The term case study refers to both a method of analysis and a specific research design for examining a problem, both of which are used in most circumstances to generalize across populations. The methods used to study a case can rest within a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method investigative paradigm.
The case study teaching method is a highly adaptable style of teaching that involves problem-based learning and promotes the development of analytical skills. By presenting content in the format of a narrative accompanied by questions and activities that promote group discussion and solving of complex problems, case studies facilitate development of the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive learning; moving beyond recall of knowledge to analysis, evaluation, and application. Similarly, case studies facilitate interdisciplinary learning and can be used to highlight connections between specific academic topics and real-world societal issues and applications. This has been reported to increase student motivation to participate in class activities, which promotes learning and increases performance on assessments. For these reasons, case-based teaching has been widely used in business and medical education for many years.
- Teacher or one of students presents a case
- Individual reflection
- Group discussion
- Case solving presentation (individually or group)
Bonney, K. M. (2015). Case Study Teaching Method Improves Student Performance and Perceptions of Learning Gains. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 16(1), 21–28. http://doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v16i1.846
Kreber, C. (2001) Learning Experientially through Case Studies? A Conceptual Analysis. Teaching in Higher Education, 6:2, 217-228, DOI: 10.1080/13562510120045203
Davis, C. & Wilcock, E. (n.d.) Teaching materials using case studies. UK Centre for Materials Education, Higher Education Academy. http://www.materials.ac.uk/guides/casestudies.asp