How to Build an E-Learning Product: Factors for Student/Customer Satisfaction

26 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2012 Last revised: 17 Mar 2013

See all articles by Gandolfo Dominici

Gandolfo Dominici

University of Palermo - d/SEAS

Federica Palumbo

University of Rome "La Sapienza"

Date Written: January 1, 2013


The increasing use of web technologies has changed the way of doing business also in the field of education. In the last decade, the development of electronic learning (e-learning) systems became crucial in order to meet students’ demand.

In this study we adopt a “relationship marketing” perspective and we apply the Kano Model (1984) to propose a way to build an e-learning “non-academic” course that can achieve “student satisfaction”. We measure the relevance of e-learning requirements from the University students’ perspective in order to identify their expectations about e-learning courses and obtain relevant characteristics that can help to plan an e-learning product capable of achieving high levels of customer satisfaction.

Our study is based on the interviews of 239 students of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Palermo. Throughout the five dimensions surveys, we measure users’ satisfaction of e-learning courses and classify quality attributes expectations into Kano Model categories. The indexes we deliver reveal the key elements that can increase or decrease the perceived satisfaction of customers of e-learning courses.

This study carries a specific value for academics who work on new product development in the field of customer satisfaction. Highlighting the correlation between the classification of expectations and satisfaction level we find practical implications for educational institutions and/or other companies interested in developing and selling e-learning courses drawing an offer based on the needs of the students with a customer oriented approach.

Keywords: Customer Satisfaction, Kano Model, New Product Development, E-learning, Student Satisfaction, Course Design

JEL Classification: M31, I21, L86, O32

Suggested Citation

Dominici, Gandolfo and Palumbo, Federica, How to Build an E-Learning Product: Factors for Student/Customer Satisfaction (January 1, 2013). Dominici, G.; Palumbo, F. How to build an e-learning product: Factors for student/customer satisfaction. Business Horizons. Vol. 56 Issue 1 pp. 87-96, Available at SSRN:

Gandolfo Dominici (Contact Author)

University of Palermo - d/SEAS ( email )

Viale delle Scienze, edificio 13
Palermo, 90124

Federica Palumbo

University of Rome "La Sapienza" ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma, Rome 00185


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