The School of Business, one unit in a public university enrolling over 40,000 students, has approximately 2,100 students in its bachelors, masters, and doctorate programs emphasizing such areas of business as accounting, finance, information and operations management, marketing, management, and others. Because the School of Business must serve a diverse student population on limited resources, it feels it is important to accurately measure students satisfaction with the schools programs and services.
Accurate measurement of student satisfaction will enable the school to target improvement efforts to those areas of greatest concern to students, whether that be by major, support services, or some other aspect of their educational experience. The school feels that improving its service to its customers (students) will result in more satisfied alumni, better community relations, additional applicants, and increased corporate involvement. Because graduate and undergraduate students are believed to have different expectations and needs, the school plans to investigate the satisfaction of these two groups separately.
In a previous survey of graduating seniors using open-ended questions, three primary areas of concern were identified: the faculty, classes/curriculum, and resources. Resources consisted of five specific areas: Undergraduate Advising Services, the Learning Center, Computer Facilities, the Library, and the Career Services Office. The research team for this project developed five-point Likert scale questions to measure students satisfaction in each of these areas. In addition, demographic questions were included to determine whether satisfaction with the school was a function of a students grade point average, major, job status upon graduation, or gender. Previous surveys used by the School of Business and other published satisfaction scales provided examples of questions and question formats. Exhibit 1 shows the questionnaire that was used.
Although the survey contained primarily Likert scale questions, a few open-ended questions were also asked. Specifically, respondents were asked to list the Business Schools strengths and weaknesses as well as their reasons for not using the various resource areas. The responses obtained to the question seeking the schools strengths and weaknesses were classified into four major subgroups: classes, reputation, resources, and professors. A sample of the actual verbatims are provided in Exhibit 2.
1.Considering customer satisfaction as it applies to a university setting, what are some other areas in addition to those identified for the project that may contribute to students satisfaction/dissatisfaction with their education experience?
2. Does the current questionnaire provide information on students overall satisfaction with their undergraduate degree program? Explain. What revisions are necessary to this questionnaire to obtain an overall satisfaction rating?
3. Can the School of Business use the results of this study to target the most important areas for improvement? Explain. Identify changes to the questionnaire that would allow the school to target areas based on importance.
4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using open-ended questions to identify the school's strengths and weaknesses? Taking the responses in Exhibit 2, what system would you use for coding these responses?
The solution discusses the School of Business case study.