Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Accepted version

Duncan, K., Kenworthy, A., McNamara, R. (2012). The effect of synchronous and asynchronous participation on students' performance in online accounting courses. Accounting Education: An International Journal, 21(4), 431-449. ISSN: 0963-9284

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2012 HERDC submission. FOR code: 130203

© Copyright Taylor & Francis




This article examines the relationship between MBA students' performance and participation in two online environments: a synchronous forum (chat room) and an asynchronous forum (discussion board) at an Australian university. The quality and quantity of students' participation is used to predict their final examination and course grade performance outcomes. We find that the total quality of students' participation is positively related to final examination performance but the total quantity of students' participation is related to overall course performance. We also find that synchronous engagement with the course (combined quality and quantity) drives these results and has twice the examination and grade impact relative to asynchronous course engagement. We conclude that encouraging high quality and frequent participation in both synchronous and asynchronous forums will help maximise students' performance.



This document has been peer reviewed.


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