Parody Learning in a Nutshell:
Parody Learning :
The definition is simple, it’s combining the words Parody (a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature, movie, and anything that is mainstream) and Learning.
When combined, Parody Learning is for those who want to learn, but have a low attention span. It uses mainstream media clips mixed with the new content that you want the individual to learn to increase attention and retention rate.
You are familiar with Parody Learning because you see it all the time.
Imagine it’s your freshman year of high school and you are stuck in science class for an hour, the teacher decides to put on a documentary about water and it’s about molecules…boring! Well, if you were a millennial then hopefully you were lucky and was able to watch Bill Nye the Science Guy! What made water so cool and enjoyable to learn was the fact that Bill Nye combined comedy and sometimes in the form of parody with new content to increase attention rate. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that making things funny is key when we have such low attention spans.
The average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds and humans, well we are now at 8 seconds, what a shame.
Time Magazine created an article stating that “Researchers in Canada surveyed 2,000 participants and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms (EEGs). Microsoft found that since the year 2000 (or about when the mobile revolution began) the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds.”
If low attention span is such an issue, then we really need to focus on finding tactics to keep us engaged. Creating videos using the parody learning method can help students with formal education from pre-school until graduate level, job training, how to videos, and even basic political content that may be boring to many, but now it’s entertaining.
These are examples of Parody Learning videos in different categories.
- Politics: Last Week Tonight
- Entrepreneurship: BadPenguinTV
- Comedy: Saturday Night Live
- Science: Bill Nye the Science Guy
- History: HistoryTeachers
Let’s get more academic with research
First let’s see what faculty member Dave Underwood from University of Colorado Boulder had to say about using parody for learning “I routinely see students excited about their work… but in this class, the elements of humor, irony, and sarcasm appear to have kicked things up a notch.” Heather Lamarre from the University of Minnesota published an article in the International Journal of Communication about when parody and reality collide.
Most people are not interested in politics and wouldn’t know much about the 2010 U.S Supreme Court decision on campaign finance but The Colbert Report ( a show that uses parody learning) changed the way people learn. Results indicate that “consuming Colbert’s super PAC parody in the context of his comedy show resulted in significantly higher levels of issue knowledge and support for campaign finance reform when compared with those who consumed Colbert’s super PAC parody in the context of a political talk show (Morning Joe).
The present study addresses the theoretical and practical implications for political and policy communication.” Would you have taken the time to learn about political issues regarding campaign finance? Maybe you would, but I bet your attention span on the subject matter would have increased with methodologies of delivery of information of The Colbert Report.
Now that you know the importance parody learning, let’s learn how to create your own parody educational video.
1st) create a list of key topics that you want the person to learn
2nd) do research on your target person that will be watching your videos (Example: Age 18-25, Male, College Student, Favorite: Show Rick and Morty, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones)
3rd ) find mainstream quotes, memes or gifs of the shows, music, or movies that your target audience will enjoy. If the target audience doesn’t watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians, then the video won’t be as effective.
4th ) naturally try to combine the new content that you want the person to learn and the funny content that you found.
Before you upload your videos
Make sure you meet the guidelines of copyright law. Lucky for us, we would follow the Fair Use and the category of parody. Note: I’m not a lawyer and in today’s society everyone seems to be getting sued. Please consult with a lawyer to see if your material does fall under Fair Use. I have always been interested in entrepreneurship since it seems to be such a mystery to me and most people.
If we truly understood how business owners could successfully build a company then you wouldn’t have these statistics found in the Entrepreneur magazine “75 percent of venture-backed startups fail. This statistic is based on a Harvard Business School study by Shikhar Ghosh. In a study by Statistic Brain, Startup Business Failure Rate by Industry, the failure rate of all U.S. companies after five years was over 50 percent, and over 70 percent after 10 years.”