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Exploring students’ satisfaction in the university learning environment: A study of newly introduced courses for state universities in Sri Lanka


Newly introduced undergraduate courses in state universities failed due to various reasons. The purpose of this study is to explore the factors that affect student satisfaction in the learning environment and to which extent such factors influence the learning behaviour of university students. The study adopts the nudge theory to analyse the students’ decision making based on choice architecture and the constructivist grounded theory, which explores how students determine satisfaction with learning. This study has been conducted in the context of the students who follow newly introduced courses in state universities in Sri Lanka. The study has applied quantitative research design to answer the research questions following the survey method. The conceptual framework of the study focuses on physical and intellectual support factors in the learning environment to measure student satisfaction. The results derive that academic support provided by the staff is the main factor to satisfy the students in the learning environment, which has a significant relationship. Support of the library has been identified as a factor which negatively affects student satisfaction. The study reveals that how students’ decision-making behaviour can be analysed through nudging. The primary contribution of the study is to the literature on identifying key factors which assist students in the learning environment to do the studies satisfactorily when they read for newly introduced courses in state universities. The study develops a novel theoretical structure through nudge theory to identify the students’ behaviour and satisfaction level. The practical implications are vital in this study which indicates that important aspects of developing in higher education in Sri Lanka to improve the quality of newly introduced courses in business.

Keywords: Satisfaction, Learning environment, Nudge