Using VoiceThread to Create Community in Online Learning

A sense of belonging to a learning community has been identified as one of the factors contributing to greater student satisfaction and persistence in online education pro-grams. Using the community of inquiry framework as a theoretical guide, the purpose of this study was to explore the role of VoiceThread, a web-based platform that facilitates cloud communication, in creating a sense of community for U.S. adult learners in the online environment. This study surveyed 39 students in a College of Education fully online master’s program and in a blended doctoral program regarding their experiences using VoiceThread in their courses. Results indicate that students perceive VoiceThread positively in the creation of online community. Students reported feeling more connected their classmates due to the tool’s ability to add voice to online activities. Students also felt more connected to their instructor due to VoiceThread’s ability to humanize, or make the instructor seem real.