Explains the need for a valid and reliable instrument for course managers to evaluate their product through customer feedback as part of the system of quality assurance. Examines the justification for viewing higher education as a service provision with the student body as the customer. Provides a short review of the existing tools for measuring student experience along with the rationale for testing a modified version of the SERVQUAL instrument. The instrument was completed by volunteers from three undergraduate degrees ( n = 134) in class time just before the Christmas vacation. Analysis of the results revealed higher average perception scores than expectation scores on every dimension except tangibles. However, analysis also revealed rather lower reliability coefficients than achieved by Parasuraman or later replication studies. Factor analysis did not support the original five SERVQUAL dimensions in line with other replication studies. Considers the reasons for the low reliability score and the different factor structure. In particular, proposes the modified instrument’s lack of focus on a specific aspect of the complex service experience as a possible source of error. Recommends that the elements of service quality should be revisited and a higher education specific instrument for course managers should be constructed.
Managing Service Quality – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 1996
Keywords: Customer service; Management; Measurement; Quality assurance
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