The advantages and disadvantages of using asynchronous and synchronous online forums have been documented in prior literature. However, limited research has explored their practical implementation and the impact they each have had on student learning. This paper addresses this gap, describing course changes that led to the implementation of a blended learning approach incorporating asynchronous and synchronous online chats into a second year university management accounting course. Furthermore, the paper explores, in detail, the learning experiences of students who participated in the synchronous online chat at a New Zealand university by examining one of the sessions in detail. Specifically, the paper explores, using discourse analysis, how the students deployed a sequence of casual and formal language resources to build the solidarity and trust required for a blend of face-to-face and online learning environments. This inter-modal community culture then provided for the acquisition of accounting skills. The analysis shows that the synchronous online chat instantiates and reveals a culture of learning across face-to-face and online modes. Students regarded the chat room as a place in which risks could be taken in their relationships with their teacher(s) and classmates and subsequently with their understanding of accounting concepts. This highlights the benefits synchronous online interactions can have in a blended learning environment.
|Keywords:||Learners, Blended Learning, Discourse Analysis, Online Chat, Accounting|
Educational Designer, Library, Teaching and Learning, Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand
Senior Lecturer, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Faculty of Commerce, Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand
Associate Professor, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Faculty of Commerce, Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand