ACCORDINGLY, AN INTERVIEW WITH EACH SUBJECT OF THE STUDY SAMPLE, (25) ABU DHABI UNIVERSITY STUDENTS, WAS CONDUCTED. THE FINDINGS OF THE RESEARCH WERE ANALYZED ACCORDING TO THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS. THE FINDINGS OF ONE OF THE QUESTIONS SHOWED THAT STUDENTS LEVEL OF SATISFACTION VARIES GREATLY;
WHERE THE RESULTS SHOWS THAT THE STUDENTS ARE GENERALLY DISSATISFIED ALONGSIDE THE UNIVERSITY SERVICES SUCH AS TRANSPORTATION, INTERNET, AND FOOD COURT. THEY IDENTIFIED THE PROBLEM OF TRANSPORTATION AS TIMING PROBLEM, WHERE THESE TIMINGS ARE EITHER TO EARLY OR TOO LATE FOR STUDENTS WERE THERE IS A GAP TWO HOURS AMONG CLASS TIMING AND BUS TIMING.
FOR THE INTERNET THEY IDENTIFIED IT AS OF BAD QUALITY IN WHICH IT TAKES LONG TIME TO ACCESS. MOREOVER, SOMETIMES STUDENTS COULDNT ACCESS THE INTERNET.
THE CAMPUS COMPUTER LABS HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM, WHERE HALF OF THE LECTURE TIME IS WASTED FOR JUST OPENING THE COMPUTERS. THE FOOD AVAILABILITY AND QUALITY IN THE UNIVERSITY WAS MAIN CLAMOR BY THE
INTERVIEWED STUDENTS. THEY HAVE REMARKED THAT THE FOOD IS HARMFUL AND PROVOKED A LOT OF CONDITION SUBJECTS WHERE THERE WERE CASES OF POISONED STUDENTS. STUDENTS WHO ARE MOST OF THE DAY IN CAMPUS ATTAINED A LOT OF WEIGHT.
ONE MORE SUBJECT AMPLIFIED BY THREE STUDENTS IS, HOW THE UNIVERSITY KEEPS SEIZING MONEY FOR STUDENT SERVICES AS THE SERVICES ARE INADEQUATE. THOUGH, AFTERWARD ALL THESE SETBACKS BEING INCREASED ONE STUDENT SEEMS TO HAVE AN AFFIRMATIVE COMMENT ON THE HEALTH AND COUNSELING SERVICES ENDOWED IN CAMPUS. ALSO, FINDINGS OF ANOTHER QUESTION DISCOVERED THAT, FROM STUDENTS PERSPECTIVE, WHICH IS THAT UNIVERSITY FEES ARE NOT SATISFYING MOST OF THE STUDENTS SINCE EACH SEMESTER THEY INCREASE THE FEES. SOME STUDENTS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO NOT HANDLE IT AND ARE COMPELLED TO LEAVE THE UNIVERSITY.
ALSO STUDENTS ARTICULATE CONCERNING THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS AND MENTION THAT THEY WERE INEFFECTIVE AND WERE INTROVERTED A YEAR AFTER ENROLLING FOR NO UTTERED REASON. STUDENTS WERE ALSO NOT SATISFIED OF BEING PAYING FOR INADEQUATE SERVICES AND UNUSED STUDIO TABLES.
IN ADDITION, FINDINGS OF ANOTHER QUESTION RESULTED FROM THE STUDENTS PERSPECTIVE, MOST OF THE INTERVIEWED STUDENTS, HAVE COMMENTED THAT THE CLASS ROOM HAD DEFECTS SUCH AS THERE ARE WIRES AND CABLES SPREADING ACROSS OUT THE ROOM. THE LIGHTS SEEMED TO CAUSE ONE MORE COMPLAINT WHEREAS THEY STATE THE CAMPUS HAD NOISY-BLINKY LIGHT BULBS SPREAD ACROSS CAMPUS CLASSES THAT PROVOKED STUDENT DISTRACTION ACROSS LECTURES.
