"Academic service quality and instructional quality"
Westbrook, Thomas S.
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SubjectHigher education; Instruction; Academic service quality; Instructional quality; SERVQUAL; SEEQ; First-year experience; Freshman experience; Marketing; Customer Satisfaction; Longitudinal study; Pre-test; Post-test; Persistence; Completion
This article reports a study of the relationship between academic service quality and instructional quality in higher education. The study included 360 students enrolled in first-year biology course. Eighty-two percent of the participants were in the first semester of their college. Academic service was an adaptation of five business dimensions; instructional quality was measured by nine dimensions. The use of business dimensions suggested that the instructor/student relationship may be seen in the marketing context of an exchange between two parties. The study found a high correlation between academic service and instructional quality. Academic service quality overlapped instructional quality in three dimensions: enthusiasm, organization, and rapport. The findings suggest relationships exist at both an overall level and at subscale levels across a variety of demographic variables. The factor constructs of instructional quality are clearly distinguished from academic service quality, but there is an overlap in constructs describing interpersonal relationships. The study has major significance for the blending of academic and student personnel concerns in the academy. The authors recommend longterm studies of  relationships between expected and observed quality, long-term relationships between instruction and service quality, and adaptation of the instruments to distance-learning.
The text is published here with the permission of the "Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition." Pages in the published version are identified with the symbols, “[ ].” Additional information is at the end of this document. Keith Greiner is a Drake graduate and can be contacted at Keith.Greiner@iowa.gov. Tom Westbrook is a Professor of Education in the Leadership and Adult Development program at Drake University and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org