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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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