Sunday, August 14, 2011
Attitude surveys provide valuable information on perception of experience or ideas (Seymour, 2011). They assist in gathering information, not only based on fact, but also on the experiences, perceptions, and expectations of the respondents. To assist University of Phoenix in its continued development toward academic excellence, the attached survey has been created.
Purpose of Survey
The purpose of this self-administered ranking scale survey is to determine the perception and level of satisfaction of graduating students of the University of Phoenix online. The survey assesses levels of satisfaction in five constructs of the online educational experience. It assesses general academic satisfaction, facilitator responsiveness, curriculum challenge, weekly assessments experience, and teamwork experience. This survey was based on the RATER Model - Service Quality Dimensions. RATER is a service quality model and an acronym for reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy, and responsiveness (Czaplewski, Olson, & Slater, 2001). It is a simple and functional model for qualitatively assessing customers' experience with a service, and designed to assist organizations in lessening the disparity between perceived service and service expectations (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1988).
Assessing the attitudes and perceptions of customers is essential to maintaining good business practices, especially when providing services. "Customer service is the overall activity of identifying and satisfying customer needs" (Times 100, 2011, para. 1). The graduating students of the University of Phoenix are the university's customers. By determining and recognizing students' level of satisfaction, the university acknowledges its responsibility to continue to serve its customers and improve its educational service. As in any profitable organization, it is essential to acknowledge successes as well as shortcomings, and understanding and preventing negative student perceptions and attitudes is essential for the ongoing reputation of the online curriculum of University of Phoenix. Equally important is understanding where gaps exist between students' academic expectations and the actual service they receive (Seymour, 2011).
Preliminary Design Issues
The attached survey targets recent graduates of the University of Phoenix online. It will be self-administered online during the last week of the final class, before graduation. The survey will yield five scores, one for each of the five constructs assessed. Furthermore, it will yield one overall general satisfaction score, and individual score sets on the five cognitive, five emotional, and five behavioral assessments. The assessment will be short in length - 15 questions consisting of three questions for each of the five constructs, and should take less than ten minutes to complete. Although it may sacrifice some reliability because of its length, it should produce more responses (Hogan, 2008). The survey will be a broad measure of overall satisfaction with the online educational experience at the University of Phoenix, which will determine potential areas of concern and provide direction for further study.
One issue of consequence when initially contemplating design was determining how best to elicit accurate and thoughtful replies. To allow the most insight into responses, five various points of response were selected (Seevers, Graham, & Conklin, 2007). The format is selected-response using a Likert scale with five degrees of agree/disagree with each degree associated with a number (strongly disagree/-2, disagree/-1, neither agree nor disagree/0, agree/+1, strongly agree/+2.) Lower scores in each section represent less satisfaction and higher scores represent more satisfaction.
The design aspects that presented the most difficulty was creating statements to reflect specifically cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses. Reflecting these specific responses was important to understand not only how students thought about their experience but also how they felt about their involvement, and what they did, or would eventually do according to their experience (Hogan, 2007). Furthermore, in creating this assessment, a norm must be established to enable the determination of average responses. The assessment needs to be applied to a random group of students, and to a variety of ethnic groups to determine its reliability in a variety of populations. Some variables in populations may include higher satisfaction scores in average students; however, less satisfaction may be correlated with below average and above average students. Other variables may surface within specific ethnic groups. Because the University of Phoenix online is a diverse organization, discovering the ethnic variables is essential. Furthermore, by applying this questionnaire to groups according to grade point averages, and various ethnic groups, a determination can be made for reliable norms. For example, and to promote further study, if Caucasian populations have normally lower satisfaction scores than African Americans, or Asian Americans, there may be reason for further study.
Instructions for Administering, Scoring, and Interpreting the Survey
This survey will be self-administered online so training administration staff is not necessary. Scoring the surveys can be accomplished with minimal instruction and a basic understanding of addition for tabulating scores. Each construct has three questions with responses valued between -2 and +2. The sum of the three scores from each section will be the final overall evaluation for the particular construct yielding a score between -6 and +6. Score reports will be simple handwritten records and will report the students' assessment of the five specific assessment components. Lower scores for a section represent a lower overall level of satisfaction with the particular construct measured, higher score represent a higher level of satisfaction.
Within each section there are three assessments in order of these components: cognitive, emotional, and behavioral. Further information can be derived by reviewing the five cognitive assessments (numbers 1, 4, 7, 10, and 13,) the emotional assessments (numbers 2, 5, 8, 11, and 14,) or the behavioral assessments (3, 6, 9, 12, and 15). To obtain one score for the general level of satisfaction with the education received at the University of Phoenix online, all five section scores (-6 to +6) will be averaged for an overall score (between -6 to +6). For interpretive purposes for individual sections and the single overall average score the meaning of each score or group of scores is as follows:
· -6 to -4 Strongly Dissatisfied
· -3 to -1 Dissatisfied
· 0 Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied
· +1 to +3 Satisfied with some Reservations
· +4 to +6 Highly Satisfied
The attached survey is designed to assess the satisfaction of the online students of University of Phoenix. It measures satisfaction within five constructs: general educational, facilitator responsiveness, curriculum challenge, weekly assessment experience, and teamwork experience. The survey is constructed to obtain cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses from graduating students. This assessment is a means to encourage further study into the satisfaction of student/customers in the business of education at University of Phoenix.
Czaplewski, A. J., Olson, E. M., & Slater, S. F. (2001). Applying the RATER model for service success. Marketing Management, 11(1), 14-17.
Hogan, T. P. (2007). Psychological testing: a practical introduction (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ:
John Wiley & Sons.
Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L.L. (1988), A Multiple-Item Scale for Measuring Consumer Perceptions of Service Quality, Journal of Retailing, 64(1), 12-40.
Seevers, B., Graham, D., & Conklin, N. (2007). Education through cooperative extension. Columbus, OH: Curriculum Materials Service.
Seymour, E. (2011). CATs: Attitude Surveys. CL-1: Field-tested Learning Assessment Guide. Retrieved August 02, 2011, from http://www.flaguide.org/cat/attitude/attitude1.php
Times 100. (2011). The importance of customer service. Business Studies Case Studies. Retrieved August 02, 2011, from http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/theory/theory--the- importance-customer-service--414.php