Liu & Tomasi

The Effect of Professor’s Attractiveness on Distance Learning Students

Jeanny Liu, University of La Verne, La Verne, California, USA
Stella D. Tomasi, Towson University, Towson, Maryland, USA


Technology enabled learning is becoming more popular and pervasive in education. While the effectiveness of distance learning versus traditional classroom education is strongly debated, human factors such as students’ perception of their professors can influence their desire to learn. This research examines the perceptual effect of attractive professors on business students enrolled in distance learning courses. This study expands on prior studies by testing whether the attractiveness of the professor matters to student learning within the context of online learning environment. A total of 122 online business students were surveyed. Our findings suggest that professor’s attractiveness has a statistically significant effect on student learning, motivation, and satisfaction. In addition, online students perceived attractive professors with more expertise as an instructor. Female students had higher motivation than male students. Furthermore, separate analysis indicated that attractiveness effects were stronger for participants over the age 46 when compared to other groups.


Distance learning, online teaching and learning, online instructors attractiveness, course satisfaction, student motivation

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