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Academic Service Quality and Instructional Quality

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This article reports a study of the relationship between academic service quality and instructional quality in higher education. The study included a cohort of 360 students enrolled in a first-year biology course. Eighty-two percent of the participants were in the first semester of their college experience. 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 long-term studies of relationships between expected and observed quality long-term relationships between instruction and service quality, and adaptation of the instruments of distance-learning.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2002

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  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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