Information Systems Education Journal

Volume 12

V12 N3 Pages 30-38

May 2014

The Influence of Typeface on Students’ Perceptions of Online Instructors

Michelle Louch
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA 15282, USA

Elizabeth Stork
Robert Morris University
Moon Township, PA 15108, USA

Abstract: At its base, advertising is the process of using visual images and words to attract and convince consumers that a certain product has certain attributes. The same effect exists in electronic communication, strongly so in online courses where most if not all interaction between instructor and student is in writing. Arguably, if consumers make certain assumptions about a product based on the typeface used on a package, then online students are poised to do the same when they read emails from an online instructor. This pilot study looked at the specific medium of e-mail and how an e-mail’s recipient (student) might transfer his or her perceptions of attributes of three typefaces to attributes of the sender (instructor) of the email. One was a commonly used typeface, and the other two were selected for their dramatic differences from the common typeface. The findings revealed that the participants’ opinions of the sender were highly influenced by the typeface used. In the arena of online education, attention should be given to typeface selection in instructors’ emails to students.

Keywords: Advertising, Commnication, Email, Typeface, Virtual Teams, On-line learning

Download this article: ISEDJ - V12 N3 Page 30.pdf

Recommended Citation: Louch, M., Stork, E. (2014). The Influence of Typeface on Students’ Perceptions of Online Instructors. Information Systems Education Journal, 12(3) pp 30-38. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2013)