Chen, Jones & Moreland

Distance Education in a Cost Accounting Course: Instruction, Interaction, and Multiple Measures of Learning Outcomes

Clement C. Chen, University of Michigan - Flint*
Keith T. Jones, University of North Alabama
Keith Moreland, University of Michigan - Flint


Students in online and traditional classroom sections of an intermediate-level cost accounting course responded to a survey about their experiences in the course. Specifically, several items related to the instruction and learning outcomes were addressed. Additionally, student examination performance in the two types of sections was compared. The results suggest that students in both learning environments generally rated the instruction, professor/student interaction, and learning outcomes at a high level. However, where differences in satisfaction levels exist, the ratings generally were higher among students in the traditional classroom. Examination performance was comparable on 14 of 18 topic areas with the traditional method producing better comprehension in three of the remaining four areas. While student learning, instruction, and interaction between students and with the instructor were good in the online sections, the results suggest that the traditional learning approach provided a level of richness to the student learning experience that was not matched in the online approach. Overall, the survey results have implications for course design going forward, regardless of course delivery method.


Cost accounting; online education; learning outcome measures

*Author order is alphabetic; the authors contributed equally to this project.

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