Towards a model and methodology for assessing student learning outcomes and satisfaction

Lola C. Duque (Carlos III University, Madrid, Spain)
John R. Weeks (San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Publication date: 27 April 2010



The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, to introduce a conceptual model for assessing undergraduate student learning outcomes and satisfaction that involves concepts drawn from the services marketing and assessment literatures; second, to illustrate the utility of the model as implemented in an academic department (geography) within a large American university, and third, to demonstrate the applicability of the model by replicating the study at different scales: an entire undergraduate program (business administration) in a large Spanish university and another program (nursing) involving various universities of a Spanish region.


A multi‐method approach is used which comprises quadrant analysis, ANOVA tests and structural equation modeling techniques. A questionnaire was designed for data collection.


The main finding is the support found for the proposed model at different scales. Results of the multi‐method approach provide specific guidelines to departments using this approach to improve student learning outcomes and satisfaction.

Practical implications

The paper provides a conceptual model and supporting tools that can be used by other academic departments or higher education institutions to assist in the evaluation of how students perceive their learning outcomes and satisfaction with their undergraduate program.


The value of this multi‐method approach is that it is simple to implement, and at the same time provides a richness of information for diagnosis and decision‐making. The model was tested with data collected in different undergraduate programs and different countries, allowing the authors not only to find support for the model, but also to consider cultural differences among student perceptions.



Duque, L. and Weeks, J. (2010), "Towards a model and methodology for assessing student learning outcomes and satisfaction", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 84-105.

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