Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership



First Reader/Committee Chair

Schnorr, Donna


As various stakeholders examine the value and quality of higher education, a greater emphasis is being put on educational outcomes. There is constant focus on improving the quality of undergraduate education and one of the keys to this is understanding what makes a good instructor. Effective instructors rely on a variety of tools and techniques to engage their students and help them learn. One common tool that instructors in higher education rely on in the classroom is humor.

The primary research question this study is attempting to answer is: In what ways, if any, does humor infused instruction promote high levels of affective, cognitive, and participant perceptions of behavioral engagement among college students? The researcher's hypothesis is that college students who view video clips of humor infused instruction will be significantly more affectively, cognitively, and behaviorally engaged than students who view video clips of the same instructional content without humor.

In order to test whether instructor use of humor in class increases student engagement, students were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group watched a lecture on fallacies that includes humorous illustrations and examples while the other group watched a lecture that does not include these humorous illustrations and examples. Immediately after watching the lecture students were asked to complete an 18-item questionnaire that measured their engagement.