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  1. Comedy Central: Humor in Library Instruction Billie E. Walker Penn State – Berks Reference Librarian
  3. Humor in the classroom is a twentieth century phenomenon (Wandersee, 1982)
  4. Benefits of Humor to Learners <ul><li>Retention of Material </li></ul><ul><li>Student-teacher Rapport </li></ul><ul><li>Attentiveness and Interest </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation towards and Satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>with Learning </li></ul>
  5. Benefits of Humor to Learners <ul><li>Playfulness and Positive Attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Class Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Stress </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety toward Subject Matter </li></ul><ul><li>(Korobkin, 1988) </li></ul>
  6. Fun Mood <ul><li>An instructor who actively shares in the humor helps to cultivate freer interaction, idea generation and group cohesiveness while reducing social anxiety, conformity, and dogmatism. </li></ul><ul><li>(Ziv, 1976) </li></ul>
  7. Why Use Humor in the Classroom? <ul><li>Two important reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian-Student Connection </li></ul><ul><li>Engages Student in the Learning Process </li></ul>
  8. The planned use of humor can spark student recall long after the lesson is over. (Kaplan & Pascoe, 1977)
  9. Laughter is the Best Medicine
  10. Library Anxiety <ul><li>Library anxiety can be described as “an uncomfortable feeling or disposition experienced in a library situation” </li></ul><ul><li>(Jiao, Onwuegbuzie & Lichtenstein, 1996) </li></ul>
  11. Library anxiety <ul><li>Relative size of the library </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of knowledge about the location of materials, equipment, and resources of the library </li></ul><ul><li>How to initiate library research </li></ul><ul><li>How to proceed with a library search (Mellon, 1986). </li></ul>
  12. Library anxiety <ul><li>Students often perceive that they are the only ones who do not know how to use the library and who lack library skills. </li></ul><ul><li>High-anxious students feel that other students are adept at using the library, while they alone are inept. </li></ul><ul><li>(Mellon, 1986) </li></ul>
  13. Inappropriate humor in the Classroom <ul><li>Ethnic </li></ul><ul><li>Racist </li></ul><ul><li>Sexist </li></ul><ul><li>Religious </li></ul><ul><li>Insult or sarcasm </li></ul>
  14. Any word, object, or action that violates a person’s values, moral principles, or norms of behavior would be offensive (Veatch, 1998).
  15. Culture-Free Humor <ul><li>Student Life </li></ul><ul><li>Types of Courses </li></ul><ul><li>Technology problems, especially PCs </li></ul><ul><li>Mega-hit Movies </li></ul><ul><li>Pets </li></ul><ul><li>Food </li></ul>
  16. Factors That Can Affect Laughter in the Classroom <ul><li>Physical Arrangements “Sardine-Can Theory of Laughter” </li></ul><ul><li>Class Size </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom Atmosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul>
  17. Creating Magic in the Classroom
  18. Humor as a tool for library instruction is not for everyone
  19. Cultivating One’s Sense of Humor <ul><li>Be Natural </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Laughs at the trails and trivialities of life </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Audience Needs </li></ul><ul><li>Be Spontaneous </li></ul>
  20. How Do You Learn to Be Funny? <ul><li>Selectionist Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency and Sensitivity </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom Application </li></ul>
  21. Selectionist Approach <ul><li>Generate a large pool of jokes </li></ul><ul><li>Practice them </li></ul><ul><li>Test them out </li></ul><ul><li>Fine tune them </li></ul><ul><li>Select the best ones </li></ul><ul><li>Get a job at a comedy club </li></ul><ul><li>Leave academia </li></ul><ul><li>Star in your own sitcom </li></ul><ul><li>Become rich and famous </li></ul>
  22. Frequency and Sensitivity <ul><li>Two variables are critical to learning this process: </li></ul><ul><li>Joking frequency </li></ul><ul><li>Sensitivity to social responses </li></ul>
  23. Classroom Application <ul><li>Props </li></ul><ul><li>Anecdotes </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Cartoons </li></ul><ul><li>Humorous Questions and Examples </li></ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul>
  24. Assessment <ul><li>The simplest and most feasible </li></ul><ul><li>approach to obtaining feedback is </li></ul><ul><li>to ask your students directly. (Berk, 2002) </li></ul>
  25. Scale Construction <ul><li>Does humor help to improve the </li></ul><ul><li>students ability to learn the subject </li></ul><ul><li>matter? </li></ul><ul><li>Does humor help to grab the </li></ul><ul><li>students attention, increase their </li></ul><ul><li>interest, reduce anxiety/stress, </li></ul><ul><li>and make class fun? </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestions </li></ul>
  26. LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTIVE LEARNING <ul><li>Are you a performer? </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture from a script, notes or memory </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate concepts with props </li></ul><ul><li>Manipulate your voice (volume, pitch) </li></ul><ul><li>Inject humor </li></ul><ul><li>Add music </li></ul>
  27. Billie’s Examples <ul><li>One-liners </li></ul><ul><li>Web Deception </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Deprecatiion </li></ul><ul><li>Wacky but True </li></ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul>
  28. Comedy Central: Humor in Library Instruction <ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Humor is not a substitute for </li></ul><ul><li>teaching, but when used properly </li></ul><ul><li>it can be a powerful and delightful </li></ul><ul><li>tool for library instruction. </li></ul><ul><li>Not every example needs to be funny. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to strike a balance. </li></ul>
  29. Bibliography <ul><li>Berk, R.A. (2002). Humor as an instructional defibrillator. Stylus Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Kaplan, R.M. & Pascoe, G.C. (1977). Humorous </li></ul><ul><li>lectures and humorous examples: Some effects upon comprehension and retention. Journal of Educational Psychology. 69:61-65. </li></ul><ul><li>Korobkin, D. (1988). Humor in the classroom: Considerations and Strategies. College Teaching. 36:154-158. </li></ul>
  30. Bibliography <ul><li>Mellon, C.A. (1986). Library anxiety: A grounded theory and its development. College and Research Libraries. 47:160-165. </li></ul><ul><li>Wandersee, J.H. (1982). Humor as a teaching strategy. The American Biology Teacher. 44:212-218. </li></ul><ul><li>Veatch, T.C. (1998). A theory of humor. HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research. 11:161-215. </li></ul><ul><li>Ziv, A. (1976). Facilitating effects of humor on creativity. Journal of Educational Psychology. 68:318-322. </li></ul>
  31. Comedy Central: Humor in Library Instruction <ul><li>Contact Info: </li></ul><ul><li>Billie E. Walker </li></ul><ul><li>Penn State – Berks </li></ul><ul><li>Reference Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>