A qualitative study to improve the student learning experience

Raid A. Jastania, Gehan F. Balata, Mohamed I.S. Abd El-Hady, Ahmad Gouda, Mohamad Abd El-Wahab, Abeer S. Mohamad, Nashwa M. Ibrahim, Eman Beshr, Abeer Y. Mahdi, Rabab Mousa, Batool F. Tag, Hadeel Hisham, Ibtehal El-Sofiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: For any educational institution, student satisfaction is an important goal. Thus, the purpose of the study is to use a structured improvement process, define–measure–analyse–improve–control (DMAIC) methodology, to improve students’ satisfaction regarding their learning experience at the College of Pharmacy/Umm Al-Qura University. Design/methodology/approach: The study first defines the problem and develops the project charter. Then the study visualizes the students’ learning experience process that is defined using a flow chart and a value stream map. Students’ voices were captured through a modified version of a survey developed by Levitz (2015-2016) that covered different aspects of the students’ learning experience. Next, Pareto analysis and cause-and-effect diagrams were used to identify the few vital factors affecting students’ satisfaction. The net promoter score was chosen as a primary metric to measure students’ satisfaction regarding their learning experience. Findings: The analysis results revealed that there were eight areas of dissatisfaction: poor catering services, improper physical environment, students’ feedback being overlooked, inappropriate measures for course delivery, absence of appropriate advice about future career, inefficient field experience and finally and poor academic support. Based on these results, an improvement plan was prepared and the first stage of the plan was implemented. The success of the plan was investigated by measuring the net promoter score which was increased by about 11.9 per cent after implementation of the first stage of the plan. Originality/value: The study emphasizes that the DMAIC methodology can be applied successfully to improve students’ learning experience and to discover additional value for students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-474
Number of pages13
JournalQuality Assurance in Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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