My h818 conference abstract

Hello and Happy New Year.

On Saturday 13th February, 2021 I will be presenting an introduction to my H818 project, “Humour in eLearning: Making Sure Everyone Is In On The Joke’

The conference abstract and multimedia poster is below and I would warmly welcome any feedback. Further updates will be being made in the coming weeks, including a soft pilot launch of the H818 project, so please do pop by again or feel free to reach out to me on social media.


Humour in eLearning: Making Sure Everyone is on the Joke.

Beyond the basic drive for wide-ranging dissemination of content, the philosophy of Open Educational Resources pushes for inclusivity, to be demonstrated by the widest possible representation of both creators and users in terms of participation and collaboration. Inclusivity requires all to have a voice in the formation, direction, development, and delivery of Open Education.

Whilst increased inclusivity can be seen to aid the dismantling of many hierarchical educational systems and decentralise the production of content which are often Western centred ideas and tools it must not be presumed a passive benefit of producing open access content otherwise exclusions may be maintained or reinforced (Castaño Muñoz et al, 2013).

The H818 project is focused on one specific pedagogical tool that has been well researched in its use in in-person learning settings, but less so in its use in eLearning, the use of humour in learning. The project offers practitioners the opportunity to reflect on their use of humour as a tool, and its role in fostering inclusivity whilst acknowledging used incorrectly, humour may be perceived as confusing, offensive, counter-productive, or divisive (Trivantis, 2013; Hardy, 2016).

The benefits to learners of humour incorporated into their learning can benefit them in several areas including social, cognitive psychological, and emotional (McCartney, 2020)

The use of humour can increase a student’s attention, support divergent thinking, develop a more supportive learning environment and sense of community (James, 2004), these latter points a desirable attribute when the aim is to increase inclusion.

However, as previously noted, the antithesis to inclusion, exclusion, may be inadvertently maintained or reinforced if this pedagogical tool is not challenged and considered in the context of a wider and diverse audience.

The H818 project, available on the website as an OER, curates a collection of references and resources for content creators on the pedagogical use of humour with several reflective activities for creators to consider their own stance on using humour as a pedagogical tool, their use and approach to humour in learning, and to critically think of the implications of that use in the context of open and diverse settings.

The H818 presentation will focus briefly on the background that inspired this project and a high-level overview of the subject of humour in eLearning. The decision to create an open, online resource which centres around reflective activities for content creators will be discussed, and the conference attendees challenged to consider their own position on the topic.

Initial feedback from content creators who have taken part in a pilot version will be shared and how this is forming future possibilities for the direction of resource.

The presentation will be of interest to all those working in online and eLearning content creation at many levels both in educational and corporate settings, especially those working with diverse audiences.


Castaño Muñoz, J., Redecker, C., Vuorikari, R. and Punie, Y., 2013. Open Education 2030: planning the future of adult learning in Europe. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, [online] 28(3), pp.171-186. Available at: <; [Accessed 17 November 2020].

Hardy, L., 2016. How To Teach Online Using Humor: 10 Dos And Don’ts – Elearning Industry. [online] eLearning Industry. Available at: <; [Accessed 18 November 2020].

James, D., 2004. A Need for Humor in Online Courses. College Teaching, 52(3).

McCartney, M., 2020. Playful Pedagogy: Using Humor to Increase Social Interaction Online. In: A. Thornburg, D. Abernathy and R. Ceglie, ed., Handbook of Research on Developing Engaging Online Courses, 1st ed. [online] IGI Global, pp.224-244. Available at: <http://10.4018/978-1-7998-2132-8&gt; [Accessed 28 December 2020].

OER Commons. 2021. OER Commons. [online] Available at: <; [Accessed 9 January 2021].

Trivantis, 2013. The Dos And Dont’s Of Using Humor In Elearning. [online] ELearning Brothers. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 November 2020].

Conference Presentation Poster

H818 Conference Presentation Poster

Conference Poster Transcript in Accessible Text Format:

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