Virtual groups in a cost accounting course: Group dynamics, outcomes, and participant satisfaction

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This study examines the relative efficacy of groups in both virtual and traditional face-to-face courses, as well as differences in group dynamics between the two delivery methods. We surveyed students in online and traditional classroom sections of the same intermediate-level cost accounting course about their perceptions of group processes, general satisfaction with group work, learning outcomes, and group communications. Traditional classroom students were more positive about their group processes and learning outcomes than were online students. They also were more likely to agree that the learning benefits of group work outweighed the costs, (e.g., uneven and inefficient work distribution.) Our findings suggest that instructors who use groups in online courses should specifically consider the potentially negative effects of such factors as workload imbalances when designing group learning activities so that learning objectives are not adversely affected. © 2010 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations

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