Students Satisfaction And Requirements Analysis To Qualify University Educational Services 

Abstract

Working out effective intra-University model of quality management requires quality control of educational services, assumes their external and internal evaluation, makes it necessary to analyze students' satisfaction with implementation of educational process and study their requirements. The article presents experience of regional Russian University implementing processes of "requirements analysis" and "satisfaction analysis" within quality management system. The purpose of the study is to measure perception of University by consumers, to determine requirements of parties interested in activities of University, to clarify students’ evaluation of level and educational process quality, to identify problems and requests of the student audience, to provide input for adoption of corrective and preventive actions and to implement "student-University management" feedback. The study is based on a survey (a specific sociological method). In result the study carries out measures of student audience’s satisfaction with level and quality of educational services, it generalizes internal consumers’ values for educational services, reveals their priorities and obtain data for quality management system. According to research results, given recommendations determine main directions of University activity and affect not only educational process, but also research, as well as providing and guiding processes of quality management system at University. In conclusion it is said that surveys on satisfaction assessment and identification of students’ requirements to educational services of University act as a tool to control educational quality system and should be used together with other indicators of educational process to adopt corrective and preventive actions within processes of quality management system at University.

Keywords: Requirements analysissatisfaction analysismonitoringquestionnaireeducational process assessmentquality management system

Introduction

Improvement of management and quality control of education is one of the most important directions of the Federal target program to develop Russian education from 2016 to 2020. One of the elements to implement this program into the field of higher education is to develop a system of intra-University control and educational quality management.

The quality of students’ training in modern conditions becomes an important factor for the formation of the competitive advantage at any University. It is important that the efforts of the educational institution aimed at improving the quality of its services were evaluated and recognized by consumers. The main consumers of educational services are students themselves. Available information about these consumers’ satisfaction and requirements allows to mobilize personnel, material, financial resources of educational institution to achieve the closest compliance between the offer and consumers’ expectations. Realizing how students evaluate the quality of services, the University receives strategically important information to monitor and improve the quality of services (quality management) and to form the image of the manufacturer providing high-quality education services.

Problem Statement

The quality management process at the University represents a complex system and requires a huge number of factors and conditions being taken into account (Stepanova & Blackie, 2015). The structure of an effective intra-University model of quality management determines the need to monitor the quality of educational services, assumes their external and internal evaluation, makes it necessary to analyze students ' satisfaction with the implementation of the educational process and study their requirements.

There is an explanation. In many countries the development of quality management systems for educational institutions takes its foundation from the General quality management methodology, which is based on international standards ISO 9000 series. This methodology is widely used in Russia (Stepanova & Blackie, 2015). All Union State standards (GOST R 52614.2-2006) have the guidance for educational institutions to implement an effective quality management system (QMS) that meets the requirements of ISO 9001 (Stepanova & Blackie, 2015). According to this document, one of the main requirements for the management of the educational organization is to consider the views of consumers and stakeholders. A "customer satisfaction" becomes a key concept in this area, as it shows how consumers perceive the implementation of their requirements (Mingazova, 2010). One of the principles of the quality management system in education is the continuous improvement of the educational process, taking into account the results of its monitoring (Bolatov, Suleimenova, & Shakeeva, 2017), which implies the requirements and satisfaction of consumers by educational process.

Research Questions

A lot of work is devoted to the issues of monitoring the quality of the educational process in Russian universities (Gromov, 2017; Mingazova, 2010; Peresada & Olmoina, 2017; Polutin & Makulov, 2007; Rubtsova & Medvedenko, 2008; Tankov, 2016). This study presents the experience of the regional Russian University namely Orel State University of Economics and Trade (OrelSUET) by implementing the processes of "requirements analysis" and "satisfaction analysis" within the framework of the quality management system (QMS) and involving the students in the process of assessing the educational process quality.

The analysis of consumers’ requirements and satisfaction belongs to the main processes of a life cycle implemented by the educational organization in question (figure 01 ) (Book processes, 2015).