THEY ADDITIONALLY HELD THE RESEARCHERS TO DISCOVER THAT, A FEW LIGHT BULBS WERE OFF IN A LITTLE CLASSES THAT CAUSE POOR AND DARK ROOM LIGHTING. OTHER STUDENTS ADDITIONALLY COMPLAINED CONCERNING HOW THE CLASSES WERE NOT THRILLING AND DEMANDED NEW COLORINGS AND DESIGN WHERE THEY SAID THE PRESENT COLOR AND DESIGN IS DEPRESSING.
THE DESKS ADDITIONALLY REMARKED TO BE TINY AND UNCOMFORTABLE TO COMPRISE ON. IN THE LIGHT OF THE FINDINGS OF THIS RESEARCH, A SET OF RECOMMENDATIONS HAS BEEN SUGGESTED BY THE RESEARCHER FOR A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF STUDENTS SATISFACTION AND ITS IMPACT ON ABU DHABI UNIVERSITY STUDENTS. Key Words: Students, Satisfaction, Abu Dhabi University.
Introduction: Abu Dhabi University is a private university that has two campuses; in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. This university has excelled in the past couple of years where, they have increased the number of undergraduate and postgraduate majors offered. They have also increased significantly in the amount of enrolled students.
However, as noticed by the researchers, university students are often hard to satisfy academically because of what they expect. Their expectations often reach a very high limit where, the institution they study at cannot always meet those expectations. There are a few terms that come with students satisfaction that we would mention briefly. The relationship between a student and a professor often plays a big role on students satisfaction, especially within the population of the researchers study.
One of the most common problems the researchers have seen around campus is that; the student and the professor usually do not have a good relationship. This issue makes it hard for them to settle on good grounds. The students have certain needs that require fulfillment. Those needs are in our case basics to complete a course, assessment or, university life. If those needs are unmet, by whoever is expected to meet them, the students will not be satisfied and might even fall behind on needs to continue certain tasks required by them. Review of related literature: Our research will cover certain issues that we have seen around.
This research was made because the researchers think that the students satisfaction level observed is very low and, this is a problem that needs analyzing. After considering this issue, the researchers went through certain background information and gathered some articles that previously tackled this issue. The first article read, discusses whether the services provided by the Pakistani University are satisfying the students. In order to find results on this issue the University had to carry out surveys and correctly designed questionnaire and distribute them to a suitable sample.
A sample of 401 students was selected from Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) specifically from eighteen different programs. The results exposed that students are not satisfied with the major services such as teaching, administrative support, library, labs, accommodation, medical, and sports. On the other hand, students are only satisfied with transportation, class rooms, and prayer services. Both male and female respondents shared the same opinion regarding the educational services provided by the Pakistani University and this shows that there is a low level of satisfaction.
(Abbasi, Malik, chaudhary, & Imadadullah, 2011) It seemed that what the researchers used as a tool to conduct the research is quite different where, the researchers in this research will conduct a survey using interviews which may show more information to why the students are dissatisfied with their quality of their academics or any other services given by the university. In another research that examines the effect of perceived service quality, perceived value, image on student satisfaction, and defines the concerns of student satisfactions in Syrian universities.
The main focus was to understand the relationship between satisfaction and behavioral consequences through a designed model presenting the effect of perceived service quality, perceived value, and image on student satisfaction. The results demonstrate that image is important and strongly impacts the satisfaction and loyalty of students, and the student complaints decreases.
Thus, this article proves that image is what influences student satisfaction. The key equation is increasing satisfaction and loyalty in order to decrease complaints. (Dib & Alnazer, 2013) This research article relates to the researchers research in a way that tackles the effects of students satisfaction in universities and, how it can cause students to be disloyal to their university.
It also talks about how the student dissatisfaction causes them to change their attitude to their university. This may also increase the complaints that the university administration would receive. As mentioned by Shashi SINGH Ajay SINGH and Kiran SINGH in an article (SINGH, SINGH, & SINGH, 2012) A satisfaction and dissatisfaction level within an individual influences the motivation level and his/her performance throughout life. Being satisfied in your educational life is important because it leads to enhanced education.
The purpose of this paper is to study the students of Traditional Education System and Open Education System in order to compare their academic satisfaction and it also looks at the urban and rural students opinions. As a result of testing the two different groups a major difference was noticed between the two groups. (SINGH, SINGH, & SINGH, 2012)
Another research that was related to the researchers study was read and used. The purposes of this paper are, first to assess learners approach towards academic and teaching skills of distance learning tutors, second to evaluate the view of distance learners regarding evaluation ability of their tutors, third to observe indication of learners on scaffolding techniques of distance learning tutors.
