New VoiceThread Enabled 21 December 2014
On 21 December 2014, the University of Minnesota upgraded to the new VoiceThread (VT). All existing VoiceThreads were automatically updated to take advantage of the new VT features and functionality (the only exception affects users who had previously embedded VoiceThreads in HTML pages—those embedded players will continue to work, but with the legacy VT controls and functionality; to take advantage of the new VT functionality, users will need to re-embed those players using the new embed code).
New VoiceThread Features
For a video overview of the new VT, visit the VT Transition FAQ. The new features include:
Enhancements to Authoring and Viewing VoiceThreads
- Responsive VoiceThread media will automatically resize to fill the available display space
- Higher resolution annotations
- Zoom control to focus viewers' attention on key details
- Changes to the design of the conversation channel
- channel scrolls infinitely, no pagination
- each comment receives its own avatar image
- drag-and-drop re-ordering of comments
- Slides can be re-ordered via drag-and-drop in the Postcard view
- Addition of keyboard shortcuts (full list)
- Infinite scroll within text comments and resizable/undockable comment modal window
Improvements to Managing, Sharing, and Creating VoiceThreads
- The sidebar in your MyVoice page is expandable and collapsible
- Addition of bulk actions (e.g., select multiple threads and share them all at once)
- Customizable theming (header image, dark/light background display preference toggle) for VT groups and direct link to group view
- New sharing modal window (including "Who has access" tab)
Note on External Tools Activities
Please note that this update does not address an issue affecting all existing external tools activities in Moodle course sites created via the automated course request or manual backup and restore processes (more information regarding this issue is available on the Moodle Tracker (MDL-34161). This issue is not specific to VoiceThread activities—it affects all external tool activities.
Until this issue is resolved, instructors copying courses with existing external tools activities will need to:
- Turn editing on.
- Click the "Edit settings" (gear) link adjacent to an external tools activity.
- Note that the External tool type definition has been returned to the default setting ("Automatic, based on launch URL"). Click to activate the tool type menu and drag to select the desired type (in the case of a VT activity, select "VoiceThread"—see image below).
- Save the configuration by clicking either "Save and return to course" or "Save and display."