Wimba Voice Boards

Wimba voice boards are much like a threaded discussion board that one would find on a website where people post comments and other people reply to those comments. However, there is one minor difference, here, the users have the ability to record a sound file to go along with their comments and replies. There are many possible uses for voice boards. Instructors can use the voice boards to asses pronunciation and students can use them interactively in roll plays and question and answer sessions.

When you first open a Wimba voice board, you will be met with one of two possible outcomes. The first is that there are no posts yet, and the second is that there are already comments posted:

No Posts Already posts
picture of open new picture of open old

 

 

Either way, the toolbar at the top will be the same and give you the following options:

 
picture of main toolbar
 
 

Some basic skills:

Expanding a thread

Selecting a Post

Opening a Post

The Main Commands

Compose allows you to compose a new voice recording that is not in response to anyone else's.

Reply allows you to reply to a voice posting you currently have selected (see selecting a post)

Export allows you to export the audio file from a post to your computer

Delete lets you delete a posting, but only if you were the one who made the it or are the instructor

Forward:Lets you forward the selected posting, with its audio file to an email address

Play:Plays the audio file from the selected post.

Pause:Pauses playback.

Stop:Stops playback

Note: the play, pause and stop functions will only work if the selected post has an audio file recorded in it, indicated by the speaker symbol to the left of its title picture of speaker

 

 

 

Expanding a thread

Some postings can have many replies to them, and those replies can have replies to them, depending on how the conversation has progressed. A post and all of its replies is known as a thread. When you first open Wimba all of the threads are collapsed, in other words they are minimized so that you can only see the name of the top level initial post. If there are replies to a post then it will have a '+' sign next to it indicating that it can be expanded to view the replies by clicking the '+' sign.

 

Once a thread is expanded, you can collapse it again by clicking the '-' sign next to it.

picture of expand thread final

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Selecting a Post

You can select a post simply by clicking on its title so that it becomes blue:
picture of select post
This will enable many of the functions in the toolbar, such as the ability to play back any audio file that was recorded with the posting.

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Opening a Post

Double Clicking on a post's title will open the post:

picture of view post

In this window you can playback the audio file using the controls in the upper right hand corner and also read any text message with the voice posting. It also gives you many of the same options that you had in the first window ie. to reply, forward, delete or export the post.

To close, click the 'x' in the upper right hand corner.

picture of close button

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Composing a Post

Clicking the compose button in the upper toolbar will bring up the following screen and allow you to compose an entirely new post to start a new thread.

You can type the subject, or title of your post into the "Subject" box. This will be the title shown for your post in the list of posts in the main screen.

In the box below that, you may enter a text with your post.

When you are ready to record a sound file to go with your post, click the record button to begin recording.

To stop recording click Stop

You can then listen to your recording using the Play button and pause playback using the Pause button.

If you are not satisfied with your recording you can record over it simply by clicking the Record button again and re-recording your sound file.

When you are completely satisfied with your post and ready to add it to the message board, click the Send button. It may take a few seconds to send the post to the message board depending on your connection speed and the size of the audio recording that you did, so be patient.

If you would like to discard your post, click Cancel.

picture of create post

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Replying to a Post

If you want to reply to a particular post, either select it in the list or open it and click the Reply button in the toolbar. this will bring up the following screen:

picture of reply post You will notice that this is a lot like the Compose screen in that all of the tool bar options are the same. The subject will be the subject of the post you are replying to and the text of the post you are replying to will already be in the text area. Otherwise it functions exactly the same way as the Compose screen.

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Exporting a Sound File

If you want to save the sound file from a post to your computer or include the file on a website of your own then select the post and click the Export button:

At the top area player controls that will allow you to listen to the file to make sure that it is the one that you would like to export. If it is the right file then move on.

In the text box below the player controls you will see HTML code. If you want to add the player and sound file, just like the one at the top of the screen, into your own web-page then copy the HTML code in the text box and paste it into your own web-page.

Finally, if you simply want to save the audio file to your computer, then click on the words audio file in the sentence "Save the audio file on your disk."

picture of export

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Forwarding a Post

If you want to forward a post along with it's sound file to an email address, select or open the post and click the Forward button:

picture of forward

In the box labeled "Enter the recipients" you can enter the email address of the person you want to forward the post to. If you want to send it to more than one person, you can enter all of their email addresses separated by commas.

You can also add some text to accompany the email in the text box below.

When you are finished, click the Send button to send or Cancel.

Viewing and Listening Quirks

The way Wimba allows students and teachers to see & hear each other's
postings in a Voiceboard can be a bit confusing. Here's how it works.

When the teacher posts a message to the Voiceboard, all students can
see, hear, and reply to that posting.

The teacher will be able to see all replies, and students will be able
to see any of their own replies. But students will NOT be able to
see/hear the replies sent by other students in the class.

In this mode (teacher posts, students reply), Wimba assumes that the
dialog between the teacher and any given student is confidential. There
is no way to override this setting in Wimba. Replies to a posting from
the teacher will *always* be confidential.

If you want to have students be able to see/hear each other's work, they
should NOT use the REPLY button when responding to the teacher's post.
Instead, they should use the COMPOSE button. By doing so, the response
won't be an "indented" reply, but rather will constitute a new "top
level" posting, which by default will be viewable to all students in the
class.

If another student or the teacher replies to a student-initiated posting
(one made with the COMPOSE button), the replies will be visible to all.
Only dialogs resulting from teacher-initiated postings are treated as
confidential.

Teachers do have the option of configuring a board so that students can
NOT see each other's postings, regardless of how they were initiated
(REPLY or COMPOSE).

When creating the board you'll see an option "Allow students to view
each others' messages"

By default that option is checked. By unchecking the box, then
students' will NOT be able to see/hear each other's messages under any
conditions.

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