VoiceThread: Utilization of Technology for Library Instruction

VoiceThread: Utilization of Technology for Library Instruction

Yingqi Tang (Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJOPCD.2019100105

Abstract

Collaborative learning allows students to share diverse ideas, resources, and experiences. Studies have shown that students engaged in collaborative learning are more likely to achieve, and exhibit increased critical thinking and problem-solving skills. However, in an online course class, students receive very little human interaction because most of the communication is via text. This article overviews how VoiceThread, a cloud-based web 2.0 application, has been used in primary, secondary, and higher education institutions for enhancing discussion in traditional and virtual classroom. From there, actionable class content with a focus on teaching students' information literacy is provided. This article also shared technique parameters of VoiceThread, as well as some notes of using VoiceThread application.
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Introduction

Contemporary educational philosophies have placed an increased importance on creating environments where faculty and students can have bilateral communication during instruction. Such classroom environments use group work to provide students with an opportunity to learn collaboratively toward a course objective. Students who partake in collaborative learning benefit from exposure to diverse ideas, resources, and experiences. Studies have shown that students engaged in collaborative learning are more likely to achieve and exhibit increased critical thinking and problem-solving skills (Chen & Chiu, 2016; Kirschner et al., 2011; Zahra, 2009). However, in an online course, these likelihoods diminish (Kang & Im, 2005). The inherent nature of conversations via email or discussion board means that students who do a majority of their class communications digitally receive very little human interaction. Without the aid of nonverbal cues, conversation as text is more impersonal and up to subjective interpretation of the user (Hart, 2010). Thus, in the face of these restrictions, communication through text falls short when evaluating the benefits that face-to-face conversation can have as a means of communicating and working.

The advancement of multimedia and web technologies have broadened the capabilities of human interaction in the online education environment. Utilization of image, audio, and video content in online learning platforms bring richer content than text, and can better support students’ various learning styles. However, most online learning infrastructures currently do not support conversation using rich media effectively, making discussion with multimedia difficult as it often requires a third-party application. VoiceThread (VT), a cloud-based web 2.0 application, provides a good solution for creating a collaborative teaching environment in the online classroom.

This paper overviews how VT has been currently used in primary, secondary, and higher education institutions. From these insights, class activities with a focus on teaching students how to understand, assess, evaluate, and apply information is provided. These activities could be implemented to any information literacy course for enhancing students’ learning experience.

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