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School of Business | Department of Information and Service Economy | Technology Management and Policy | 2014
Thesis number: 13760
Customer preferences regarding an e-learning platform: a best-worst scaling approach
Author: Quan, Xueying
Title: Customer preferences regarding an e-learning platform: a best-worst scaling approach
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Information and Service Economy
Academic subject: Technology Management and Policy
Index terms: tietotalous; knowledge economy; tietojärjestelmät; information systems; oppiminen; learning; internet; internet; palvelut; service
Pages: 70
Key terms: e-learning,; programming platform; best-worst scaling
Objectives of the Study:

This Master's thesis focuses on a programming platform (Viope), which helps students to learn programming and provides instructors with information regarding students' performance. Such a platform consists of multiple attributes. The objective of this thesis is to identify attributes which are missing from the existing platform, test and measure the importance of such attributes (existing and new) from the point of view of the customer. As a methodology we use best-worst scaling. Based on customer preferences, we identify different preference groups via individual utility. We also do statistical analyses based on utility. The customer target group is selected from those departments within Scandinavian universities which provide information system relevant courses as part of their programs. The main focus is students, the IT instructors and individuals in charge of purchasing, who are interviewed/surveyed as part of the study.

Academic background and methodology:

The original idea of the thesis was generated from Viope international sales team. Different persons show different preferences on programming platforms. In order to find similarities and differences in various preferences, the author uses best-worst scaling to better understand target customer groups. In terms of the attributes, besides analyzing the Viope platform itself, the author will interview several representative customers to collect additional attributes. The main methodologies used in this study are interviews and best-worst scaling. The purpose of the interview is to identify the attributes, inputs of best-worst scaling, and the best-worst scaling is used to study the preferences of a large target group.

Findings and conclusions:

Findings: A clear and straightforward interface is the attribute which is most appreciated by the target group. However, the communication method embedded in the platform is the least desirable attribute that customers would consider. There are also some variations among individuals and among different segments. Managerial implications: Viope Solution Oy can use this information to tailor its own product. Moreover, sales team can focus on the customers' favored angles of the platform to approach different customer segments.


E-learning, programming platform, best-worst scaling
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.