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Abstract

Online learning has grown exponentially over the past ten years (Bryant, Kahle & Schafer, 2005). Prior research in the area of online education (online accounting education specifically) has identified many areas for research, including course development and administration, time requirements for students and teachers, and processes in traditional campus teaching. This large body of research indicates that all students need some degree of self-direction and intrinsic motivation (Irizarry, 2002). With regard to student learning styles, (Dille and Mezack,1991,and Gibson and Graff, 1992) indicated that successful distance learning students have less need to relate to other students in the educational environment, and are more likely to focus on problem-based self-learning. This paper examined the responses of students who have just completed an online MBA financial or managerial accounting course to the question "What advice would you give someone who is about to take this course?" Participants submitted their responses as statements and these were collected and analyzed. Students in both financial accounting classes advised new students to allot sufficient time in their schedules for the class. In addition, they listed the following: Stay ahead, put forth the necessary effort, and meet deadlines. The top three recommendations from students in the managerial accounting class were "listen to lectures, practice problems and read the text". These were followed by "stay ahead" and "meet deadlines." Professors and students will find these results helpful when they prepare for online financial or managerial accounting.

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