Knowledge Communication Videos



  • Succeeding in the creator economy is challenging, how do educational YouTubers compete with other creators and successfully carve out a niche for themselves?
  • We term the content of these educational YouTubers as “knowledge communication videos” (KCV)
  • I conducted semi-structured interviews of creators and viewers of KCVs and analyzed the data using reflective thematic analysis

Research Process

  • Created interview guide and conducted interviews with 25 creators and 13 viewers
    • I asked creators questions about creators’ content creation process, stages of growth on YouTube, unique challenges faced as a KCV creator, and strategies for success on YouTube.
    • I asked viewers their perceptions of KCVs produced by the channel they watch, perceptions of trustworthiness, and interactions with creators and other viewers


  • Creators are primarily motivated by their desire to share knowledge they have learned with others.
  • The primary reason viewers watch KCVs is to learn about new topics, not necessarily to develop expertise on that topic.
  • Creating and viewing KCVs are perceived as a fun activity; creators engage with their curiosities when they learn about a new topic to make a video, viewers are entertained by KCVs while engaging in casual learning.
  • Creators wish to further engage in discussion with viewers and facilitate discussions between viewers.

Key Takeaways

  • This study provides the basis for understanding ways to help creators achieve their goal of facilitating meaningful discussion and for viewers to gain broader and more diverse perspectives when learning about a new topic


  • Millions and Billions of Views: Understanding Popular Science and Knowledge Communication on Video-Sharing Platforms. Haijun Xia, Hui Xin Ng, Zhutian Chen, James Hollan. ACM Conference on Learning at Scale, 2022 [Video]
  • Presentation Recording