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Blackboard Help

Add a Voice Board Tool

This article is archived and is no longer updated. Go to the latest information on adding voice tools to a content area.

The voice board tool is a threaded, voice-based discussion forum. While you may have used message boards before, voice boards take communication to another level by adding voice to an intuitive, conversational interface. Voice boards are more than communication tools: you also can use them to assess your students through the voice board integration with the Grade Center.

  1. Provide basic information:

    Voice board information

    • Give your voice board a meaningful Title.
    • Color is the color of the title.
    • Use the Description field to provide further information about the purpose of the voice board tool.
  2. Define your settings:


    • Audio quality: Adjust the quality of audio for recordings based on the environment in which voice board will be used. Keep in mind that higher quality settings require more bandwidth. The default setting of Standard Quality - 12.8 kbits/s works well in most situations.

    • Max message length: If you want to restrict the length of recordings in voice boards, specify a maximum allowable length. The options range between 15 seconds and 20 minutes.
    • Display short message titles: Select this option if you want to provide less information—such as length of the audio message and date of the posting—in the title of the messages, making the display more compact.

    • Display messages in chronological order: Select this option if you want to display the oldest messages first, at the top.
    • Allow students to forward messages: Select this option if you want students to be able to forward messages from the voice board via email. The voice board only accepts addresses external to Blackboard.
    • Allow students to start a new thread: Select this option if you want students to be able to start a new thread (a series of messages) on the voice board. Otherwise, only the instructor can start a new thread.
    • Make discussion threads private: Select this option if you don't want students to be able to view each other’s threads. The instructor can still view all threads. This is a powerful feature for creating private exercises, assessments, and other types of one-on-one exchanges between instructors and students.
    • Grade: Select this option if you want to assign grades for each student that accesses the board, which are integrated with the Grade Center. The 'Points possible' field determines the maximum possible grade for scoring.
  3. Set your options. To learn more, see Voice Options.
  4. Click Submit.

The voice board tool appears in your content area.


Users click the link in the tool to use the voice board.

Students can reply to exiting posts and, by default, create new posts—that is, start new threads. When you create the voice board tool, you can give students permission to also forward messages.


As an instructor, you have full suite of tools for managing your voice boards. You can edit, delete, import, export, publish, filter and reorder voice board messages.