PhD Course 2021

PhD Course: Multimodal Transcription 2021

This free two-day course for PhD students is a practical, hands-on researchers guide to multimodal transcription of human social action captured with video.

Course organisers

  • Associate Professor Jacob Davidsen, Communication and Psychology, VILA
  • Professor Paul McIlvenny, Culture and Learning, C-DiT, VILA


  • The course will take place on the 20th and 21st of December 2021 between 10:00 and 15:00 (Central European Time).


  • The course will be held online using Zoom.


  • 2 ECTS with full participation.


  • To enrol in this course, email your contact information to Hanne ( After enrollment, more details about the course, the software and the readings will be given.


  • This course introduces participants to multimodal transcription of human social actions captured with video. The course will cover several components. Before transcribing video data, researchers are tasked with the job of preparing the data, e.g. stitching together videos into a composite video or generating the best possible audio track based on the microphones used. We will introduce some of the tricks and solutions to get your data in the best shape for transcription. After preparing the data, the practical work of transcription begins. The course will give a basic introduction to how to do multimodal transcription with different transcription systems, but we will also introduce software that support transcription, especially our own software called DOTE (a digital transcription environment), which has a bunch of unique features. Lastly, we will present and discuss some of the key theoretical and methodological issues that arise when undertaking transcription and using transcripts for research.

Learning objectives

  • Develop basic skills on how to prepare video data for transcription.
  • Develop a basic understanding of the theory and practice of transcription.
  • Give a solid understanding of digital transcription software tools.


  • DAY 1 - 10:00-12:00 - Preparing audiovisual data
  • DAY 1 - 13:00-15:00 - Basics of transcription
  • DAY 2 - 10:00-12:00 - Using transcription software
  • DAY 2 - 13:00-15:00 - Theoretical and methodological issues


  • McIlvenny, Paul & Davidsen, Jacob (2017). A Big Video Manifesto: Re-sensing Video and Audio. Nordicom Information 39(2): 15-21.
  • McIlvenny, Paul (2020). New Technology and Tools to Enhance Collaborative Video Analysis in Live 'Data Sessions'. QuiViRR: Qualitative Video Research Reports 1: a0001. DOI: 10.5278/ojs.quivirr.v1.2020.a0001.
  • Jefferson, Gail (2004). Glossary of Transcript Symbols with an Introduction. In: Lerner, Gene (ed.), Conversation Analysis. Studies from the First Generation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 13-31.
  • Hepburn, Alexa & Bolden, Galina B. (2017). Transcribing for Social Research. London: Sage.
  • Ayaß, Ruth (2015). Doing Data: The Status of Transcripts in Conversation Analysis. Discourse Studies 7(5): 505-528. DOI: 10.1177/1461445615590717.
  • Mondada, Lorenza (2019). Transcribing Silent Actions: A Multimodal Approach of Sequence Organization. Social Interaction: Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality 2(1). DOI: 10.7146/si.v2i1.113150.
  • Laurier, Eric (2014). The Graphic Transcript: Poaching Comic Book Grammar for Inscribing the Visual, Spatial and Temporal Aspects of Action. Geography Compass 9(4): 235-248. DOI: 10.1111/gec3.12123.

Other readings will be given and/or provided to registered participants.