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Case-based learning in Physics. Henry Yam S S Tong Department of Physics / Centre for Promoting Science Education, CUHK. S S Tong CUPHY. What I want to share with you…. I only have little knowledge on the case-based learning method

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Case-based learning in Physics


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    1. Case-based learning in Physics Henry Yam S S Tong Department of Physics / Centre for Promoting Science Education, CUHK

    2. S S Tong CUPHY What I want to share with you…. • I only have little knowledge on the case-based learning method • But I see this method has the potential of helping students develop a balanced personality, and good relations with oneself, others and the society • Just to share with you the physics cases we developed…. • Not quite sure if they are practical or not…. • Eager to listen to your comments…. and your sharing on teaching experience, implementation problems….

    3. Self Others Environment (external world) S S Tong CUPHY What I learnt in counseling lessons…. • Virginia Satir (1916-1988) - model on commuication • Communicate with oneself, others and environment

    4. Self Others Environment (external world) S S Tong CUPHY So what causes commuication problems? • People always blaming others…. I am always right I don't care about others and the world

    5. Self Others Environment (external world) S S Tong CUPHY So what causes commuication problems? • People always pleasing others…. You are always right I don't care about myself and the world

    6. I only care about analysis, I don't care about myself and others Self Others Environment (external world) S S Tong CUPHY So what causes commuication problems? • People relying too much on facts and analysis….

    7. I am happy Self Others Environment (external world) S S Tong CUPHY Making wise decisions in the real world…. • People know how to communicate with oneself, others & environment. Healthy communications, wise decisions

    8. S S Tong CUPHY Case method: help people make decisions? • Example case in physics: Introduction of flameless cooking to a traditional restaurant • Save energy and money • Less heat and safer in kitchen (physics of heat transfer and EM induction) • Need investment, renovation • Old chefs (most) don't like it, new chefs (two) like it • Owners happy (save money) • Customers not happy? (food quality affected?)

    9. Self Others Environment (external world) S S Tong CUPHY Considering oneself, others, and environment How do I feel? My job, my position? General Manager Owners Save energy and money Old chefs New chefs Less heat and safer (Physics of heat & EM) Customers Investment, renovation Food quality

    10. S S Tong CUPHY Characteristics of case solutions • Case has no perfect solution • But analysis and science knowledge do help • Involve emotion of people (e.g. owners, manager, chefs and customers) – difficult to quantify • Open-ended, i.e. has more than one solutions • Real solution may emerge from the combination of several solutions (e.g. use electricity for steamers, retain traditional gas cooking for woks) • let students know what actually happens - writing an authentic case is useful

    11. S S Tong CUPHY Skills to learn…. • Learn skills to • gain a holistic and balanced view of the situation • cope with other people and take suitable measures • Skills trained in the case-method: • Analytical skills • Decision making skills • Application skills: presentation, PowerPoint, report writing • Time management skills • Interpersonal or social skills Learning with Cases 2nd edition Louise A. Mauffette- Leenders etal. Ivey Publishing

    12. S S Tong CUPHY Processes to acquire the skills in case method • Individual learning and discussions Learning with Cases 2nd edition Louise A. Mauffette- Leenders etal. Ivey Publishing

    13. S S Tong CUPHY Example Physics CasesThe chef cannot see the flame: Flameless cooking in restaurantSolar Energy in Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden

    14. Henry Yam CUPHY Flameless cooking in restaurant: Case idea • For students to face a real-life physics related tasks: • The impact of new technology in old establishment • New technology: • Flameless cooking equipment • Old establishment: • Traditional restaurant • Students role-play as employees of restaurant • Students have to present a course of action to employer

    15. Henry Yam CUPHY Doing the case • Individual preparation • Small group discussion • Production • Presentation • Large group discussion

    16. Henry Yam CUPHY Individual preparation • Done in class under teacher supervision • 20 minutes • Preparation for Small group discussion • Students required to find out at least • Who are involved • What is the challenge • How to present • When to finish

    17. Henry Yam CUPHY Small group discussion • Continuation of Individual preparation • 4-6 students each group • 30-40 minutes • Students discuss possible solutions

    18. Henry Yam CUPHY Small group discussion • Aim to facilitate learning from each other • Teacher visits each group to gauge progress • Students hand in achievement of discussion • Students continue discussion after class • learn interpersonal and social skill • learn time management skill • learn decision making skills

    19. Henry Yam CUPHY Production • PowerPoint presentation and written report • Prepare during non-lesson time • Assume target audience are General Manager and owners of restaurant • Special requirements • explain flameless and induction cooking (physics) • use graphs and charts (data analysis and presentation)

    20. Henry Yam CUPHY Presentation • 5-8 minutes presentation + 2-5 minutes Q&A = 10 minutes for each group • learn application skill • learn oral communication skill • Teacher role-plays General Manager, other students role-play owners to ask questions • Questions to probe understanding, especially to passive students • e.g. Can kitchen power supply handle the change?

    21. Henry Yam CUPHY Large group discussion • Students no longer are employees • Discuss solutions put forward • Issues when introducing new technology • Human issues: Is the new technology good or bad to the chefs? • Technology issues: Does the technology work? • Society issues: Impact of energy saving • Pitfalls: Will the food taste different?

    22. Henry Yam CUPHY Assessment • Students know the Assessment guidelines • Assessment broken down into areas • Encourage students to improve weak areas • Reward students’ strong areas

    23. Needs Improvement Satisfactory Good Excellent Understanding the issue 5% Understanding the case clearly and identifying key issues to be tackled in order to reach recommendations 0-1% 2-3% 4% 5% Calculation and data 15% Quoting data and performing calculations that are accurate and relevant 0-3% 6-9% 12% 15% Henry Yam CUPHY Assessment

    24. Henry Yam CUPHY Flexibility of case • One crucial data can change whole case • changing the rating of kitchen power supply • Adjusting the data file changes the difficulty and relative focus of the case • Data file can be as simple as a neat table with all relevant data included • Or as complicated as a long leaflet with relevant numerical data scattered between irrelevant data for students to distinguish

    25. Henry Yam CUPHY Guidance to students • Supplementary worksheet • guidance on Individual preparation and Group discussion • Hints for students • ask leading questions for students to follow the analysis of the case step by step

    26. Henry Yam CUPHY Help for teachers • Main possible solutions to the case are provided • general main points of each solution • the advantage of each solution • the weakness of each solution • Outline of the answer to all leading questions give overall understanding of case

    27. Henry Yam CUPHY Need teachers’ precious input • Implementation in Hong Kong classroom environment is a challenge • How to increase the dimension of the case • Need teachers and educators’ experience and suggestions on improving the case