• Dave Foord
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Using bad jokes to get learners to engage with a VLE

I have somehow earned a reputation for bad jokes (I cannot work out how?), which I do play on sometimes – as people often ask what do I do when the technology goes wrong – and the answer is “Tell bad jokes, juggle (and I do carry my juggling balls for this) , or do magic tricks”.

But if I go back in time to the late 90s when I started using a VLE to support my face to face learning, I used bad jokes as part of this process. What I used to do was arrange my content on the VLE by week, and for each week there was an area for the usual suspects – notes, presentation, weblinks, questions etc.. But I added another called ‘Joke of the week’ – I would tell the joke one week, and answer it the next. What happened when the learners went to the area  look at the joke first, and when viewing the joke for one week, they saw the answers to the previous weeks joke (and a backward link to the previous week) – so they would then go back to see the joke that created the answer, and so on until they got to jokes that had seen before – but in doing this, the learners sometimes noticed in passing something on the VLE that may help them with their assignments (which was the intention) and after a few weeks the jokes were so bad that the learners were going onto the VLE just to see how bad they were getting. In the late 90s – using VLEs to support face to face learning in the area of sport science at level 3, wasn’t the norm, and I think the bad jokes element helped with my use of the VLE to enhance the learning experience.

So there is a history and a reason to my reputation for bad jokes….

Using bad jokes to help learners to engage with a VLE

Using bad jokes to help learners to engage with a VLE