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Using YouTube to communicate research findings

A frequent, and fair, criticism of academic research is that it is often inaccessible, either because of the way in which it is written, or because it is often locked away behind paywalls. As a result, alternative formats, such as academic blogs, social media and podcasts have become increasingly popular, but they are still far from mainstream and are sometimes viewed with scepticism.

Maria Jesus Inostroza, a PhD candidate from the University of Sheffield, recently showed me yet another original and creative way to share her research: an animated YouTube video. Maria has been using Complexity Theory to understand the challenges faced by ELT professionals in Chile, and in the video that follows she talks about her PhD research.

I thought it was quite interesting, and it certainly motivated me to learn more about her research. (And, to be perfectly honest, I also felt slightly envious that my digital skills are not quite as sophisticated as hers. There, I’ve said it!). So, what do you think about this way of reaching out? Can it be used to disseminate research findings in more detail, or is it best used as an attention-getting technique? Can, and should, universities encourage researchers to experiment more with such alternative formats? Are there any possible implications for the ways in which junior researchers are perceived?


Featured Image by Patrick Breitenbach @ flickr, CC-BY-2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/29205886@N08/2743534799/

2 thoughts on “Using YouTube to communicate research findings”

  1. I love this. I’m a big fan of video and think this is a great initiative. We need to build a bridge between the academia and teachers who are not directly involved in it. After all, there can be no research without subjects!
    I think you (we) don’t need to be jealous of her digital skills, I guess this was professionally animated. It’s a shame the channel disabled comments for the video, so I can’t ask the ‘geek questions’. I’ve looked up Fiestóforo and it seems to be a company (or an artist). Another possibility would be Bitstrips, it’s a shame it isn’t free.

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