‘‘I don’t want to be a professional YouTuber’’: An ethnographic case study of vlogging

Thursday  June 6, 2019 17:00-18:30 PM

Location: Room 803, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

What does the design of vlogs say about vloggers and their choices?

Video blogs, or vlogs in short, are becoming an increasingly popular resource for teaching and learning. Research on vlogs has been focused on vloggers’ identities and audience interaction, while limited work has been done on unpacking their multimodal design. The practice of vlogging brings about changes in roles of the lay public as they actively curate content which has the potential to reach a large audience. Dr Ho argues for a shift of attention to the notion of design and in particular to how vloggers use a rich repertoire of multimodal resources at their disposal to construct their online persona.

This talk will focus on a social semiotic analysis of data from a virtual ethnographic study of how one novice vlogger uses a range of multimodal resources to share information on various topics with a global audience. The analysis attends to how this vlogger establishes herself as a legitimate participant in the practice of pedagogical vlogging through the choices of semiotic resources for the design of her vlog. Drawing on the notion of multimodal orchestration, this research aims to shed light on how pedagogical vlogging, a kind of material creation ‘from below’, can influence teaching and learning practices which are increasingly dependent on digital technology.

About the presenter

Wing Yee Jenifer Ho is Assistant Professor at Department of English, City University of Hong Kong. Her research interests lie in the area of social semiotic multimodality, translanguaging, and language learning ‘in the wild’ using mobile technologies.



The Visual and Multimodal Research Forum is a research hub for academic discussion on multimodality run by the UCL Centre for Multimodal Research.


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