For busy accountants and aspiring accountants, an online master’s in accounting degree program can be the solution to a schedule too hectic to take traditional courses. However, not every online program will provide the same experience. Different schools use different features and methods of delivering online lessons and course content.
Learning Features Found in Online Accounting Programs
In the virtual classroom of an online master’s in accounting program, students may be exposed to various online teaching methods and course content delivery modes. Video lectures, virtual class discussions via chat rooms and discussion boards and online assignments and tests are typical among online accounting classes, according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Though flexibility exists in terms of what time of day students complete their coursework, online accounting programs tend to have a strict structure that requires students to complete their work on a set schedule, the NASBA reported.
To make an online accounting education truly effective, it’s important that instructors get thorough training on the technology and multimedia tools available to them. Knowing how to use these tools and technologies and what they do enables online accounting instructors to deliver course materials through multiple modes that better engage students.
These tools allow distance learning instructors to do everything from adding online resources that accompany taped or live-streamed video lectures to using software to assign virtual simulations and interactive projects. Because engagement and participation is so integral to the educational experience, instructors must also know how to use these tools and modes to facilitate meaningful class discussions.
How Much Does an Online School’s Delivery Mode Matter?
If you’re wondering whether the difference in online courses from one school to another is really that important, consider this. When U.S. News & World Report – known for its production of numerous college rankings lists – publishes an annual list of the Best Online Graduate Business Programs, delivery modes and similar factors make up 60 percent of the ranking methodology.
- The amount of student engagement and participation involved in the online program makes up a full one-third of the publication’s ranking methodology.
- The diversity of online learning technologies that each school uses and the support structures each school provides makes up another 13.5 percent of the ranking methodology.
- Finally, faculty credentials and training, including training professors on effective online instruction, make up an additional 13.5 percent of the ranking methodology.
If one of the most authoritative education rankings publishers in the United States weighs online education delivery modes so heavily in identifying the best online accounting and business programs, then this factor is clearly important.
When you begin deciding which online master’s in accounting program is right for you, make sure you’re considering what online course content delivery methods your prospective school uses. Learn what support services are available to distance learners and what to expect in your online classes.