A day late and a dollar short...

A day late and a dollar short...

by Sandra McKenzie -
Number of replies: 1
as usual. It's time (and past time) to wrap up what has been, for me, a thought-provoking discussion about humour in the classroom (virtual or actual).

So, what have we learned? That humour is both a tool and a weapon; that the element of surprise is essential; that there are formulae that can be applied (though I suspect there is more alchemy than mathematics to humour. The best jokes defy analysis, and no formula, however precise, can save a lame joke); that emoticons can mitigate the potential sting of a joke; and that humour, can enliven the learning process, and open the mind to new possibilities. Teaching online (via webcasting) is a lot like stand-up comedy, it appears. Passion, preparedness, and the imagination to see beyond the obvious are the critical elements both of successful comedy and effective pedagogy.

Special thanks to Corrie for reminding me to beware the easy target - that one person's joke is another person's assault and that satire always has a bite. And thanks to Les, for sharing his student's research in finding the (truly inspirational!) end of the story of the marijuana smuggler. Kudos to his students for taking the appropriate lesson from this example.

Finally, if there is one lesson to take away from all this discussion, it must be that humour is risky business.

Thanks to all who have participated. ^-)
In reply to Sandra McKenzie

Re: A day late and a dollar short...

by Sylvia Currie -
Thanks everyone for bringing such great ideas and examples to this discussion! And of course a special thanks goes to Sandra for introducing this topic and taking time from her busy schedule to facilitate this seminar.

Reading back I had a few belly laughs and AHA! moments. I always appreciate the opportunity to revisit a discussion because I miss so much in the moment. I guess that means subtle humour and asynchronous communication go well together!  clown

Our next scheduled discussion will be
The Role of Online Communities in Developing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and will be integrated with a presentation and participation from delegates attending the Society for Teaching & Learning in Higher Education Educational Developers' Caucus. I hope you to see you all there!

Sylvia Currie
Community Coordinator