The case method in
education
Jonas Nordquist, Associate Editor, BMJ Learning
[email protected]
Disposition
Chapter 1 The case method in education
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Higher education today
Assumptions on learning
Higher cognitive order thinking
Different kind of knowledge
The case method and other activity based
educational tools
• Why the case method
• Does the case method enhance learning?
Chapter 2 Implementing the case method
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Contextual issues/issues on facilitation
3P-model
Key skills of a facilitator
Role of the facilitator
Disposition continued
Chapter 3 The case method: a practical
perspective
• How to write a case
• The nature of a case
• Motivation and learning
The message
• Awareness
• Cannot copy and paste
Chapter 1
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What is the case method?
The origins of the case method
Why use the case method?
Where has the case method been used?
Educational effects of the case method
Higher education in a changing world
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Reduction of funding
Higher enrolment rate
New student groups
External audits
= New demands on the efficiency of
teaching methods and student learning
outcomes
Current assumptions on preferred learning
• Active participation
• Problem oriented approach
• New knowledge is constructed on:
– Previous knowledge (existing cognitive
structures)
– Previous experience
• Relevance
The SOLO taxonomy with
sample descriptive verbs/terms
Competence
Identify
Name
Follow simple
procedure
Combine
Describe
Enumerate
Perform serial skills
List
Analyse
Apply
Argue
Compare/
contrast
Criticise
Explain causes
Relate
Justify
Generate
Hypothesise
Reflect
Theorise
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Fail
Incompetent
Misses point
Incompetence One relevant
aspect
Prestructural
Unistructural
Several relevant
Integrated into
independent aspects a structure
Multistructural
Relational
Generalised to
new domain
Extended abstract
Different kinds of knowledge
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Declarative
Procedural
Conditional
Functional
What is the case method?
The origins of the case method
Student activating methods
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Role play
Action research
Critical incident analysis
Problem based learning
Case method
Action research
C O NCR E TE
E X PE R IE NCE
AC TI VE
E X PE R IM E N TA TI O N
RE FL EC TIV E
O BS E RVA TIO N
AB S TRAC T
C O NC E PT U AL IS A TIO N
Experiential Learning Cycle
(Kolb, 1984)
Where have cases been used?
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Law
Business
Social Sciences (Political Science)
Medicine
Teacher Training Programmes
Why cases?
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Convey knowledge, facts, information to students
Apply theory to a situation
Enhance students’ decision making skills
Improve students’ technical or behavioural skills in
analysing data
Improve students’ self esteem
Stimulate students’ interest in a subject
Foster reflection
Present a realistic picture of the complexities in a
situation
Educational effects – does the case method
enhance students’ learning?
1. How to define the independent variable?
2. To compare with what?
3. Pre / Post tests
4. Variation? If so is that good?
Cut and paste: the problems of application
Learn a New ”Tool”
• Taiwanese scholars at Harvard
• Swedes going to the US/Canada
• Awareness: why cases?
• Cut and paste: What are the conditions that
make case teaching work?
– How to contextualise the case method to our
educational system?
Preconditions to make case teaching work
• Case teaching aligned with the overall
objectives of the curriculum
• A functioning case facilitator
• Suitable assessment practices
• Aligned grading system
• The students’ preconception of their role is
in accordance with the requirements of the
case method
The objectives of Chapter 1
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What is the case method?
The origins of the case method
Why use the case method?
Where has the case method been used?
Educational effects of the case method
Chapter 2
Implementing the case
method
Objectives lecture two: Implementing the
case method
Contextual issues:
• The educational context
• The curriculum context
• Learning objectives
• Assessment procedures
Issues on the facilitator include:
• The epistemological beliefs of the facilitator
• Theories on the role of the teacher
• Important skills of a successful case facilitator
The 3P model and the
educational context
The teaching and learning process
The 3P Model (Biggs & Moore, 1993)
Presage
Student characteristics:
• Background
• Prior knowledge &
experience
• Ability
• Conceptions of learning
• General learning
approach
• Language competence
Teaching context:
•Curriculum
•Conceptions of teaching
•Teaching experience
•Teaching/assessment
methods
•Classroom climate
Process
Approaches to learning
•Surface
•Deep
Product
Learning outcomes
• Quantity
• Quality
• Affective
• How do you think a case seminar relates to teachers’
own concepts of teaching and learning?
