Modelling the impact of online learning quality on students' satisfaction, trust and loyalty

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Purpose: Critically, to improve and manage online learning quality (OLQUAL), higher education providers need to regularly measure OLQUAL. Hence, a reliable measure of OLQUAL in higher education from the students' perspective is indispensable. Further, as a pioneer in examining OLQUAL outcomes in the online education context, we assert that satisfaction, trust and loyalty is a global assessment that follows the evaluation of OLQUAL. A model that delineates the perceived OLQUAL and its relationship with satisfaction, trust and loyalty are currently absent. Grounded on the cognition–affective–conation framework – this study presents the indicators of perceived OLQUAL and its influence on students' satisfaction and trust which further influences their loyalty. Design/methodology/approach: To measure the OLQUAL instrument and proposed relationships – data were collected from 232 online undergraduate and postgraduate students. The results of confirmatory factor analysis measure five dimensions of perceived OLQUAL – comprising system quality, administrative quality, educational quality, transformative quality and social quality. Further, the proposed relationships were tested using structural equation modelling. Findings: This study has successfully measured a second-order OLQUAL model on five primary quality dimensions (i.e. systems, administrative, educational, transformative and social). The findings confirm that students' satisfaction alone does not play a mediating role; rather, satisfaction and trust play a sequential mediating role between OLQUAL and loyalty. Originality/value: Our new model provides a new tool for institutions and researchers to evaluate the quality of online education programs, as well as identify their strategy in developing and providing high-quality online learning to students.

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International Journal of Educational Management

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