Figure 1: The quality management system in OrelSUET: process map
The quality management system in OrelSUET: process map
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figure 01 shows the results of the requirements and satisfaction processes which are viewed by the University as a tool to assist in managerial decision-making. The results of the processes "requirements analysis" and "satisfaction analysis" are designed to analyze and then to make adjustments for accomplishing other processes in order to improve the University efficiency. The basis for the satisfaction and requirements analysis are the actual data reflecting customer satisfaction with the outcomes of the processes defined by the QMS.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to measure the perception of the University by consumers, to determine the requirements of the parties interested in the activities of the University. The research is aimed at clearing up students assessments of the educational process quality, identifying problems and requests of the student audience in the process of its implementation, providing input data to adopt corrective and preventive actions on the part of senior management and to implement "student-University management" feedback.

Research Methods

The study is based on the application of a survey, a specific sociological method. This empirical method was used as the main method for collecting factual information on the analysis of requirements and satisfaction with educational services, and it required monitoring of students' opinions on the basis of an anonymous survey. The advantage of this research method is its suitability for high school, whose resources do not allow you to use the services of specialized agencies.

After generalizing results of scientific researches (Rubtsova & Medvedenko, 2008; Vylgina & Maslov, 2009) and practical experience of the Russian higher education institutions (Eliseeva, 2013; Kolegova & Fedorov, 2013; Polutin & Makulov, 2007; Stepanova & Blackie, 2015; Tankov. 2016) our University developed a questionnaire that allows to evaluate the classes quality, the teachers lecturing skills, to identify the degree of students’ satisfaction with the level of teaching, to clarify their requirements for their implementation during the educational process.

To monitor students ' opinions about the teaching quality and the organization of the educational process we carried out a survey on the basis of the developed questionnaire among 4-year students of all faculties in the 2016-2017 academic year.

The study was selective. Graduate students were the respondents as they have the greatest experience of University life. 35.41% of the 4-year bachelor students participated in the questionnaire.

Findings

Students were asked to fill in a questionnaire that included two blocks of questions. The first set of questions is related to the quality assessment of teaching and lecturer skills. Developing the criteria for the teachers’ evaluation was based on the fact that the quality of teaching is not only the quality of professional training and knowledge of the subject, it is also personal characteristics, intrinsic motivation, relationship with students, etc. Students answered the questions where professional and personal qualities of the teachers were enumerated. The indicators chosen for the assessment were evaluated in points, each score corresponds to a certain level of quality manifestation. These qualities were offered to estimate on a ten-to-one scale considering 10-8 points for the constant quality performance; 7-6 points for the frequent quality performance; 5-4 points for the 50% quality performance; 3-2 points for the rare quality performance; 1 point for the absence of the quality. Table 01 presents criteria to assess the quality of teaching skills and the points which teachers have received.

Table 1 -
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The obtained point scores show the students' satisfaction with the quality teaching as well as the high skill of teachers at the University. The average score obtained by the teaching staff is 7.5 points. If we proceed from the proposed point rating scale, the level of teaching in Orel State University of Economics and Trade varies according to quantitative criterion between the quality indicators of "Constant high skill of teaching" and "Frequent high skill teaching."

The teaching staff received the lowest score according to the following criteria: focusing on the use of the studied material in future professional activities and ability to relieve tension and fatigue of the audience. 32.43% and 20.27% of respondents featured these qualities as the most significant ones (table 02 ).

Table 2 -
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table 02 shows that the students pointed out the most important features of the teacher lecturing-skills such as a clear, intuitive presentation of the material, respect for students, friendliness and tact toward students, focus on the use of the material studied in the future professional activity. More than 30% of respondents identified these criteria (figure 02 ).

It should be noted that the training of students in areas of bachelor degree is carried out at the University at four faculties: the faculty of Economics and Management, the faculty of Information Technology and System Analysis, the faculty of Business and Advertising, the faculty of Food Technologies. In this regard, satisfaction measurements and clarification of the requirements to reorganize the educational process were carried out in the context of faculties and the University as a whole.

Figure 2: The importance of quality teaching skills from the students’ point of view
The importance of quality teaching skills from the students’ point of view
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The questionnaire proposed to the students included a number of open questions. Feature of open questions is the fact that they allow to find out not only satisfaction with a certain factor, but also to specify respondents’ requirements for implementation of educational process:

  • What subject do you remember the most at the University? The answers are presented in table 03 (by faculties); the prevailing answer concerned professional disciplines, as well as a foreign language.

