How to create an effective Voiceboard prompt


As explained in our introductory information page to Voiceboard activities, Voiceboard activities allow an instructor to create interactive speech-based discussions online and supports out-of-class speaking practice for language-learning students. Instructors can create successful Voiceboard discussions in ANVILL through effective and engaging prompts.

This page offers guidance on how to get started creating an effective Voiceboard prompt and step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

What is a Voiceboard prompt?

Most Voiceboard prompts include whatever information is necessary for the student to complete the activity. It should be written in a straightforward but engaging way. A prompt can include instructions, probing questions, any related media files students or documents, particular content students should address, or other relevant activity information. A prompt can be written and/or be made as an audio or video message for students. A prompt could even include a combination of the mentioned media.  

Here is an example of a written Voiceboard prompt in Canvas:

This image shows an example of a written prompt for a Voiceboard activity in ANVILL.

Tips on creating a good prompt

Tip #1: Work wisely by safely saving your work!  
When you are typing out a prompt initially, it is a good idea to author it in a text editor (Microsoft Word, Notes, Google Docs, etc.) then copy and paste your work into Voiceboard editor. This will both save your work somewhere other than ANVILL in the event of a lost internet connection or the like while using ANVILL. You can even create a simple "Voiceboard prompts" document where you save all past prompts for future inspiration and reference. You can also save any media files you have uploaded in a prompt on this same document. 

Tip #2: Be specific and clear about what you expect to be done and how you expect it to be done. 

  1. Clarify:
    • What kind of response students should give (e.g. answer a question, give an opinion, compare and contrast images, etc.)
    • How students should complete their response (e.g. record an audio response using ANVILL's built-in recorder, comment on the teacher's Voiceboard post and on a classmate's response, add media to their comment, etc.).
    • Where to find more information if they need help. If they are new to Voiceboard activities, you may want to even include a link to our Getting started in Voiceboard for students page.
  2. Be well-organized visually:
    The toolbar in your Voiceboard editor allows you some font and formatting options. In the below screenshot, for example, you see the author created headings (Key Question), added bullets, and varied font formats (bold, italic, normal). 
    This image shows the toolbar in the Voiceboard editor.
  3. Be reviewed for clarity and organization:
    It is best both before and after posting to ensure you have included all necessary information for students to successfully complete the task, there are no typographical errors, and that everything looks okay visually.

How to create a Voiceboard prompt

  1. Create a new Voiceboard or open the Voiceboard editor screen
  2. Author any written instructions or relevant message for your students. You can do this in the open dialogue box titled Prompt in your Voiceboard editor or you can copy-and-paste from your preferred text editor.
  3. If you want to add any multimedia to your Voiceboard (including any audio or video you can record on-the-spot inside the Voiceboard), click on + MEDIA. You can see an example of this button in the screenshot in Tip #2 above. 
  4. In the + MEDIA menu that opens, choose your preferred option for adding your media:
  5. Review your prompt to ensure it is ready. Reread any writing, check to make sure all media is uploaded properly. 
  6. To save your work and exit the Voiceboard editor, click on the green checkmark. 
    This image shows the green checkmark icon one clicks to save their work and exit in Voiceboard editor.


Article ID: 124417
Tue 1/12/21 12:47 PM
Tue 1/19/21 5:41 PM