The Role Humor Plays in Facilitating Rapport, Engagement, and Motivation in Graduate Online Learning Environments
Description: This study seeks to explore, using an interpretivist phenomenological approach, how humor may impact rapport, engagement, and motivation in graduate online learning environments. Through detailed qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews, direct observation, and demographic survey data, emergent themes were identified that support the use of appropriate humor to create a positive online environment in which learning can take place. Evidence indicates that humor, when used purposefully and appropriately, is a valuable tool for promoting rapport and engagement amongst course members through community-building and enhanced interpersonal connections. The results of this study reveal the importance of finding common ground and shared experiences to improve the overall social and communicative culture of an online course. The results also support the idea that online instructors should make a great effort in connecting with students in online courses and must make a greater effort to appropriately engage in their online courses. Appropriate recommendations are made for practical application of humor to support pedagogy, as well as recommendations for future research on humor in educational environments.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Steele, James