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Adapting to COVID-19 disruptions: student engagement in online learning of accounting

Irshad Ali (Department of Accounting, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
Anil Kumar Narayan (Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
Umesh Sharma (University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Article publication date: 10 December 2020

Issue publication date: 23 August 2021

1527

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide insights on student engagement in the learning of accounting during the COVID-19 disruptions and the pivot to online learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on reflections of academic staff members teaching accounting papers at two large New Zealand universities. Further supporting information was derived from student feedback collected via paper appraisals.

Findings

The findings of this paper suggest that there were some successes and numerous challenges in engaging students in online learning of accounting. Strategies that seem to have worked well include the use of synchronous and asynchronous channels to proactively facilitate and provide learning support to students in online learning. The challenges include frustrations with online technologies and the difficulties of making personal connections with students; therefore, engaging some of the cohort in the learning proved to be difficult.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this paper suggest that there were some successes and numerous challenges in engaging students in online learning of accounting. Strategies that seem to have worked well include the use of synchronous and asynchronous channels to proactively facilitate and provide learning support to students in online learning. The challenges include frustrations with online technologies and the difficulties of making personal connections with students; therefore, engaging some of the cohort in the learning proved to be difficult. At risk, students were less likely to participate in online live sessions due to issues such as the lack of proper computer equipment, connectivity issues, family responsibilities or the home environment.

Practical implications

This paper has the potential to inform and enhance practices of higher education institutions, accounting educators and other stakeholders such as support staff on strategies that could be implemented to achieve effective student engagement in online accounting education.

Originality/value

This paper is original and contributes towards sharing ideas with the academic community on effective teaching practices used during the COVID-19 pivot to online delivery, which can enhance student engagement in business education.

Keywords

Citation

Ali, I., Narayan, A.K. and Sharma, U. (2021), "Adapting to COVID-19 disruptions: student engagement in online learning of accounting", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 261-269. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARJ-09-2020-0293

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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