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Using Case Studies in Science

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  1. Using Case Studies in Science Science Department Professional Development Nancey Cannon 12/2/13

  2. Why Use Case Studies? • Teach scientific concepts and content • Teach process skills and critical thinking • Cases are based on contemporary, and often contentious, science problems that students encounter in the news • Makes science relevant • Used as the core of entire courses or for single experiences in otherwise traditional lecture and lab courses

  3. Features of the NCCSTS Website • Case Collection • Publications • Assessment • Teachers Directory

  4. Case Types & Teaching Methods • Analysis Case • This type of case (also sometimes called an issues case) is used to teach students skills of analysis. • Dilemma/Decision Case • A dilemma (or decision) case presents an individual, institution, or community faced with a problem that must be solved. • Directed Case • A directed case is designed primarily to enhance students’ understanding of fundamental concepts, principles, and facts. • Interrupted Case • This type of case presents a problem for students to solve in a progressive disclosure format, with the case given to students in parts to work on in small groups and complete within a single class period.

  5. Case Types & Teaching Methods • Clicker Case • Clicker cases combine the use of student personal response systems (“clickers”) with case teaching methods and formats. • Laboratory Case • Laboratory-based cases or cases with a lab component place laboratory experiments in a setting that make them both more relevant and engaging for students • Problem-Based Learning (PBL) • PBL is a teaching method in which students work cooperatively in small groups to find solutions to problems. • Discussion • The discussion method for teaching a case has long been used by business and law schools. Students are usually presented with decision or analysis cases.

  6. Case Types & Teaching Methods • Discussion • The discussion method for teaching a case has long been used by business and law schools. Students are usually presented with decision or analysis cases. • Public Hearing • Public hearings are structured so that a student panel, role-playing as a hearing board, listens to presentations by different student groups. • Trial • A case may include a mock trial. • Jig-Saw • A technique used in teaching a case study, jig-saw enhances cooperative learning by making each student responsible for learning, and then teaching, a portion of the case material to his or her group. • Role-Play • With role playing, the students assume (and may even act out) a role (possibly a role they would not normally occupy) in order to understand that role or the situations those occupying that role must deal with.

  7. Searching for a Case