Table 3 -
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  • What subjects should be given more time to study? The answers are presented in table 04 (in the context of faculties); the predominant answer to the question was profile disciplines and a foreign language.

  • Does the material have a repetition in different subjects? The majority of respondents skipped this question. Single answers are "no". However, students pointed out that the material was sometimes duplicated, and clarified the subjects.

  • What teachers of the University do you think love their subject and were able to make you interested? Many respondents answered the question succinctly, stating "all participants" in the answer line. The answers to this question have found some consistency with the answers to the question "What training sessions (on what subject) at the University do you remember most of all?": students named those teachers whose classes are the most memorable.

Table 4 -
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In the second block of the questionnaire the questions were grouped according to the implementation of educational process quality at Orel State University of Economy and Trade. This part included a number of questions that are important for analyzing the requirements and satisfaction with the educational process at Orel State University of Economy and Trade. The most common scale of estimates in this block assumed ratings from 1 to 10, where 1 stands for the lowest degree, 10 is the highest one.

Particular attention should be paid to the results obtained from some issues of the second block:

  • Could you rate the quality of educational services at Orel State University of Economy and Trade?

  • Did the quality of teaching meet your expectations?

  • To what degree can Orel State University of Economics and Trade meet your educational needs?

  • How would you assess the level of your theoretical training?

  • How does Orel State University of Economics and Trade fit your idea of an ideal university?

  • Do you have enough knowledge and competencies for your future specialization?

The overall quality of educational services provided by OrelSUET was estimated at 8.82 points. The degree of compliance with the students' expectations concerning the quality of teaching was estimated at 8.2 points. 8.0 points were given for the ability of OrelSUET to meet the educational needs of future graduates. Satisfaction with information capabilities at the University (Internet access, access to other information resources such as library, internal network, etc.), received a rating of 8.42. The following data can testify active scientific work of students. More than half of the surveyed students (67.57%) indicated that during their studies at the University they carried out research work, took part in University and regional competitions of student projects. The theoretical training of future bachelors was estimated at 7.47 points. 7.24 points evaluated the adequacy of received knowledge and competence in the major field for future work. In general, Orel State University of Economy and Trade was estimated at 7.72 points for being an ideal university. The dominant attitude on the part of teachers (scale: 1 (disrespect) -10 (respect)), according to the students, is 8.64 points, on the part of the faculty authorities is 9.23.

These students' assessments indicate the quality of educational services provided by the University and find weaknesses in its work. In particular, we are talking about the formation of competencies for the main specialization in future career. Students have given the lowest marks for this question. The accuracy of the acquired competencies for future career is interrelated with the question "Do you think a bachelor's degree is sufficient for a good job with a good salary?" The result (6.26 points) determines the students' plans to continue education obtaining a master degree.

The following data testify further plans of undergraduate students. 56.76% of the respondents stated their intention to continue their studies to have a master's degree, including 29.73% who are eager to go on the same board of training and 27.03% who intend to have a master’s degree in another direction. 10.81% of respondents are not inclined to continue their education at the next level of education. 37.47% of them indicated that the reason is their current employment. 27.03% of respondents found it difficult to answer. 5.40% gave a positive answer but they are not quite sure in the sphere.

Despite the fact that students have given either sufficiently high scores or close to the average ones according to the parameters of their implementation in the educational process, these estimates differ from the optimal (of course, desirable for the University rate would have to be 9-10 points). In addition, the students' answers were varied from 5-6 to 9-10 points, including the faculties (table 05 ).

Table 5 -
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While the above results of the survey described the degree of students' satisfaction, the survey results on the following items helps to clarify the requirements of consumers. So, the question "What additional knowledge would you like at the University?" had the character of multiple choice. The obtained responses are presented in table 06 .

Table 6 -
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As seen in table 06 , additional knowledge is required primarily in the field of law, foreign languages, psychology. It should be noted that the monitoring devoted to the issues of students' satisfaction with the level and quality of educational services is held annually at the University. In the 2016-2017 academic year, students alongside with the proposed options for choosing the answer filled in a free space with their own preferences indicating such subjects as international relations, design, pedagogy, website construction. According to these disciplines it would be appropriate to organize additional classes, inform students about the courses of foreign languages organized at the University and implemented programs of additional education. Attention is drawn to consistency in the answers to the "open" question "What disciplines should be given more attention?" and the question "What spheres would you like to get more knowledge in?" having the character of multiple choice.

