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Blended learning in accounting: a New Zealand case

Sidney Weil (Accounting, Economics and Finance Department, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand)
Tracy-Anne De Silva (Accounting, Economics and Finance Department, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand)
Maurice Ward (Library, Teaching and Learning, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand)

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 2049-372X

Article publication date: 11 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the implementation of a blended learning approach in a Stage 2 management accounting course at a university in New Zealand. The paper reports on student participation and engagement in the course and reflects on students’ learning experiences. The blended learning approach was implemented in response to low student attendance and poor preparation for face-to-face tutorial sessions, along with demand from students to be able to access learning resources off-campus.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from formal course evaluations, the learning management system and a student focus group, with particular emphasis on three of the online activities introduced – lessons, quizzes and chat rooms.

Findings

The study finds that while learners value online activities, they are nevertheless still unwilling to forgo the opportunities which face-to-face contact with both peers and faculty members present. This finding provides support for the continuation of a blended learning approach in the course, as well as its implementation in others.

Research limitations/implications

This paper has several limitations. These include the small sample size and the absence of reflection on the process and outcome(s) of implementation of the blended learning course by the responsible academic. Furthermore, the paper also did not consider the impact of blended learning on students’ soft, or generic, skills. These are topics for future research.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the importance of offering not only a mixture of online activities, but also a blend of face-to-face and online activities.

Originality/value

This study focuses on student participation and engagement in a blended learning accounting course.

Keywords

Citation

Weil, S., De Silva, T.-A. and Ward, M. (2014), "Blended learning in accounting: a New Zealand case", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 224-244. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-10-2013-0044

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited