Title: Quality evaluation of university web portals: a student perspective

Authors: Mohamed N.A. Abdelhakim; James N. Carmichael; Sayed Sayeed Ahmad

Addresses: College of Computing, Al Ghurair University, Academic City, Dubai, UAE. ' College of Computing, Al Ghurair University, Academic City, Dubai, UAE. ' College of Computing, Al Ghurair University, Academic City, Dubai, UAE.

Abstract: Web portals have become popular among higher education institutions for a variety of reasons, chief among which is the competitive advantage such portals offer by facilitating a single point of access to multiple web services. Despite their critical importance, there has been relatively little research devoted to evaluating best-practice concepts in the design and content of web portals vis-a-vis user satisfaction. In an attempt to contribute to the abovementioned research domain, this paper proposes an evaluation instrument – the University Portal Usability Assessment Index (UPUAI) – which rates the quality of university portals in four areas, namely: (1) informational content, (2) transactional content, (3) website design and (4) student satisfaction. The UPUAI's evaluation procedures are discussed in detail and, by way of validation, the UPUAI was used to assess the quality of the web portals of the top five accredited universities in the United Arab Emirates. The conclusions and implications derived from this study are presented with a view to providing education professionals with a reliable measurement instrument to assess the quality of their university web portals.

Keywords: university web portals; usability; evaluation; user satisfaction; higher education; web services; website quality; website design; student satisfaction; website content; quality assessment; United Arab Emirates; UAE.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIOME.2011.044563

International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education, 2011 Vol.4 No.3/4, pp.229 - 243

Received: 06 Sep 2011
Accepted: 16 Oct 2011

Published online: 30 Dec 2011 *

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