Kung (2002) stated that distance learning courses can be an effective means to acquire knowledge outside of the classroom environment for many academic disciplines. Students who choose to take online courses might do so simply for career development. Time constraints, distance, and finances could also be other factors why students enroll in distance education. Since many students will often be non-traditional students working full time, taking traditional accounting courses might prove to be extremely difficult considering their schedules and increased responsibilities. Additional motivators could include the quality of the instruction and the material provided (The changing, 1993).
Sometimes students will choose distance education courses because of the technology perks instead of the need for education and may choose distance learning (and
particularly online accounting courses) for the wrong reason (Katz, 2002; Vamosi, Pierce & Slotkin, 2004). If students choose online accounting courses for technological convenience rather than a more appropriate course delivery for their individual learning style, student success might be compromised (Haugen & Becker, 2005; Hogan, 1997; The changing, 1993). It would help faculty members who teach online for the first time (or more) to understand major student issues from the perspective of online students. After teaching her first online course, the author (in addition to conducting several research projects on student success in distance learning) completed 5 online graduate accounting courses at two different universities in order to better understand what it can be like on the student side of a distance learning course. This paper summarizes those efforts.

This article is from the Accounting Instructors’ Report, an electronic journal that provides teaching tips and insights to those who teach accounting and other business courses.
Linda Bressler, University of Houston

Read Strategies for Effectively Teaching Online Accounting Courses.