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Type: Journal article
Title: Humorous materials to enhance active learning
Author: Miller, J.
Wilson, K.
Miller, J.
Enomoto, K.
Citation: Higher Education Research and Development, 2016; 36(4):791-806
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0729-4360
Statement of
J. L. Miller, K. Wilson, J. Miller and K. Enomoto
Abstract: The use of humour in teaching and learning can be contentious, with some authors suggesting that the efficacy of humorous materials is mediated by the culture of the student. Nevertheless, humour represents a potential vehicle for the introduction of active learning in a classroom setting, as judicious use of humour may lead to a more relaxed learning atmosphere and greater student engagement. This article describes how humour was used to good effect in creating a suite of online materials designed to enhance the academic English skills of international students. The materials, funded through a grant from the Office for Learning and Teaching and now openly accessible on the English for Uni website, were developed using an action research process. This involved an iterative process of designing, trialling and evaluating the resources to ensure that humour was used appropriately. In the final stages, Biggs’ SOLO taxonomy was also used to evaluate student learning. The results show that the materials improved students’ understanding of the topics presented on the site and that the element of humour stimulated student interest in learning.
Keywords: Academic English skills; active learning; engagement; humour; international students; online
Rights: © 2016 HERDSA
RMID: 0030057132
DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2016.1238883
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Appears in Collections:Education publications

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