Thesis defence in the University of Oulu

Doctoral Candidate

Master of Arts Robin Sokol

Faculty and research unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Humanities, Research Unit for Languages and Literature

Field of study


Date and time of the thesis defence

22.1.2021 12:15

Place of the thesis defence

Zoom link:

Topic of the dissertation

Taking the next step in a collaborative project: A multimodal analysis of verbal and embodied actions at the computer


Docent Pirkko Raudaskoski, Aalborg University


Professor Pentti Haddington, University of Oulu

Study of the organisation of collaborative project-making at the computer

This dissertation studies salient ways in which pairs of university students collaborative work on and achieve their projects at the computer. It focuses on the linguistic and embodied practices employed by participants to effectively carry out their work in a collaborative context, and particularly on tasks requiring the use of the computer.

Three practices are studied: the production of proposals, the use of physical and digital pointings at the screen, and the phases unfolding between information-searching, for example reading a Wiki page, to typing in a slide. The findings demonstrate, first, that participants use different linguistic formats and embodied actions to display whether their proposals put forward immediate actions, about to be carried out right away if the proposals are accepted by the recipients, or remote ones. Second, the findings demonstrate that the sequences of talk following pointings at the screen unfold in ways which are different from most common forms of pointings.

Moreover, the findings shed light on digital pointings, pointings done with the mouse cursor, and demonstrate how the mouse cursor is used as a tool not only to navigate the computer, but also to produce intelligible communicative actions. And third, the findings show that participants go through recurring phases between information-searching and typing. These phases are steps necessarily following each other and ultimately leading to typing. The analyses also study typing-in-interaction, and put forward the intricate interweaving of talk and typing.


Last updated: 11.1.2021