Taking the ‘Distance' out of Distance Education: A Humorous Approach to Online Learning
As online course formats become an accepted long-term strategy in education, instructors who personalize their courses with humor can positively contribute to the students' learning experiences. The purpose of this paper was to determine student perceptions of humor added to an online undergraduate production operations management course and how that humor influenced student engagement through participation in online discussion forums. Results indicate a statistically significant difference (p = .000) between the two groups, where group 1 had little to no humor added to the course and group 2 had humor added. The addition of humor accounted for 33.76 percent of the effect. In addition, the results of student evaluations from the second group showed that humor positively enhanced the online learning environment. This study supports previous research findings and further advances limited studies on humor and learning online pedagogy. Conclusions are drawn that humor incorporated in online courses helps motivate students to participate more in discussion and contributes to a positive learning environment.
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