The questionnaire contained so - called "open" questions, suggesting answers to the questions "What do you think are the strengths of the University?" and "What do you think are the weaknesses of the University?"

So, the strengths of Orel State University of Economics and Trade according to respondents are the following:

  • "holding various forums, project protection, trips to other cities, creative horse courses”;

  • "very interesting festive events, good equipment, good teachers”;

  • " excellent teachers, good equipment, a good library and much more”;

  • "it is interesting to study and spend leisure time; excellent library”;

  • "good location, excellent information support, convenient schedule”;

  • "social life, events, trips, professional teachers”;

  • "highly qualified teachers, a wonderful rector”;

  • "developed student associations; financial support of students”:

  • "strong educational base, opportunities for creative, scientific and spiritual development of students”;

  • "active social life”;

  • “benevolent atmosphere”;

  • "good teaching staff, telecommunication equipment, scientific conferences”;

  • "international and regional conferences, festivals, tours across Russia, the affordability of the dining room, providing additional services (gyms, courses in accounting and foreign language)”;

  • "good equipment of laboratories and the possibility of their free use".

The following replies concern the weaknesses:

  • "some premises need repair”;

  • "lack of literature”;

  • "some students are lazy and don't want to study”;

  • "few budget places”;

  • "difficulties in obtaining financial assistance, the lack of one more rehearsal hall, not enough wifi”;

  • "There are no weaknesses!!!”.

These answers reflect the degree of satisfaction with the quantity and quality of educational services provided by Orel State University of Economics and Trade and demonstrate high-ball estimates of the answers to the questions proposed in the questionnaire.

Conclusion

The results obtained as a result of the study are not final and reflect the situation at the time of monitoring. However, the results of the survey can serve as a basis for further organizational work and allow us to formulate a number of recommendations aimed at improving the effectiveness of educational activities:

  • Share the survey results with all interested parties in order to improve the work with the student audience on the basis of the identified requirements.

  • Continue work in the given direction improving the quality and efficiency of industrial practices in order to ensure the growth of students' professional competencies.

  • Carry out additional work to improve the level and quality of students' training.

  • Organize additional classes in the form of optional courses and inform students about the programs for additional education implemented at the University.

  • Create additional conditions for access to information resources (wired and wireless Internet, internal information network, library, etc.).

  • Improve the technical conditions to organize students' extracurricular employment and the implementation of the educational process.

  • Continue work organizing research activities of students (regional and international competitions, forums, conferences, etc.).

  • Continue organizing work of student associations and implementing educational process at the University.

These recommendations take into account both positive and not satisfactory results obtained during the monitoring. The recommendations touch upon mainly the following processes of the University life cycle (figure 01 ):

02 Learning process.

03. Educational process.

04. Scientific research process.

08. Information support of the educational process.

09. Infrastructure and production environment management.

The results of the monitoring should not be the sole criterion for decision-making. These surveys should be combined with other objective results of the educational process implementation at the University, since the success of quality management largely depends on the completeness of the characteristics taken into account (the list of estimated characteristics and the accuracy of their assessment is the basis for management decisions, the choice of the method and the degree of effects intensity (Nikitin, 2014). At the same time, monitoring students' opinions on the occasion of training sessions and the organization of the learning process contributes to the effective mutual communication between students and the University management.

So, the mechanism of ensuring high quality of educational services is the quality management system. These surveys to assess satisfaction and identify the requirements of students for educational services are a tool of quality control system and should be used together with other indicators of the educational process to take corrective and preventive actions in the framework of QMS processes at the University. In addition, surveys help provide feedback between University management and students.

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28 February 2019

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Mikhailovna, K. L., Petrovna, S. S., Mikhailovna, M. L., Mikhailovna*, S. E., & Grigorievna, P. I. (2019). Students Satisfaction And Requirements Analysis To Qualify University Educational Services . In S. Ivanova, & I. Elkina (Eds.), Cognitive - Social, and Behavioural Sciences - icCSBs 2018, vol 56. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 329-341). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.02.02.37