The method chosen to survey the sample was questionnaires made of a five point scale to produce the reflection of the learners and the data was broken down into qualitative and quantitative data. The results show that distance learners on andragogical skills of their tutor is helpful. They stated that tutors had a variety of important academic and teaching skills such as encouraging, directing, aiding, evaluation skills, technical skills, and social skills. The tutors required practicing on how to deal with social websites, online discussions, and mobile phone conferences.
Moreover, the recommendation was tutors training and to increase their knowledge on how to use communication technology. (Hussain, 2013) Theres a very strong relation between student satisfaction and distance learning in terms of instructors performance, course evaluation and student-instructor interaction.
According to a study that was conducted at AIOU (ALLAMA IQBAL OPEN UNIVERSITY) in Pakistan, many people evaluated distance learning as of a low quality education especially when compared to traditional learning. Therefore, researchers have conducted a study in order to find out if distance learning is truly of a deprived quality. With a sample consisting of 245 students from AIOU, results were quite promising.
They concluded that in fact, student satisfaction was at a very high level which is a result of all three variables including motivated and intellectual instructors, many valuable courses being offered and taught, and an adequate interaction between students and instructors. (Afzaal, RAMAY, & SHAHZAD, 2011) Student satisfaction may also result from many factors, one of which is the classroom environment. The classroom environment comes in many forms such as: tiered seating, personalized lighting and so forth.
A study consisting of 237 sampled students was conducted in Kennesaw State University regarding the relation between student satisfaction and classroom environment. Interestingly, majority of sampled students preferred to be taught in the upgraded classrooms with the tiered seating, customized lighting and individual computers and many other preferences.
Therefore, they have concluded that the classroom environment is vital when it comes to increasing student satisfaction as a result of the motivating and positive environment that the students are surrounded with. (Hill & Epps, 2010) In a paper that focuses on students opinion and satisfaction regarding the services provided at the German University.
The researchers believe that old surveys are not enough since they do not provide sufficient evidence or validity; therefore, they decided to measure student satisfaction at an institutional point by creating an instrument to evaluate fifteen dimensions covering nearly all aspects of student life. The findings show that satisfaction is cultured around a fairly stable person environment relationship. Hence, there is a clear difference in quality of offered services and broad environment.
The placements and the environment between students is what satisfy them primarily. On the other hand, the construction and design of the buildings and lecture halls are mainly not satisfying the students. (Gruber, FuB, Voss, & Glaeser-Zikuda, 2004) Another research paper found looks at the outcomes of student contribution and college atmosphere on students living experience brought by two outstanding universities in Hong Kong and Shanghai. After conducting research the findings show that student communication and association can be encouraged through sufficient campus facilities and resources. (CHAN, 2011)
The problem: Students satisfaction in Abu Dhabi University has many defaults. In the researchers own experiences, students and instructors do not have a proper ground of interaction they often fall into miscommunication in the class room setting; where either the instructor gets frustrated from students participation or, the students are unsatisfied with the way of giving information. Another reason for the student dissatisfaction is the student-teacher communication strategies. For example, instructors do not have enough time to communicate with students and sometimes even during office hours.
Students are in continuous debate over student services issues. Where they might argue over the transportation timings; that are usually too late for some and, too early for others. These types of issues also raise the course timings problems. Some students in campus work at the morning therefore, they think it is best if the courses where at the evening. Where they can work and study. Other students would like to take their courses in an early timing to make time to have other activities and, finish their requested course work. This issue always keeps students in question of which courses to take in a semester and the researchers went through that trouble themselves.
