CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Peixiang Liu

Committee Member

Yair Levy

Committee Member

Ling Wang

Abstract

Cloud computing based technology is becoming increasingly popular as a way to deliver quality education to community colleges, universities and other organizations. At the same time, compared with other industries, colleges have been slow on implementing and sustaining cloud computing services on an institutional level because of budget constraints facing many large community colleges, in addition to other obstacles. Faced with this challenge, key stakeholders are increasingly realizing the need to focus on service quality as a measure to improve their competitive position in today's highly competitive environment. Considering the amount of study done with cloud computing in education, very little has been done in examining the needs and the satisfactions of the instructor customer. The purpose of this study was to examine the expectations and perceptions of instructors’ usage of cloud computing based technology on overall quality of service (QoS).

An extension and adaptation of the SERVQUAL model tailored to the higher education environment was introduced for this study. Using the established service quality (SERVQUAL) dimensions (tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy), the study investigated the relationship between instructors’ views (perception and expectation) and overall service quality received on their use of cloud computing based technology. A total of 301 online instructors at large Texas community colleges completed a Web-based survey containing previously validated and adapted items. The participants in this study completed four parts of the survey instruments that were used to measure service quality of academic cloud computing technology: Service Quality Expectations, Service Quality Perceptions, Perceived Service Quality and Demographic. The survey questions were answered using a seven-point Likert scale and the survey results were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical methods.

The results indicated that the difference between instructors’ perception and expectation affected their perceived service quality of cloud computing based systems. The differences between the expectation and perception on all five SERVQUAL dimensions load to the instructors’ perceived service quality; gender but not age, income or education has significant effect on instructors’ overall perceived service quality. The results of the study create an awareness of instructors’ needs and offer useful feedback to college administrators and institutional planners in their efforts to improve service quality of educational technology initiative in higher education.

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