an Existing Voice Tool

  1. Click on the double carat drop-down menu next to the Voice Tool that needs editing
  2. Click Edit on the drop-down menu
  3. The same screen will appear that was used to fill out information about the tool when it was created; make desired changes to the Voice Tool and
  4. Click Submit

Voice E-mail

Voice Email is useful for sending an email to all your students that includes text as well as a voice recorded component


To Create a Voice Email

  1. Click the Content Area where the Voice Email is to be added

  1. Click the More drop-down menu

  1. Select Add Voice Email 

  1. A new screen will appear; Title the voice Email

  1. Enter a short Description for the Voice Email; the description will be placed beneath the title on the voice recorder

  1. Set the desired Audio Quality - The default will work best for most settings

  1. Choose a maximum length for the Voice Email
  2. Select Include Reply Links for the recipients in the Voice Email message
  3. Create a subject for the email that students cannot modify by selecting Pre-fill subject field

  1. In section 3 (shown below), choose who receives the Voice Email: Students, Instructors, or All (Instructors AND Students)

  1. In section 4, select to make the content available immediately, Track the number of views the Voice Email receives, or to Restrict the dates and times when the Voice Email can be viewed
  2. Click Submit

  1. To create the actual Voice Email recording, click on Send Voice Email link under the Voice Email section created in steps 1-12

    Note: the link will read Send Voice Email to   all people enrolled, Send Voice Email to Instructors, etc. depending on the selection made in step 10

  1. Record the Voice Email:

  1. Click Send

Note: The recipient(s) will get an email with a link. The link goes to a website to hear the recording.

Voice Board

Voice Board is a threaded, voice based form of a discussion board. It can provide your students the opportunity to practice their oral speaking skills in a forum where they have control over the quality of the final product because they have the ability to record and rerecord their responses to one another until they are satisfied. Voice Board can also be added as a component of the students’ overall grade

For Information on how to utilize Voice Board for administering oral exams see Oral Testing Pedagogy document.

To Create a Voice Board

  1. Click on the Content Area where the Voice Board is to be added
  2. Click the More drop-down menu
    Click
    Add Voice Board on the drop-down menu
  3. A new screen will appear; Title the Voice Board (80 character maximum)

  1. Enter a short Description for the Voice Board; the description will be located beneath the title on the voice recorder

  1. Set the desired Audio Quality. Default works best for most settings
  2. Choose the maximum length allowable for each Voice Board post
  3. Selecting Short Message Titles will make the information about the voice board post more concise

  1. Check Display Messages in Chronological Order to see the oldest posts listed at the top of the Voice Board and the newest posts at the bottom

  1. Check Allow Students to Forward Messages to let the students forward material via Voice Board email

  1. Check Allow Students to Start a New Thread allows students to begin new discussion threads within the Voice Board; if unchecked, only the instructor will be able to begin new discussion threads

  1. To make students threads viewable only by the instructor and not by other students, check Make Discussion Threads Private. This will facilitate a one-to-one discussion between the instructor and individual students
  2. Check the Grade setting if the students are to be assessed on the Voice Board. Also, if checked, assign a point value
  3.  In section 3, select make the content available immediately, Track the number of views the Voice Email receives, or to Restrict the dates and times when the Voice Email can be viewed
  4. Click Submit
  5. Click OK to return to where the Voice Board was added

To Add Threads to an Existing Voice Board

  1. Go to the Content Area where the Voice Board was created (in the diagram, the pre-created Content Area is named “Voice Board”)
  2.  Click on Enter Voice Board under the Voice Board where the threads are to be added

  1. Click New

  1. Provide a Subject to the Voice Board Thread
  2. Click the Record button  to begin the voice thread. Also, unsatisfactory portions can be rerecorded using this button
  3. Press Pause to temporarily stop the recording
  4. Click Stop only when the voice thread is complete
  5. Press Play to review the recording

  1. Click Post once the thread is satisfactory

To Play and Respond to Existing Threads

  1. Click on the thread
  2. Click Play to listen to the thread
  3. To reply to the thread click the Reply button
  4. Record & Post response to the thread; the response will now appear beneath the original thread
  5. Threads can be Edited, Deleted, Forwarded, and Published using the Action Tool Bar located at the top of the Voice Board
  6.  Preexisting recordings can be Imported from a computer/flash drive, and recordings from Voice Board can be Exported to a computer/flash drive

Note:  There are four format options when exporting. We recommend “MP3 audio in archive (zip)” if you aim for podcasting. If you would like to use a certain audio clip for your courses in the future, we recommend “Wimba Voice Board” (.wvb) to make the clip reusable in Blackboard

Voice Announcements

Use Voice Announcements to post recorded messages for your students. Voice Announcements will only appear WITHIN the Announcements section of the Content Area Menu.

