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Enhancing students’ understanding and performance in a distance-learning setting: evidence from an audit simulation at a GCC university

Nader Elsayed (Department of Accounting and Information Systems, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)
Hazem Ramadan Ismael (Department of Accounting and Information Systems, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)
Shahriar M. Saadullah (Department of Accounting and Information Systems, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Article publication date: 5 January 2023

Issue publication date: 2 February 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on experiential learning theory (ELT), this study aims to examine students’ performance and perceptions after performing an experiential learning activity (ELA) by completing a mini-audit simulation (AS) on the purchase and cash disbursement processes in a distance-learning environment at a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) university.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting a mixed-methods approach, we collected quantitative and qualitative data from 176 students using the grade centre on Blackboard and their responses to a semi-structured questionnaire.

Findings

The pre-and post-simulation tests indicate significant improvement in students’ understanding and performance after performing the mini-AS. The students’ responses also provide robust evidence of student engagement, active participation and positive recognition of the AS’s value.

Practical implications

This study has several implications: for the accounting education literature, how AS strengthens in-depth learning through the lens of ELT; for professional accounting bodies, informing the need to maximise the awareness and benefits of adopting simulations in accounting education and examination; and for educators, considering simulations in their ELAs to enhance student learning.

Originality/value

This study introduces a new authentic mini-AS instrument that can be adapted to a distance-learning setting, adds to the very limited studies in AS using ELT, uses a mixed-methods approach and explores students who learn in an Arabic-speaking country.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Prof. Reza Monem [The Editor of Accounting Research Journal] and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions, which substantially improved the quality of the paper.

Funding statement: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Data availability: The collected data from the participants can be requested from the corresponding author.

Citation

Elsayed, N., Ismael, H.R. and M. Saadullah, S. (2023), "Enhancing students’ understanding and performance in a distance-learning setting: evidence from an audit simulation at a GCC university", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARJ-12-2021-0359

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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