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Dimensions of Perceived Service Quality in Higher Education Virtual Learning Environments

Las dimensiones de la calidad del servicio percibida en entornos virtuales de formación superior

Abstract

Virtual learning environments (VLEs) make intensive use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to underpin the delivery of basic higher education institution functions (teaching, administrative procedures, materials distribution, etc.), and are a characteristic feature of today’s educational context. The spread of e-learning and of competence in this field has given rise to growing concerns about the quality of this service. It is therefore vital to develop systems, models and scales that allow institutions to obtain valid, reliable and consistent measurements of the quality of educational services provided by means of VLEs. That is the basic aim of the work described in this article. Taking the literature on perceived service quality (PSQ) as its point of reference, and also a holistic approach to educational services, it presents a scale model that allows PSQ in such environments to be measured. The scale is formed by 24 items grouped into four dimensions: core business (teaching), facilitative or administrative services, support services and user interface.

Resumen

La aparición de entornos virtuales de aprendizaje (EVA) caracterizados por el uso de las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación (TIC) en las diversas funciones institucionales básicas de la educación superior (docencia, procesos administrativos, desarrollo y distribución de materiales, etc.) constituye un elemento característico del contexto educativo actual. La expansión del aprendizaje virtual (e-learning) y la competencia en este ámbito han hecho que aparezca una creciente preocupación por la calidad de este servicio. En este sentido resulta necesario desarrollar sistemas, modelos y escalas que permitan obtener medidas válidas, fiables y consistentes de la calidad de los servicios educativos que se ofrecen en EVA. Este es el objetivo básico del presente trabajo, que toma como punto referencia la literatura sobre calidad del servicio percibida (CSP), y adoptando una perspectiva holística de los servicios formativos se presenta una escala modelo que permite medir la CSP en dichos entornos. Esta escala está compuesta por 24 ítems que se subsumen en cuatro dimensiones: servicio esencial (docencia), servicios facilitadores o administrativos, servicios de apoyo e interfaz del usuario.

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Correspondence to María Jesús Martínez-Argüelles.

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About this article

Keywords

  • virtual learning environments
  • perceived service quality
  • quality dimensions
  • students
  • e-learning
  • management
  • universities

Palabras clave

  • entornos virtuales de aprendizaje
  • calidad de servicio percibida
  • dimensiones de la calidad
  • estudiantes
  • e-learning
  • gestión; universidad