Chen & Jones

Blended Learning vs. Traditional Classroom Settings: Assessing Effectiveness and Student Perceptions in an MBA Accounting Course

Clement C. Chen, University of Michigan - Flint
Keith T. Jones, Illinois State University


A survey was conducted of Master of Business Administration (MBA) students in an accounting class at a university in the Northern United States to compare students’ assessments of course effectiveness and overall satisfaction with the course. One group of students were enrolled in a traditional in-class section, and another group in a “blended-learning” section in which the primary course delivery method was online, but in which students met in class on a limited number of occasions. Overall perceptions of the course, instructor and learning outcomes were positive for both groups. Students also felt strongly that they would use the material in their careers. The majority of students in the blended learning section indicated that they would take another accounting course using that approach if it were offered. However, some interesting differences were noted. Specifically, students in the traditional setting were more satisfied with the clarity of instruction. On the other hand, students in the blended-learning section felt more strongly that they gained an appreciation of the concepts in the field. Blended-learning students also indicated more strongly that their analytical skills improved as a result of the course. The results suggest that the two delivery methods were similar in terms of final learning outcomes, but that both may be improved by incorporating aspects of the other.

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