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Wimba is a third party tool within Blackboard Learn. It can be used to provide timely, high quality, accessible formative and/or summative feedback to students in a convenient audio format.

Wimba can be used for Voice Authoring in the Grade Centre, which attaches a voice file to a grade and automatically populates the students My Grades centre with the feedback.

Wimba can also be used to provide a voice email file to students directly to their University account email inbox

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To use the Wimba Voice Authoring tool you will need:

  • The latest version of Java (available from
  • A computer with a microphone or - preferably - a headset with a microphone

Please see our Java Security Levels page for vital information on setting up Java.

Voice Authoring

To send students a voice authoring file using Wimba voice feedback, you will need to have set up an assignment in the Grade Centre.  You can do this using the following Creating and Grading Assignments instructions: Creating and Grading Assignments

Once you are ready to grade submitted assignments with Wimba voice authoring feedback from the Grade Centre:

  1. From the Control Panel, select Grade Centre and then the Full Grade Centre link:

  2. The Full Grade Centre screen will open up.

  3. From here you will be able to enter grades into each submission by selecting the submission from the appropriate Grade Centre Column.  In this example the Column is called "Test Essay”:

  4. In the column click into the arrow icon and select View Grade Details:

  5. From here select Manual Override:

  6. Here, provide a value in the Override Grade box:

  7. To provide the audio feedback select Wimba Voice Authoring from the Mash Up selection menu in the Feedback to User dialogue area tool menu:

  8. The Wimba Voice Authoring window will open. Give your recording a Title - this is a required field:

    You may be asked to update or install Java before you can run the Wimba voice tool. Please do so. If you encounter any problems please contact Blackboard Help Desk via e-mail at

    If you pop-up message appears asking if you want to run an application please allow it to run.

  9. Select the record button and start recording. Click the stop button when you are ready to stop the recording.

  10. You can save the recording by selecting the Save As option on the drop down menu to the right of the recording:

    The Save As option will allow you to save a copy of your feedback in the MP3 audio format. In the even that the student is unable to access the feedback you have the option of sending them the MP3 file.

  11. Now select Submit to confirm these actions.

  12. Your recording will now appear in the Feedback to User text box:

  13. Now click Save and the recording and any assigned grade will go directly to the Students My Grade centre where they can access it by clicking into the Comments icon:

Voice Email

The Wimba Voice email feature allows you to send a voice email file directly to an individual student, a whole cohort or selected groups of students. To send a voice email:

  1. In your module area select Tools:

  2. In the Tools area select the Voice Email option:

  3. Select from the appropriate list of recipients, in this case  the selection is Select users to whom you wish to send a voice email:

  4. A list of potential recipients will appear on the next page, then simply select those users you wish to send the email to.  All students registered on the course should appear here, as well as course instructors.  In this example the selection is Test Student, then select Submit:

  5. The voice recorder box will appear already populated with the name of the recipient and the sender, you can add a subject and you can also add text in the text box:

  6. Select the Record button to start recording and select the Stop button to stop your recording:

  7. You can pause, play and save the file using the relevant icons.

  8. When you are happy with your recording select Send.

  9. The Voice Email message will go directly to the email inbox of the recipient.


  • The only equipment you need is your laptop/PC and an audio headset.
  • Brief students in advance of the expectations of receiving audio feedback.
  • If you have a lot of recordings to make it might be useful to hide the whole column until you are ready to release all student grades.
  • It is useful to put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door and switch your telephone off while you are recording to avoid interruptions mid recording.
  • It is useful to try out audio recording initially with small cohorts.
  • You might want to also provide annotated feedback on the students work and an opportunity for the students to discuss the recorded feedback.
  • It can be useful to save the voice authoring files to your laptop/PC, so that you have a record for external examiners.
  • It can be useful to “cc” yourself into the voice email files, so that you have a record for external examiners.

  • With voice authoring always use the Feedback to User dialogue box and not Grading Notes dialogue box.  The Grading Notes area is for your own reference only.

  • It is useful to set up a Test Student account in order that you can view the students’ view of the voice authoring audio feedback.

  • Some browsers support the Wimba Voice tools better than others.  For a better experience use Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox.

If at any time your are prompted to allow an application to run, please do do:

Principles of Assessment and Feedback for Learning

Wimba Voice Authoring and Voice Email can facilitate embedding the Principles of Assessment and Feedback for Learning into your module.  Namely Principle 3: Deliver timely, high quality feedback and Principle 4: Provide opportunities to act on feedback.