Multimodality and socio-materiality of lectures in global universities’ media: accounting for bodies and things

Lackovic, Natasa and Popova, Biliana (2021) Multimodality and socio-materiality of lectures in global universities’ media: accounting for bodies and things. Learning, Media and Technology, 46 (4). pp. 531-549. ISSN 1743-9884

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Lecture prevails as a ubiquitous teaching and learning method across universities worldwide. Whereas lectures have been conceptualized from various text and language-centred perspectives, lecture’s materiality has been scarcely explored, despite the development of “beyond-the-verbal” approaches to communication, practices and learning. To address the gap, this article explores socio-materiality of communication in 10 live recorded lectures, which also had the greatest number of viewers, on the websites or YouTube media channels by “top-ranked” universities in India, Japan, Russia, Egypt, Palestine, Spain, the USA, the UK, Italy and Canada. To do so, a pragmatic semiotic analysis of non-verbal elements of lecture is applied on the videos to “map” its material ingredients and explore related social meanings. The findings point at a few salient things and body characteristics in the sampled lectures, such as the monofocal lecture platform, the omnipresent blackboard, underrepresentation of female lecturers, low diversity and use of technology. We unpack these via “body and thing idiom” and suggest that the lecture needs to be conceptualized as a multimodal, socio-material performance. The article calls for wider acknowledgement and integration of materiality, embodiment, and multimodality in university lectures and the work done to understand and develop teaching at universities.

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Journal Article
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Learning, Media and Technology
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Learning, Media and Technology on 07/06/2021, available online:
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Deposited On:
11 May 2021 09:50
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 04:37