Student seminars about Youtube

Subject: Media Studies. Course: Media Text analysis. Study level: Bachelor 2nd Semester. Class size: 2 x 35.

Motivation for the activity

This project makes the students contribute with new knowledge about YouTube genres, they work with a material that they know better than I do, and they are themselves responsible for carrying out the final seminar. It is a pleasure to witness the involvement and the great contributions.

Central learning outcomes for the activity

The students get the opportunity of working intensively with a YouTube genre of their own choice for two weeks; they participate in establishing new knowledge about YouTube and present the results of their investigations to their fellow students.

Description of the activity

Before the seminar

In the first class of the course I get the students to sign up for the different tasks by saying that I need 3 people for that and 3 people for this, etc. This way I get a binding agreement with them right from the beginning of the course.

We use two weeks of intense work to prepare the seminar. I make sure that the students all get an assignment and are put into groups of 3-5 people. Each group appoints a group leader and I meet with the group leaders a couple of times.

I have a meeting with the group leaders a couple of weeks before the seminar to hear how the work is progressing and to find out if there are any questions or the like. I spend approximately one hour on this.

It is important to appoint a few seminar leaders before the seminar who can be in touch with the technical team and all the panels. A few people are also needed to come in early and prepare the room and make coffee and tea for the breaks.

My job is to ensure that the students have understood their tasks and that the seminar leaders do what they are appointed to do. But other than this, the students are themselves responsible of making things go smoothly. I tell them: “This is your seminar”.

I provide the entire class with some articles about YouTube so that they can orient themselves but they also have to find supplementary materials on their own depending on the topic they are working on. It can be anything ranging from music videos, commercials, political speeches to viral videos etc.

Execution of the seminar

The seminar takes place in a double class so that we have 6 hours.

The two teams have been split into between 6 and 10 panels which are further divided according to topics. Each panel has a panel manager who is charge of complying with the time.

The students have made written proposals for their presentations so that the opponent groups have the opportunity of preparing their response ahead of the seminar. Each presentation group has elected a representative for the group to present their analysis. The presentation group gets 15 minutes to present. After the presentation the opponents ask their questions, followed by questions from the audience and then the next group presents.

Each group adjusts their presentation paper according to the feedback they received and hand in their written presentations after the seminar. In this way they also get to practice their skills in academic writing.

Outcome of the activity

The student presentations are taken seriously, they get a function and because of this, they are not something that just has to be over and done with.

In addition to the students practicing both their oral skills and producing written material the seminar means that they get a concrete experience on top of their analytic task.

Reflections on the activity

It is important to be ahead on the different tasks to make sure that the students take responsibility and comply with their roles.

Anne Marit Waade

Associate professor

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