TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, October 24, 2011

Do Attractive Professors Get Better Student Evaluations?

Our sister Legal Skills Prof Blog asks [d]o attractive teachers get better student teaching evals?:

This article studied the effect of teacher attractiveness, dressing well and possessing a "likeable" personality on student teaching evaluations. Looking Good, Teaching Well? Linking Liking, Looks, and Learning, 34 Teaching of Psychology 5 (2007).

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Since I don't want to take the time to read it, does anybody want to post the conclusion?

Posted by: the real anon | Oct 24, 2011 1:03:18 PM

Here you are, the real anon.

Looking Good, Teaching Well? Linking Liking, Looks, and Learning

Does the appearance of an instructor and the format of the class influence student grades and learning? We tested this question with 861 undergraduate students who completed an online questionnaire rating their instructors. Students were equally spread across class year and were from different majors. We used multiple regression analyses and found that likable, good-looking, well-dressed, and approachable teachers had students who said they learned more, had higher grades, and liked the class better.

...Despite the acknowledged limitations, we drew some important conclusions from this research. Beyond teaching techniques and the quality or organization of lectures, teachers’ personal characteristics can influence learning outcomes. The more likable, approachable, and attractive instructors appear to students, the more those students will report taking from their classes. According to our findings, professors should not think just about preparation for lectures, but also about preparation for being in the classroom. "Dressing for success," knowing and connecting with students, and being approachable to them may also improve their learning.

Is it possible that Paul is relying on his looks to get these summer jobs in southern California?

Posted by: Woody | Oct 24, 2011 4:35:44 PM