VoiceThread allows you to hold a discussion around images or media that are critical to the content. Using an image on each slide can help focus the discussion. You can also discuss a short video clip. Students can comment using text, voice or webcams which provides options for those with technical issues or anyone uncomfortable speaking online. The addition of audio provides a break from text-based discussions and students can use tone of voice to express emotion or nuance that might not come across in text.
In her online Art Appreciation class, instructor Michelle Pacansky uses a VoiceThread to engage her students in a discussion comparing two paintings on the same subject by two different artists. Students make use of the “doodle” tool to draw on the slide and point out the parts of the painting they are talking about.