Abu Dhabi University has a few labs to cover technical courses such as Introduction to Information Technology and Biology. These labs are equipped with machines and tools that would make the students level of understanding the theory parts of the course easier. On the contrary students are always fussing about how the labs are under equipped and that they cannot grasp the ideas given. As observed by the researchers, for example, the biology lab is almost equipped to allow the instructor to work with instruments and for the students to just observe. This will not allow the student to practice where it makes him/her unable to gain the practitioners knowledge. Significance of the research:
This research is considered important for the following reasons: -It speaks about issues always around the researchers. -It is tackles issues that were never handled professionally. -It can help solve problems that students suffer from everywhere. -It uses the qualitative research methodology, which is one of the most accurate way of collecting data. Aims of the research: The research aims to find out the level of student satisfaction in Abu Dhabi University. Definition of related Term(s):
Satisfaction is defined by oxford dictionaries as the fulfilment of ones wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this. (satisfaction, n. d. ) Research limitations: -This research is restricted to Abu Dhabi academics. -This research is restricted to Abu Dhabi University. -This research is restricted to Abu Dhabi University students. -This research is restricted to Abu Dhabi University students in the academic year 2012-2013 (summer A semester) Methodology and procedure:
This research used the qualitative research approach which is based on conducting interviews with Abu Dhabi university students. The data collected from the interviews were analyzed qualitatively to examine the Abu Dhabi University Students on the levels of satisfaction within campus and off campus.
Population and sampling: The population of this research is compromised from Abu Dhabi University Students who are within the academic year of 2012-2013. Abu Dhabi University students were selected from one campus, Abu Dhabi campus. Abu Dhabi University students were randomly selected and interviewed. The simple random sample technique was used to select Abu Dhabi University students from the Abu Dhabi campus. The research sample consisted of (25) Abu Dhabi University students from those who were randomly selected and were willing to be part of the research and had interest in the topic.
The research tool: The research implemented the interview as a research tool; the interview questions were designed and formatted and its validity checked by pre-asking the interviewed individuals of the design of questions. This research interview is a two-person talk initiated by the interviewer for the definite drive of gaining research-related data. The meeting fixated on the content specified by research purposes by using the approaches of systematic description, prediction or explanation.
To get considerable data about the research questions, face-to-face interviews were conducted by the researchers with the students of Abu Dhabi University. Each interview with each student lasted for five minutes in average. Findings and discussion: Findings and discussion of question one: 1. How well do the classrooms at Abu Dhabi University meet the learning needs of students from the perspective of students in the university? Students were asked to answer of how classrooms meet the learning needs of students, students answers and its frequencies are explained in table (1):
Table 1 Frequencies of learning needs in the classrooms from the perspective of Abu Dhabi university students Frequenci es Answers n o 1Classrooms are big enough, technology is effectively used but classes with video conferences are not comfortable because the voice is low and the screen is not clear and they always need IT specialists to fix it. 1 3 Technologies are useful in the teaching but sometimes they are not working and half of the class time is gone for just fixing the problems 2 2 For the architecture classes there is always something wrong with tables. Students are also required to pay for tables which are not used. 3 1 Not very well they are not equipped with the right technology.
They are not really equipped for the design students. The class is too small to have 15 students with all the tables and chairs. 4 4 The classes are very large in space but its good for major classes in which the number of students small but not suitable for courses that have 80-90 students, feels that its crowded and the class is small. So for the classes with small amount of students it is good for learning because teachers can focus more on individual students when teaching 5 2 Its average. The desks we have to write on are too small. It can be used for writing but sometimes you need more space.
6 2 The classroom meets the leaning needs because the instructors uses the equipment in the class such as the projector, board and the computers which makes 7 the learning easier and the space of the class fair enough they give space according to the capacity 3 It doesnt meet them at all, as it needs a lot of enhancement. The atmosphere of the classes makes students sleepy.
Theyre also very small, similar to those of school, if school class rooms werent bigger, and some of the classes have no windows 8 2 Sometimes the projector is having bad lighting and the class is too small for a large number and this creates a problem for students 9 5They are not that suitable learning atmosphere. For example, the chairs are not comfortable and most of the time the projector is damaged and requires maintenance. 1 0 25 Total Table (1) shows that Abu Dhabi University Students were dissatisfied with the classroom equipment in various ways.
Five University students showed that they find the design of the classroom chairs defective and they are not comfortable to sit in for lectures timings. Another problem identified is that the chairs cause a lot of back pain and back problems that may develop into health issues.
