Online Student Engagement and Place Attachment to Campus in the New Service Marketplace: An Exploratory Study (2022)
Type of ContentJournal Article
Purpose: The pandemic has accelerated the use of virtual learning spaces and led to rethinking post-pandemic course delivery. However, it remains unclear whether students’ online engagement in e-servicescapes can influence attachment to a place, i.e. a physical servicescape. Our study conducts an exploratory study to inform place attachment and actor engagement literature in an online service context. Design/methodology/approach: This study employed quantitative survey design and collected 98 usable responses from undergraduate and postgraduate students at a major New Zealand university during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The questionnaire consisted of 23 items relating to three dimensions of online student engagement and 19 items referring to six dimensions of campus attachment. Findings: Results of the exploratory study indicate that classmate community in online lectures, referring to student–student interactions, can positively influence five of the dimensions of campus attachment, including place identity, place dependence, affective attachment, social bonding, and place memory, even though students are physically not on campus. However, it cannot influence place expectation. Moreover, instructor community (student–instructor interaction) and learning engagement (student–content interaction) in online lectures have insignificant impact on campus attachment. Research limitations/implications: This study emphasises the social dimension when interacting in e-servicescapes. Person-based interactions are more influential than contentbased interactions for student engagement. Educational service providers should integrate the eservicescape and the physical servicescape by encouraging more student–student interactions to contribute to ecosystem well-being at the micro, meso, and macro levels. Originality/value: This study indicates that customer-to-customer interaction serves to integrate customer engagement across the digital and physical realms for process-based services like education.
CitationHuang Y, Finsterwalder J, Chen N, Crawford F (2022). Online Student Engagement and Place Attachment to Campus in the New Service Marketplace: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Services Marketing. (forthcoming).
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KeywordsCOVID-19; place attachment; student engagement; e-servicescape; tertiary education
ANZSRC Fields of Research39 - Education::3903 - Education systems::390303 - Higher education
39 - Education::3904 - Specialist studies in education::390412 - Teacher and student wellbeing
39 - Education::3904 - Specialist studies in education::390405 - Educational technology and computing
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