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The aim of the research presented here is to assess student satisfaction at the Aarhus School of Business (ASB) for the Summer University that was first introduced in July 2006. The European Performance Satisfaction Index (EPSI) was adapted to incorporate student satisfaction in order to reach this aim, and was used as the main approach in our thesis. The necessary data was gathered from online surveys we derived from the students.
Two studies complemented this model. On the one hand, structured interviews were conducted with all relevant lecturers and on the other hand, a survey was conducted in two waves with Summer University participants. In the first wave, the students¿ initial expectations were measured and in the second wave it was the degree of fulfilment for these expectations that were measured. Results from the EPSI model indicated that participants of the Summer University were satisfied overall with the program and will remain loyal. Surprisingly however, the variable image showed no direct impact on perceived value, satisfaction, and loyalty. The results from the interviews showed that lecturers were well chosen, but not adequately prepared for the program. In addition, the survey results indicated that expectations were to some degree fulfilled, but certain attributes of lecture quality experienced a negative disconfirmation of expectations. Furthermore, the direct comparison of data from the lecturers and the students suggested problems with the information flow between ASB, the lecturers, and the students. From these findings it can be concluded that overall, the Summer University was a success in the introduction of a new study program; however, there are some areas that need to be improved. Thus, our suggestions include new positioning and better marketing for next year, concrete improvement of quality attributes and information flow, and a strategy for sustainability and expansion of the Summer University.
Our work successfully presents student satisfaction with a threefold approach, not used hitherto. Combining all three approaches in one dissertation and establishing linkages and interrelations between them, provides an extensive insight towards student satisfaction. Considering ASB Summer University took place for the first time in 2006, the insights we provide and the recommendations we are able to give, will influence the further organisational and managerial development of the program.
When deciding on the topic of our thesis, we concentrated on two issues. Firstly, it had to be both practically oriented and supported by important theories learned in our study program. Secondly, it needed to be beneficial and meaningful to a third party. Thus, we were very delighted, when we received the opportunity to evaluate the performance of the Summer University for the Aarhus School of Business. We would like to thank both the ASB management and all people involved, who helped us with this project. This includes Peder Østergaard and Frank Pedersen for giving us the opportunity to investigate, and Steen Weisner and Dorte Føns Sørensen for their personal support. Our special gratitude and acknowledgement goes to our supervisor Joachim Scholderer, for his untiring support and encouragement. His professional guidance and patience, combined with the high demands he sets on a master thesis helped us to produce a master thesis we can be proud of.
Inhaltsverzeichnis:Table of Contents:
TABLE OF CONTENTSIII
LIST OF FIGURESV
LIST OF TABLESVI
2.2Strategy 2006 ¿ 20096
2.4Summer University 200611
3.1Total Quality Management14
3.1.1Introduction to TQM15
3.1.3TQM in higher education20
3.3Customer satisfaction models25
3.3.1Expectancy disconfirmation paradigm25
3.3.2Customer satisfaction measurement27
3.3.3ECSI (EPSI) model31
4.1Measuring student oriented quality in higher education36
4.2Drivers of student satisfaction and loyalty42
4.3Miscellaneous research on student satisfaction46
6.SUMMER UNIVERSITY EVALUATION52
6.3.1EPSI model and item analysis64
6.3.2Comparison of Expected and Experienced quality78
6.4.1EPSI model and specific level93
7.CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS104
APPENDIX128 Textprobe:Text Sample:
Chapter 4.3, Miscellaneous research on student satisfaction:
The adaptation of the EPSI methodology is of course not the only way to measure student satisfaction. In this section, miscellaneous research using different models for researching student satisfaction will be presented chronologically and under various perspectives.
In their research, Browne et al. examined the relationships between satisfaction and quality judgements of college services. In all, 736 students completed a questionnaire. The authors investigated the perceived service performance of a university college. At the same time, students were asked about satisfaction, regarding specific aspects of the program, offered by the college. Three dependent measures of satisfaction were used: global satisfaction, willingness to recommend the college, and satisfaction with value received from the educational experience. It was found that global satisfaction with a university was not only driven by a student¿s assessment of the quality of the course and other curriculum-related factors associated with the university. Results also indicated that the perceived quality of the education offered and the service quality, explained different amounts of variance in satisfaction. The likelihood of a student recommending the university to friends or relatives was to a great extent influenced by the interaction between students and university personnel. The paper presented by Browne et al.offers some interesting findings. Therefore, we will deal with the question of what extent loyalty and concluding post-lecture intentions or recommendations can be found. Service quality and other congruent factors influencing student satisfaction, as discovered from Browne et al. will also play an important role.
Hill, Lomas and MacGregor collected qualitative data from focus groups in higher education, by asking what the students perceived as being quality in higher education. They used an inductive approach, which is described by DePoy and Gitlin, as an integration of both quantitative and qualitative strategies. Their findings show that the quality of the lecturer and the content and quality of the curriculum are the two most influential factors. The quality of the lecturer was considered to be the most important facet. The students appreciated lecturers, who were experts in their subject, were well organised, and interesting to listen to. The direct relationship between student and lecturer also played a key role. It was important for the students to find an easy environment with open discussions, where asking a question was not considered a disadvantage.
As mentioned already in chapter three, we also consider the quality of teaching as a very important factor for providing a good education. Therefore, we will further discuss and analyse the lecturers¿ performance at the ASB Summer University in chapter six and seven. Firstly, this will be done by analysing the qualitative interviews with the lecturers. Secondly, we will relate these findings to the results of the student satisfaction questionnaire, in which some items also covered the quality of teaching. Banwet and Datta surveyed 170 students who attended four lectures, delivered by the same lecturer at an interval of two weeks. They used a structural equation model to show how the various facets of perceived lecture quality affect students¿ satisfaction and their post-lecture intentions. Findings from their research showed that students placed more importance on the outcome of the lecture, than on any other dimension. These outcome dimensions included the extent of knowledge and skills gained during the lecture, availability of materials, and depth of the lecture. This is consistent with other past research, in which the outcome of service was also rated as the most important factor, therefore affecting satisfaction. Generally, the lectures met the students¿ expectations.
However, the condition and ambience of the classroom and the equipment was worse than expected. Overall, student satisfaction had a stronger effect on post-lecture intentions, than perceived quality. The most interesting finding from this work is the great relevance of the outcome of service. Thus, we will also investigate services and the physical surroundings of the lectures, with respect to both the students and the lecturer¿s point of view. Additionally, it will be interesting to see to what extent students¿ expectations will be confirmed at the ASB Summer University, as the expectations in this work were fully met.
Mustafa and Chiang focused in their work on the dimensions of quality in higher education and the relationship between the variables of lecturer performance, class content, and quality of education. The researchers collected 485 questionnaires from accounting classes of an AACSB accredited accounting program. To clarify the results, the Lisrel model was used. Some of the research from Mustafa and Chiang concentrated on finding interpretable results, by dividing the students into various subgroups, e.g. students with a high grade point average. However, as their results showed no significant differences, this idea will not be followed in our research.
Other main findings revealed that there were four main dimensions describing the quality of education: lecturer abilities, lecturer attitudes, course load, and course materials. They also found a positive relationship between lecturer performance, or course content on the one hand, and quality of education on the other hand. From their findings, they concluded that lecturer performance played an important role in the quality of education. Acknowledging these findings, we will analyse lecturer performances in parts of our own research later in chapter six.
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