• Do you think that teachers would be hesitant to run
a case seminar?
• What actions would it be necessary to undertake to
ensure actively engaged teachers are using the case
method?
• Do you think that there are any obvious obstacles
for this kind of a method from a teacher’s
perspective?
• How do you think a case seminar would relate to
students’ concepts of teaching and learning?
• Do you think students would be hesitant to
participate?
• What efforts would it be necessary to undertake to
ensure an active student participation?
• In your opinion, would there be any obvious obstacle
for this kind of a method from a student
perspective?
Constructive alignment
Constructive alignment
Biggs (1999)
Curriculum
in the form of clear objectives
stating level of understanding
required
Teaching/
learning
activities
chosen to facilitate achievement
of the objectives
Assessment
tasks
chosen to test if students have
achieved the objectives and the
level of achievement
Formative assessment
Continuous
On-going during learning/teaching
Diagnostic
Provides feedback to students and teachers on
• Strengths and weaknesses
• Difficulties
• Misconceptions
Remedial
Provides opportunities for modification/improvement
Summative assessment
Terminal
At the end of learning/teaching
Descriptive
How well materials/knowledge/skills have been
learnt
For ranking and selection
No provision for modification/improvement
Backwash effect of assessment
Teacher’s and student’s perspectives on assessment
Teacher’s perspective: Objectives
Student’s perspective: Assessment
Teaching activities
Assessment
Learning activities
Outcomes
Backwash effect can be either positive or negative
Some issues on facilitation
Teacher
Know
Know
Don’t know
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Student
Don’t know
Different kinds of questions
• Open ended questions
• Diagnostic questions
• Information seeking questions
• Challenge questions
• Action questions
• Questions on priority and sequence
• Prediction questions
• Hypothetical questions
• Questions of extension
The objectives of Chapter 2 were to discuss
Contextual issues
• The educational context
• The curriculum context
• Learning objectives
• Assessment procedures
Issues on the facilitator include
• The epistemological beliefs of the facilitator
• Theories on the role of the teacher
• Important skills of a successful case facilitator
Chapter 3
The case method: a
practical perspective
The objectives of this chapter are:
• To discuss the nature of a good case
• To discuss how to produce a case
• To discuss how to set up a case seminar
The nature of a good case
• Relevant situation
• Open ended
What kind of knowledge?
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Declarative
Conditional
Procedural
Functional
The nature of the case
The educational objectives have to give guidelines on what kind of case to
use
The
Educational
Purpose,
i.e.
Type of Case
Convey
knowledge, facts
information to
students
Apply theory to a
situation
Foster reflection
Present a realistic
picture of the
complexities in a
situation
Authentic
Armchair
The case structure
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Learning objectives?
What kind of case to use?
Narrative?
Actors and attributed interest
Dilemma?
The three dimensions of the writing process
• Conceptual clarity
• The clarity of the dilemma
• The structure
Other issues to consider
• Study questions
• Teaching notes
The learning process
• Individual preparation
• Small group discussion
• Large group deliberation
Different kinds of questions
• Open ended questions
• Diagnostic questions
• Information seeking questions
• Challenge questions
• Action questions
• Questions on priority and sequence
• Prediction questions
• Hypothetical questions
• Questions of extension
Motivation
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Intrinsic
Extrinsic
Social
Achievement
The interest model
• Situational
• Textbook
• Personal
The objectives of this session were
• To discuss the nature of a good case
• To discuss how to produce a case
• To discuss how to set up a case seminar
Conclusion of the three lectures
Awareness
• Why the case method?
• What educational purpose?
• How would it fit into the existing curriculum
context?
• How would it fit with the epistemological positions
of the teachers and students?
• Assessment practices
You cannot copy and paste the case method
• Substantial and profound educational analysis
first
• Technical training second