The projectors seem to cause a lot of problems with students and instructors. The projectors help lose a lot of the class timings because it would require a maintenance by an IT specialist. As one of the interviewee mentioned if the class timing is one hour and half and we spend 30 minutes fixing technological problems then how much time is left for the students to learn in class? (2, 2013) Four University students mentioned that the classroom space was inadequate to suit large numbers of students. On the other hand students did not argue the space required for an average number of students.
An interviewee mentioned speaking as a design students our classes are very small. Our classroom capacity is 15 students and even for 15 students its too small with all the chairs and people walking around. Thats speaking of our classes. I dont know about the rest. (2, 2013) For other university requirements the classroom capacity is usually too large of approximately 75-85 students. These classrooms are too crowded for such a large number where it affects students concentration and participation. It also causes stress for the instructor because he/she has to keep up with a large number of students.
Findings and discussion of question two: 2. How effective is the teaching style of your instructors? Students were asked to answer of how effective is the teaching style of their instructors, students answers and its frequencies are explained in table (2) Table 2 Frequencies of the effectiveness of the teaching style of the instructors from the Abu Dhabi university students perspective Frequenci es Answers n o 2Are not suitable because they dont change their way of teaching, same style in every course, same way of assessing grades, do not update the power point and their information.
Most of them are boring and gives sleepy feeling in their styles. Some of them dont even like to teach. They only come to class in order to 1 take their monthly wages. 2 Depends on the instructor. Their way of delivering the information to students differs. Some of them you know they are capable of their major and the courses they give which make the students understand properly. 2 3 It depends on the instructor personality. Some of them are flexible, open minded, having good relationship with the students; ask them if they are comfortable with the teaching style or what style is effective for them.
Its not just finishing the syllabus, power points, and the lectures. 3 3 Its not that effective because most of the instructors when they face a problem with the computer or there is any technological problem they start talking without writing anything. They just want to talk no matter if the students understood or not. 4 2 Not much because sometimes when students dont understand something and asked the instructors to explain it again they will use the same way, so again students dont understand the idea. 5 2 Some of them are good and flexible they dont mind repeating things again and again till students understand. Some are friendly and helpful.
Some teachers are creative, and they respect that each student has a different way of understanding 6 2 Not effective because some they use techniques higher than the students level or their understanding level. They dont care about the students level, they simply say if that is your level we cant do anything. 7 Some instructors expect us to have a doctorate degree, so they never help or assist us in courses 4 Not that much because sometimes instructors depend on self-study. No explanation. They just give the lecture in any way then put it on the system and students should study and understand by their own.
They sometimes require a lot of things during the semester as if we only are taking only this course. 8 5 Some of the instructors are very good in their teaching style which made the course easier by allowing us to discuss and talk about the course material which gives us a better chance to understand the course. Some of the instructors are hard to understand because they go very fast in the course which confuses students and creates a misunderstanding. 9 25 Total Table (2) shows that the students agreed that this issue depends on the instructor. 50% of the students had a negative feedback.
As five students mentioned that the instructor sometimes goes too fast for the students to keep up with and understand the material. The students usually fail their courses or get low grades because of inability to grasp the idea. On the other hand, positive feedback included that instructors included a lot of discussions and examples in class which made the material easier. These methods were the most liked ones by the students. The discussion techniques included either online discussion using the online university databases or in class discussions. Four students were also frustrated about how the instructors left
all the work on students to finish were it seemed to them as a self-study course. This causes the students to have low understanding of the required material. They mentioned that instructors post everything online and they require students to do most of the work which students think is like the instructors do not consider that students have other courses to work on. Findings and discussion of question three: 3. Are you satisfied with the services provided in the university? The satisfaction of the services in Abu Dhabi University varied from the students perspective. Some were not satisfied from certain services.
Students answers and its frequencies are explained in table (3). Table 3 Frequencies of the satisfying with the services in-off the university campus from the perspective of the university students Frequenci es Answers n o 4 Not satisfied because the computer labs keep hanging and some are not working, and if they worked they are too slow. Many cables are just over the floor in dangerous positions that can cause electrical contact leading to fires. We keep paying for services that we dont benefit anything form. 1 4 Not satisfied with the transportation timing. We need to stay for couple of hours to leave.
