YouTube clips as data

YouTube clips as data

As outlined in the methodology segment of Raising Creativity (part 3), arts-informed research exists in part as a response to the limitations of traditional research methods. As such, it stands out as being very different in terms of process, form, and objective (Knowles & Cole, 2008). In this post, I discuss and justify the use of YouTube clips (i.e. my data) as the driving force that has shaped these inextricably linked elements.

.      Knowles and Cole (2008) write,
.      The dominant paradigm of positivism historically has governed
.      the way research is defined, conducted, and communicated and
.      consciously and unconsciously defined what society accepts as
.      Knowledge; however, it is not a paradigm that reflects how
.      individuals in society actually experience and process the world
.      (pp. 59).
User-generated digital content has shifted the means by which people regularly consume information and come to know because of its accessibility and ubiquitousness today. I have chosen to capitalize on this phenomenon in my research by employing the “collective intelligence” (i.e. user-generated content) of YouTube videos to inform my research question (“how can we nurture creativity in education?”). Because of the inherent subjectivity in my research question, I recognize that my data set must also have “sufficient ambiguity” (Knowles & Cole, p. 67) so as to allow for interpretive readings, of which YouTube videos are conducive.
.      Knowles and Cole (2008) explain,
.      the defining art form guiding the inquiry or representation must be readily
.      apparent by how and how well it works to illuminate and achieve the research
.      purposes  . . . [Further,] there must be an explicit intention for the research to
.      reach communities and audiences including but beyond the academy ” (p. 61).
Once my data is collected, it only makes sense to represent it in turn through video format, which effectively means producing a “mash-up.” Whereas “remix” commonly refers to the editing of a sound recording to make it sound different from the original (Remix, n.d.), O’Brien and Fitzgerald (2006) define mash-up as “a visual remix, commonly a video or website which remixes and combines content from a number of different sources to produce something new and creative” (p. 1).  I am then uploading this remixed video/mash-up series to YouTube (where all of its pieces originated from), where it can further participate in “collective intelligence” and the knowledge formation process consistent with 21st century practices. Ultimately the goal is that this would “involve the reader/audience in an active process of meaning making that is likely to have transformative potential” (Knowles & Cole, 2008, p. 62).


Knowles, J. G.  &  Cole, A. L. (2008). Handbook of the arts in qualitative research.
.       Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
O’Brien, D. & Fitzgerald, B. (2006). Mashups, remixes and copyright law. Internet Law Bulletin,
.       9(2), 17–19.
Remix (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2014, from Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia Website:

Posted by Rebecca Zak

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