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

Smit, Sybil ; Rossouw, Mareli (2019)

CITATION: Smit, S. & Rossouw, M. 2019. An exploratory study : testing the effectiveness of a live-streamed lecture at tertiary level for accounting students. Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences, 12(1):a401, doi:10.4102/jef.v12i1.401.

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Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund


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.

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