LiPP has recently completed a research project, funded by the University's Faculty of Science, evaluating public responses to YouTube video series produced by the School of Chemistry and the School of Physics and Astronomy.
We investigated public engagement with the School of Chemistry's Periodic Table of Videos series and the School of Physics and Astronomy's Sixty Symbols video series, where academics explain scientific principles and perform experiments for a global lay audience. Both channels are hugely successful and have over 2.3 million subscribers. LiPP researchers built a database of comments and used techniques from corpus linguistics to discover language patterns regarding how the public evaluate and engage with the videos.
LiPP's research provided evidence that the videos stimulated public interest in Physics and Chemistry and enhanced public knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
The research demonstrated that members of the public were acquiring and using vocabulary from the videos as well as engaging in peer-to-peer learning. It also showed how members of the public particularly valued these science education videos because they were underpinned by academic research. A separate EPSRC-funded project is also taking place to investigate issues of equality, diversity and inclusion in such online spaces.
Centre for Research in Applied LinguisticsThe University of Nottingham
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