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An Analysis of Multimodal Interaction in a Webinar: Defining the Genre

9 pagesPublished: February 23, 2017


From a Multimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA) perspective (Kress and Van Leuween, 2001; Kress, 2003; O’Halloran, 2004; Baldry&Thibault, 2006; Jewitt, 2009; Querol-Julián and Fortanet-Gómez, 2012) each semiotic resource (i.e., speech, image, writing, movement, gaze, sound, layout, among others) contributes to the meaning-making process. Linguistic and non-linguistic information is integrated in multimodal texts, and especially so in digital genres (Shepherd & Watters 1999; Crowston & Kwasnik 2004; Askehave & Nielsen 2005; Villanueva et al. 2008), where complex relationships are conveyed by the use of multiple resources.
One of these new digital genres is the webinar or web seminar. Webinars help to disseminate knowledge, facilitate collaboration and communication, and enhance performance among students and instructors, employers and employees and specialist in dispersed locations (Wolf, 2006; Forrester, 2009; Bandy, 2010; Kokoc, Ozlu, Cimer & Karal, 2011). Its main characteristic is that it is online and it often consists of a number of lectures streamlined and/or recorded to be watched off-line, and there are several participants located in several places, who can contribute online or offline through different communication modes (written or spoken with or without video). In this sense, it is clear that webinars include a wide array of multimodal resources, both verbal and non-verbal. But how do they work together? To what extent are they integrated? Are users responsive to these multimodal resources and to what extent?
In order to answer these and other questions, we analyse in this paper a dataset of several sessions of a research webinar organized by the Group for Research on Academic and Professional English in 2015 on the topic of Multimodal Discourse Analysis. Our interest is to study all the multimodal components in the discussion sessions in this seminar and the different strategies used by participants for online and face-to-face interaction.

Keyphrases: discussion sessions, multimodal discourse analysis, Webinars

In: Chelo Vargas-Sierra (editor). Professional and Academic Discourse: an Interdisciplinary Perspective, vol 2, pages 274--282

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Noelia Ruiz-Madrid and Inmaculada Fortanet-G\textbackslash{}'omez},
  title     = {An Analysis of Multimodal Interaction in a Webinar: Defining the Genre},
  booktitle = {Professional and Academic Discourse: an Interdisciplinary Perspective},
  editor    = {Chelo Vargas-Sierra},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Language and Linguistics},
  volume    = {2},
  pages     = {274--282},
  year      = {2017},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-5283},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/p8mm}}
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