Humor is a very effective tool to teach. Who doesn't like to enjoy a humorous situation? Why is humor not used popularly across training programs? Because it is risky, you may end up:
- Offending the learner
- Not getting through to the learner as it my go over his/her head (no offense meant to the learner)
- Not making the learner laugh as he/she doesn't think it is funny
How can humor be used? Humor can be displayed using characters with funny characteristics, funny situations or funny portrayals of situations, comic strips, and so on. You need to keep the following in mind when using humor.
- Know thy learners: First, understand your learners. Identify whether they would appreciate humor. Think about whether humor is the best strategy to get through to the learners.
- Culture issue: When using humor, ensure you know your learners well enough to avoid offending the learner by mocking a culturally sensitive issue. Do not use blonde jokes, sexist jokes, sarcasm, and so on.
- Personal values: Ensure that the humor does not offend the learner's personal values and belief systems.
- Generalizations: Avoid making generalizations about a particular group. You are most likely to alienate your learners. It make more sense to introduce a stereotype character than taint an entire group.
- Real life: Learner should be able to relate to it. The humor should be in sync with the work environment. It should reflect situations/characters around the learner.
If you have come across courses with humor used well, do share!