To Add a Voice Announcement

  1. Go to the Control Panel and click on the double carat symbol located to the left of Course Tools to expand the menu

  1. Click on Voice Announcement

  1. In the next screen (see below), provide a Subject for the Voice Announcement

  1. Include a short message to accompany the Voice Announcement
  2. In section two, record the Vocal Message portion of the announcement

Note: there is a twenty minute maximum time length on
 Voice Announcements

  1. Click Record  when ready to begin recording announcement. Also, unsatisfactory portions can be rerecorded using this button
  2. Click Pause to temporarily stop the recording
  3. Click Stop only when the voice thread is complete
  4. Click Play to review the recording

  1. Select Yes to Always Show this Announcement if the announcement should be available at anytime, or Select No to only make the announcement available until a desired date
  2. Select which dates the material is viewable beginning and ending in the Choose date and Time Restriction section; check the box to the left of Display After, and enter the beginning display date and time.  Next, check the box to the left of Display Until, and enter the ending display date and time
  3. Click Submit when the voice announcement is ready to be published

 

  1. The Voice Announcement will now appear in the Announcements Content Area

Note: to add Course Link to Voice Announcement, see To Edit a Voice Announcement section below

To Edit a Voice Announcement

  1. Click on Announcements in the Content Area menu
  2. Click on the double carat drop-down menu (located to the right of the Title for the Voice Announcement where editing is desired)
  1. Select Delete from the drop-down menu to permanently delete the Voice Announcement
  2. Select Edit from the drop-down menu to make specific changes to the announcement
  1. To add a course link, click on the Browse button in section three.

  1. In the mini-screen, select the desired course link area.
  2. Click Submit after the desired changes have been made to the Voice Announcement

Voice Authoring

Voice Authoring allows you to make a recorded message that can be played back at anytime

To Add Voice Authoring

  1. Click on the Content Area where the voice authoring is to be added (here it is title Voice Tools)

  1. Click on the More drop-down menu

  1. Select Add Voice Authoring on the drop-down menu.

  1. Title the voice recording
  2. Click Record  when ready to begin recording the message. Also, unsatisfactory portions can be re-recorded using this button. Note: there is a 20 minute maximum length on Voice Authoring
  3. Click Stop only when the voice thread is complete or Play to review the recording
  4. Select whether to make the content available to students
  5. Select whether to track the number of views the voice authoring receives; this may help to ensure that students are viewing the Voice Authoring at least once
  6. Select which dates the material is viewable beginning and ending in the Choose date and Time Restriction section; enter the Display After & Display Until  date and time, checking the corresponding boxes
  7. Click Submit when voice recording is completed, titled, and the appropriate options have been selected
  8. Click OK
  9. The Voice Authoring will now appear in the Content Area

Voice Presentation


Voice Authoring allows you to make a recorded message that can be played back at anytime


To Add a Voice Presentation

  1. Click on Content Area where the Voice Presentation is to be added
  2. Click on the More drop-down menu
  3. Select Add Voice Presentation on the drop-down menu

  1. Create a Title for the Voice Presentation
  2. Enter a short Description for the Voice Presentation

  1. Set the desired Audio Quality. The default will work best for most settings
  2. Choose a maximum message length for the Voice Presentation
  3. Check the box to Allow Students to Comment on Slides in the Voice Presentation
  4. Select whether to make the Slide Comments Private; it is useful to make the comments private if they are to be used for assessing the students’ speaking ability, or if the students are apprehensive about having their comments viewable for everyone in the class
  5. Select whether to make the content available to students
  6. Select whether to track the number of views the voice authoring receives; this may help to ensure that students are viewing the Voice Presentation at least once
  7. Select which dates the material is viewable beginning and ending in the Choose date and Time Restriction section; check the appropriate boxes to the left of Display After, and Display Until
  8. Click Submit

  1. The Voice Presentation will now appear in the Content Area

  1. To edit settings click on the double carat drop-down menu that appears next to the Title in the Content Area


To Add a New Voice Presentation Slide

  1. Go to the Content Area where the Voice Presentation was created (in the diagram above, the pre-created Content Area is named Voice Tools)
  2. In the next screen, click on the New button to post new voice presentation
  3. Provide a Subject for the Voice Presentation
  4. Add a URL or web address of a picture, video, or other website that will incorporate whatever is at that address in the large area to the right, while the text below and audio can be played on the left
  5. Enter any necessary text for the Voice Presentation beneath the recorder interface.
  6. Click Record  when ready to begin recording the message. Also, unsatisfactory portions can be rerecorded using this button.


Note: the maximum time length for Voice Presentations can be changed via the Content Area menu options (see step 15 in the previous section)

  1. Press Pause to temporarily stop the recording
  2. Click Stop only when the voice thread is complete
  3. Press Play to review the recording.
  4. Click Post  when the presentation is finalized
  5. Additionally, Voice Presentations can be Imported and Exported via the Options button

To Comment on a Voice Presentation Slide

  1. To Comment on an existing slide, highlight the slide where the Comment is to be added
  2. Press the Comment button
  3. Enter any necessary text for the Voice Presentation beneath the recorder interface
  4. Click Record  when ready to begin recording the comment.  Also, unsatisfactory portions can be rerecorded using this button
  5. Press Pause to temporarily stop the recording
  6. Click Stop only when the voice thread is complete
  7. Press Play to review the recording
  8. Click Post  when the Comment is finalized
  9. The Comment will now appear beneath the original Voice Presentation slide
  10. Individual Comments  and Voice Presentation slides can be Edited and Deleted via the toolbar at the top of the Voice Presentation interface

Troubleshooting

Test any application before you attempt a finished product. Be sure it is working as you expect and make a 5 second sample recording. Play it back and make adjustments before creating the real materials!

  1. Ticker (red dot): shows progress within the recording
  2. Running Clock: shows duration of recording at this point in time
  3. Maximum Recording Time: the most amount of time the recording can potentially be. This time limit will vary depending on the tool in use
  4. Playback Volume: the control for how loud the recording will play when it is reviewed
  5. Volume Reception/Production: the sound level of the message. Also, indicates that the microphone is working properly and that sound is being recorded

  1. Go to http://www.java.com                                                   
  2. Click “Free Java Download” to be directed to the Mac or Windows versions  

Last updated: 1 April, 2011 by YG