Complete Story


Short Course #5: Teaching a Course on Humor Communication: The Confluence of Theory and Context

Saturday, April 27, 1:00 - 2:15 pm


Teaching a Course on Humor Communication: The Confluence of Theory and Context


Rachel L. DiCioccio, The University of Rhode Island




This short course will help teachers develop a course on humor communication. The fast growing area of humor research represents a significant body of scholarship in the field of Communication Studies. We will discuss how to develop a semester long humor course that examines contemporary theories, measures, and multiple dynamic contexts including humor in relationships, families, organizations, medicine, education, and intercultural relations. Participants will be provided course materials including a sample syllabus, assignments, ancillary supplements, and a copy of the new book, Humor

Communication: Theory, Impact, and Outcomes (Edited by Rachel L. DiCioccio) published by Kendall Hunt.

Target Audience


The target audience for this short course includes all college and university instructors interested in developing an upper level undergraduate or graduate level course on humor communication. There is no preparation required by participants.

Outline of Topics


  • Theories, measures, and contextual research on humor.
  • The value of teaching a course on humor communication.

Learning Outcomes


  • Participants will better understand the central theories and content areas that define humor.
  • Participants will understand how a course on humor communication can enhance student learning and add value to a program.
  • Participants will be able to identify a list of competencies students should demonstrate upon completion of a course in humor communication.
  • Participants will be able to construct a semester long course on humor communication.

Teaching Methods


This course will focus on two goals. First, the course will be highly interactive as participants will engage in idea exchange and small group discussion regarding incorporating a humor course within their particular program. We will discuss where a humor course fits in an existing series and the value it brings to a program. These interactive activities are targeted toward helping participants establish a rationale that positions the course as a necessary part of a department’s permanent course offerings. A second goal is to help participants become familiar with teaching strategies and course design to develop and upper level undergraduate or graduate level humor course. Participants will brainstorm and  discuss design issues including content and organization, learning objectives, assignments, and activities.