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An empirical investigation of the use of humor in university classrooms

Hicham Benjelloun (College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues

ISSN: 1753-7983

Article publication date: 6 November 2009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of humor in university classrooms in Qatar. This paper also seeks to highlight the positive impact of humor on learning and creativity.

Design/methodology/approach

Using two different surveys, 101 Qatar University business students, mostly accounting and finance majors, are asked to rate different statements about the use of humor in university classrooms.

Findings

Students are overwhelmingly in favor of the use of humor. They think that most professors do not use it to enhance learning. On the other hand, they do not want extreme forms of humor; they would rather see a lighthearted approach where the professor is formal but yet approachable and relaxed. Finally, it appears that finance students have a higher appreciation for humor compared with accounting students.

Originality/value

Using humor in the classroom is one aspect of learning that has been ignored by college education research in the area. University professors can dramatically increase the quality of learning by offering their students a pleasant environment.

Keywords

Citation

Benjelloun, H. (2009), "An empirical investigation of the use of humor in university classrooms", Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 312-322. https://doi.org/10.1108/17537980911001134

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited