A Humorous Way to Improve Interactive eLearning Design

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Our belief: At Vignettes Learning we use stories in eLearning; however, we make them interactive. The emphasis is getting learners involved in the story and not just telling the learners the story.
Synthesis. This blog features an interesting study made by Chin-Yeh Wang, Shu-Yu Ke, Hui-Chun Chuang, He-Yun Yseng & Gwo-Dong Chen, Taiwanese researchers who attempted to show how humor can contribute to effective elearning development.
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Watch the video above.

People love good stories especially if they are spiced up by humor. In the video above, the developer used humor to project the apparent lesson of the narrative.

However, this video is not teaching employees how to get away with leaving work early. In fact, it is showing management how to catch employees cutting work hours by using the ‘tricks’ as shown in the clip. So, who’s laughing now?

In any case, this is a good example of how to convey elearning lessons by infusing humor into the module design. Such narratives can get the attention of elearners more than straightforward boring approaches. For was it not said that a spoonful of honey can attract more flies than a barrel of vinegar?

In E-learning System Design with Humor and Empathy Interaction by Virtual Human to Improve Students’ Learning, Chin-Yeh Wang, Shu-Yu KE, Hui-Chun Chuang, He-Yun Yseng&Gwo-Dong Chen write:

“Many students have an experience, which they always feel sleepy, bored, and some negative emotion, in their learning life. When students have these negative emotions, they usually do not learn well. Students’ emotions can impact how motivated student is to continue with the learning process and the way student perceives the learning process significantly. However, in e-learning system, it is difficult and important to capture learners’ emotions and give them feedback at appropriate moments. Moreover, tutor may not interact with learners well in e-learning because there is no gaze and emotional communication between their interactions. Therefore, we try to improve these problems in e-learning by the design of a humorous and empathic virtual human. Studies have indicated that a learning system with affective interaction may increase student’ motivation, makes the system more engaging, and persuade learners during the interaction.”

I would like to sum up my conclusions from the said study:

  • Humor can readily draw out emotional responses from the elearners.
  • Humor is a means to empathize with participants. It builds a connection between the elearners and the online facilitator or interactive trainer.
  • Using the virtual human with a sense of humor makes elearning more retainable.

Let me end with a direct quote from the research paper: “Humor can enhance emotional and social involvement, and through humorous conversations are enlivened, become more interesting and enjoyable. And it is also a way of getting students to pay more attention, and enhancing the recall of classroom information. Therefore, we try to design the virtual human with humor for responding to learners’ emotions.”

Read my related blog:
Using the ridiculous and exaggerated situations to hone learning ideas


Reference:
E-learning System Design with Humor and Empathy Interaction by Virtual Human to Improve Students’ Learning by Chin-Yeh Wang, Shu-Yu Ke, Hui-Chun Chuang, He-Yun Tseng &Gwo-Dong Chen

Mansome 132: How to Get Away with Leaving Work Early

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