Instructional Design and eTeaching Services - Boston College

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Voice Direct

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Voice Direct is a tool that provides a live-voice chat room. It allows students to attend live online office hours and have voice-to-voice contact with their professor. Students may also listen to other students’ comments and the conversation may be archived and retrieved any time later. The raising hands feature allows students to have equal opportunity to engage the group in discussion.

To add a Voice Direct discussion to your Blackboard Vista course website, perform the following steps:

Make sure that your headset with microphone is attached to your computer, or make sure that your internal microphone is able to adequately record the message that you wish to post.

Log in to your course website at and click on the “Build” tab in the menu bar at the top of your screen; then click on the “Add Content Link” tab:


From the drop down menu, select:


Blackboard Vista will automatically insert an icon on the homepage of your Blackboard Vista course website:

Click on the Voice Direct icon, or if you are in the Build tab, click on the drop down menu next to the icon and click “preview”; the “Sample Voice Direct” window appears:


Click on the hand to speak.

When using Voice Direct:


Only one person may speak at a time.   A microphone icon will appear next to the name of the person who is currently speaking. To request the microphone to speak, click the hand-raised button. When the person currently speaking has clicked the X button to indicate that he/she has finished, the microphone will be given to the person who has raised his/her hand.

Only speak when the microphone icon above appears next to your name. Click the X button when you have finished.

The owner of the conference can choose to take the microphone away from the current speaker and give it to anyone, provided the person has raised his/her hand. To do this, right-click on the name of someone whose hand is raised.

You can contribute to the conference discussion by typing text in the text field at the bottom of the Voice Direct window. Press the Enter or Return key to submit your text. The text that you submit will appear in the window on the left. You do not have to have the microphone to contribute text. You may submit text at any time.

You may archive conversations by clicking on the options icon in the top left of the Voice Direct window and selecting “start archiving” or “stop archiving.” To easily save your archived conversations to your desktop, click on the archives button at the top left of the Voice Direct window, select the archived session that you would like to save and click “export.” Follow the prompts to save the discussion to your desktop.

If you need further assistance, please contact