2 2 Not satisfied with the food court design, some tables are broken, quality is below average, and a lot of 3 people get poisoned from the food. The food court doesnt really open students appetite and doesnt have healthy food which forces students to get their food. 2 There is no campus life, studying is oriented more. 4 1 Medical services meet the needs. The counselling services are useful, it help students to distress their life in-off campus.
The consular is helpful, listens to the students and, help them in managing their time, courses and advises them on how they can get high grades. 53 The internet is horrible most of the time not working which the most important thing for students because they use it most of the time. The computers are working upside down and the windows are too ancient! Also they are so slow in which we waste our time waiting for them to open a file or do any activity. But it became better last semester. 6 1 The outside court is boring, doesnt encourage students to sit outside. 7 2 Activities below average. The sport courts that build are not used sufficiently. 8 3 Yes, satisfied with the services. They are good enough 9 3There are no services provided for students.
Each semester, they take money for student services, as they dont do activities to their students complaining that there is no enough money 1 0 25 Total Table (3) shows that the students were mostly dissatisfied with the university services as they used the transportation issues as an example. Transportation issues include timings, these timing are either to early or too late for four students were there is a gap two hours between class timing and bus timing. Every university that has an online database requires internet access to all students, this internet access should be of good quality and not time consuming.
On the contrary four interviewed students have a problem with internet access within campus. They also find it time consuming to access the internet especially within the campus computer labs. The computer labs also have defective computers which the interviewed students are complaining about. The food access and quality in the university is another major complain by the interviewed students. They have mention that the food is unhealthy and caused a lot of health issues where there were cases of poisoned students. In addition, students who spend a lot of time in campus gain a lot of weight.
Another issue raised by three students is, how the university keeps taking money for student services while the services are inadequate. However, after all these problems being raised one student managed to have a positive comment on the medical and counseling services provided in campus. Findings and discussion of question four: 4. Do instructors usually meet the learning objectives of the given course? Students were asked to answer if the instructors meet the objectives of the courses, students answers and its frequencies are explained in table (4).
Table 4 Frequencies if the instructors meet the objectives of the courses from the students perspective in the university Frequenci es Answers n o Most of the time they meet the objectives of the courses 1 6 Not really, some instructors they teach the course for the first time and sometimes the courses may be away from their major.
Later in the exams they provide questions that they are not able to explain. 2 4 Some of them they dont meet, they just read the power points without caring about the objectives 3 3 Some of them they want the students just to memorize they dont care if you understood or not 4 3 No, and its obvious as in most of the classes there are more than 6 students repeating the courses , and I can see that learning standards of students are very low due to carelessness of professors 5 3 Some create their own objectives different from the syllabus.
6 3 Yes almost all of them meet the objectives 7 3 It depends on the instructors and the way explaining the course 8 25 Total Six students agreed that the instructors do not usually meet the objectives of the course as the courses are not in the instructors field of study. They have also said that it is hard for the instructors to explain material that they havent majored on. This issue affects students performance.
Four students spoke about how the instructors just care about reading off presentation slides without meeting the course objectives. On the other hand, three students said this question on which instructor we are talking about. Findings and discussion of question five: 5. How flexible are the instructors when facing difficult material? Students were asked to answer how the flexibility of the instructor when facing the difficult materials, students answers and its frequencies are explained in table (5)
Table 5 Frequencies for the instructors flexibility in facing difficult materials from the perspective of the university students Frequenci es Answers n o 2Some of them give difficult material as home work with no explanation and sometimes its not related to the course material 1 4 They are flexible, if they were asked regarding any topic students didnt understand.
They do not have a problem with explaining It 2-3 times. 2 3 Most of them are helpful during office hours, especially if there is a bounded relation between the students and the instructors 3 3 They emphasize on special parts which makes it easier for students by explaining only the general ideas and asks students to focus on specific parts. 4 4 They help students by giving them many examples, more assignments, chances and choices of optional quizzes to get over the difficulty of the course. They 5 also help students to get over their shyness of doing presentations.
3 Theyre not flexible at all, as they like challenging students while they dont know how to deliver their information and this is the funniest part of the story, where they Google some questions and put them in the exam. 6 3 Some just lay the material on the student for self-study without explaining hard concepts. 7 3They are not flexible, they see that the material is the students issue; they should manage it or ease it as they want.