The usage of an online discussion forum for the facilitation of case-based learning in an intermediate accounting course: a New Zealand case

Sidney Weil, Nicholas McGuigan, Thomas Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the implementation of an online discussion forum as a means of facilitating case-based learning in an intermediate financial accounting course. The paper commences with a review of case-based learning literature and the use of online discussions as a delivery platform, linking these pedagogical approaches to the emerging needs and learning styles of the current generation of 'digital' students. The paper then describes the context in which the research takes place, including the nature of the course, its learning objectives and its educational philosophy, and describes the rationale for the implementation and usage of the online discussion forum. Survey data were collected and analysed from a single student cohort to assess student perceptions of the benefits and limitations of case studies and the usage of online discussion groups to augment case-based learning. The findings suggest that students perceive numerous benefits associated with case-based online discussions, including being exposed to other students' opinions, improving their ability to critically review case information, motivation to consult additional non-course related material and the convenience of the technology utilised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-251
Number of pages15
JournalOpen Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • accounting education
  • asynchronous discussion forums
  • case-based learning
  • community of practice
  • financial accounting

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