Original Research

An exploratory study: Testing the effectiveness of a live-streamed lecture at tertiary level for accounting students

Sybil Smit, Mareli Rossouw
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 12, No 1 | a401 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v12i1.401 | © 2019 Sybil Smit, Mareli Rossouw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2018 | Published: 11 February 2019

About the author(s)

Sybil Smit, School of Accountancy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Mareli Rossouw, School of Accountancy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Unrest on South African higher education campuses compelled universities to search for alternatives to traditional physical lectures.

Research purpose: This study investigated whether live-streamed lectures could be an effective ad hoc alternative for accounting students at a South African university.

Motivation for the study: An alternative to physical lectures is necessary to ensure that the academic programme can continue and student performance be maintained during times when classes are disrupted.

Research design/approach and method: A randomised control trial was chosen as the method to test the effectiveness of a live-streamed lecture. Participants were randomly allocated to attend either the physical accounting lecture or the synchronous live-streamed lecture. A comprehension test followed the said lecture for all participants.

Main findings: The results of the test revealed that participants who live-streamed the lecture performed better than participants who attended the physical lecture. Gender was not a determining factor for the difference in performance when making use of live-streaming facilities, but race and background might influence performance. The majority of participants who live-streamed the lecture stated that they focused better with live streaming than they normally do in the class.

Practical/managerial implications: Tertiary institutions are advised to acquire or implement live-streaming solutions that will help to ensure that classes can continue undisturbed during unrest on campus.

Contribution/value-add: It was concluded that live streaming could uphold student performance when used temporarily in unusual circumstances.


Keywords

live streaming; live-streamed lectures; physical class attendance; student performance; accounting students

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