It’s okay.  Dr. Alan Partridge says so.

Humor is great – and I’d say essential – in e-learning.  But like everything else, moderation is important.

However, I once tried to sneak a “rickroll” prank into an e-learning module.  I had downloaded a copy of the video for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” and inserted it into a Captivate slide on an e-learning module.  The voice-over narration said, “Please watch this important video from our CEO about the training you are receiving.”  A few seconds later, the trainee would see this:


Several minutes after I had sent the completed module to the project manager for review, he came to me, face red from laughing, and told me it was the funniest thing he’d ever seen done in e-learning.

“Could we keep it in,” I asked.

He shook his head.  “It wouldn’t make it past legal.  But everybody who took the training would love it!”

I inserted this into a lengthy software demo as an intermission.

My supervisor immediately e-mailed me and asked why there was an intermission in the middle of the demo.  I replied that it wouldn’t make sense to have an intermission at the beginning  or the end.  I immediately got a phone call from her, saying “That’s not what I mean.”

I guess it stayed in.  I left that company shortly after I created that demo (but not because of what my supervisor said – she was the best boss I’d ever had).