Laughter is typically a sign that healthy and valuable learning (emotional as well as intellectual) has just occurred. (Siebert, Al, PhD. The Survivor Personality. p 21-24. NY: A Perigee Book, 1996.)
Laughter stimulates both sides of the brain to enhance learning. It eases muscle tension and psychological stress, which keeps the brain alert and allows people to retain more information. (Humor and Laughter: Health Benefits and Online Sources.)
John Cleese, English comedian: the Dalai Lama told him that laughter is good for thinking because “when people laugh, it is easier for them to admit new ideas to their minds.” (Baldoni, John. Laughter as Learning. Monthly Web site column, 1998.
Levity in the virtual classroom can significantly boost student interest and participation. Humor is a social lubricant that can facilitate interactions and make the learning process more enjoyable. (Gibson, Andrea. Learning New Study Supports Use of Humor in Online Courses. May, 2005.)
Laughter stimulates both sides of the brain to enhance learning. It eases muscle tension and psychological stress, which keeps the brain alert and allows people to retain more information. (Science of Laughter. Discovery Health.)
The use of humor by instructors helps to create an enjoyable classroom environment where students are less anxious and more willing to participate in class. (Clouse, R. Wilburn, PhD, Vanderbilt University. Source.)
Humor can be used to break down barriers to communication so that professors can better connect and deliver their messages to students and other audiences. (Berk, Ronald A., PhD. Professors are from Mars, Students are from Snickers.)
Humor can lead to perceptual flexibility. The concepts of creativity and change are closely related to each other, as well as to humor and learning. Research has dhown increased retention of information when humor is used in teaching. (Schwartz, Enid A., RN, MA, MC. Infusing Humor into Healthcare. p 78, 91. CE Express.)
Refer to Learning and the Brain for additional information.