Academic journal article Quarterly Review of Distance Education

E-Learning versus Blended Learning in Accounting Courses

Academic journal article Quarterly Review of Distance Education

E-Learning versus Blended Learning in Accounting Courses

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

E-leaming was introduced in 1995. It was called Internet-based training, then Web-based training, then online learning, and finally eleaming.

E-leaming refers to the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance and support learning and to effect the construction of knowledge with reference to individual experience, practice, and knowledge of the learner. Advances in communication and computer technologies have provided great opportunity for universities and a constant demand in developing countries to improve their teaching and learning processes by incorporate increasing levels of technology into the design and delivery of their curriculum. These new technologies allow for more flexibility in learning and a wider reach for education in many countries worldwide (Salawudeen, 2010).

The Internet is portrayed as an education delivery platform enabling students to receive and interact with educational materials and to engage with teachers and peers in ways that previously may have been impossible (Sígala, 2002). E-leaming can be self-paced or instructor led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, and streaming video and audio. The focus is on Internet education and distributed learning; it shifts from a teachingcentered environment to a learning-centered environment; to learners rather than students in a classroom; and to learning facilitators rather than instructors (Jensen & Sandlin, 1997).

E-leaming can offer innovative solutions to problems facing conventional education in Egypt. It will ease overloaded classes in Egyptian colleges, high prices of traditional textbooks, transportation problems, need for continued education and specialized training, interaction with the international educational community, and the enhancement of the level of national education.

Business education is a very rewarding area in which to teach; thus, both the opportunities and the threats of Internet-based education should be considered by accounting educators. In addition, students should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and come to higher education with a wide variety of skills, backgrounds and expectations. The overall objective is to develop students' capacity for self-directed learning.

Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) student perception about e-leaming is that it provides a positive learning environment: good teaching, clear goals and standards, appropriate workload, appropriate assessment, emphasis on independence, and the development of critical thinking skills. However, not all of this can be achieved without quality assurance, which is a key factor in the strength, improvement, and quality of higher education.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Poon (2013) investigated the use of blended learning to enhance students' learning experiences from an institutional perspective. Students' experiences and perceptions of blended learning as a delivery method were examined. The study suggests that institutions that intend to implement blended learning must be realistic about the investment of time, effort, and resources required for development and implementation.

Wong (2012) conducted a survey of firstyear accounting students to gauge their attitudes toward e-leaming and their perceptions of the effectiveness of online options. The results indicate that students strongly support traditional approaches of teaching, as they ranked the delivery of face-to-face lectures as the most effective in assisting their learning and potentially affecting their assessment outcomes, closely followed by face-to-face tutorials.

Chen, Jones, and Moreland (2010) examined online and traditional classroom students' perceptions of instruction and course administration, student-faculty interaction, and student-student interaction based on survey responses. They found that online students perceive high quality instruction and learning, as well as quality interaction with the instructor and other students. …

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