Using Humor to Boost the Online Classroom Experience

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Research continues to prove that higher levels of classroom engagement lead to better understanding of course materials. For this reason, many educators are experimenting with more creative—perhaps even light-hearted—teaching strategies to help students get comfortable, motivated, and willing to participate in online classroom activities. According to Joe Barnhart, an instructor from Western Governors University, “using humorous subject lines just might be a way to engage students being taught with technology”(Barnhart). As a guest blogger on Campus Technology, Barnhart shares an inspiring article on the practical uses of humor to create online environments conducive to student learning:

The thing about working the online crowd, as with a face-to-face classroom, is that you don’t need to be a standup comedian. . . What you need is a creative way of analyzing your students and providing the encouragement, mixed with a light-hearted delivery, to help them drop their guards and get involved (Barnhart).

On the whole, the article looks at humor as a viable instructional strategy to help build and engage an online community of learners. That said, educators should try to establish more creative ways beyond funny subject lines to help more students feel comfortable and encouraged to participate in day-to-day online classroom activities.

For more information, read the full article on Campus Technology.