OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Instructor Humor as a Tool to Increase Student Engagement


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: Does humor infused instruction promote high levels of emotional, cognitive, and 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 emotionally, cognitively, and behaviorally engaged than students who view video clips of the same instructional content without humor. In order to test for a correlation between instructor use of humor in class and student engagement, student participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group will watch a lecture on fallacies that includes humorous illustrations and examples while the other group will watch a lecture that does not include 30 5th Annual Student Research Symposium these humorous illustrations and examples. Immediately after watching the lecture students will be asked to complete an 18-item questionnaire that will measure their engagement.

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