Who doesn’t like to have a good laugh? I could certainly do with some laughter, particularly if I have to stare the screen for 30 mins or so to complete an eLearning course and effectively assimilate what is being said there. However, many are reluctant to use humor in their eLearning modules as the audiences are not physically present and you can’t gauge their reactions. In face to face training programs, the instructor has the benefit of being physically presence in the same space as his/ her audiences, understand them and their backgrounds and reactions and alter his/ her presentation patterns spontaneously. It is not possible in eLearning as typically it caters to diverse audiences and not all may appreciate or react to humor in the same way. Having said that, it is a real pity if we exclude humor altogether from our eLearning courses. Don’t you think so?
Despite the limitations, we can still include humor in our courses particularly in the following areas:
Ice-breakers: Ice-breakers have traditionally been used by trainers to build a rapport with the audience. Ice-breakers in eLearning courses can be made humorous by using a quick animation, cartoon, joke or conversation that can set the context to the subject matter. It will help learners get into the right mood for the learning process.
Do’s and Don’ts: Another excellent place where we could use humor is when we are telling about do’s and don’t for doing a particular action. For example, if it is code of conduct training course and you are trying to explain the accepted conduct, you could effectively use humor to say, “look you can’t do it this way and if you do this is what going to happen”. Using caricatures and cartoons, you could send the message across without sounding too preachy.
Feedback in Assessments: How often have we not taken assessments where we get a feedback saying, “That’s correct, click next to continue”. Don’t you think it is so robotic? In fact one of our clients wanted us to somehow include football game while providing feedback to assessments questions and our production team developed a series of clippings where on clicking the right answer the ball hits the goal and on clicking the wrong answer it misses the goal. Now, who wouldn’t want to hit a goal! Of course, I will pay more attention to the next question and attempt to get the right answer.
Gone are the days of boring page-turner kind of eLearning courses. Courses need to be interactive, animated and lively and what better way to do that than to add humor to the courses. Have you taken any eLearning courses that were humorous? If so do share your experiences. Better still if you have clippings, we’d love to take a look at them.