WHAT DO WE KNOW about case study teaching? In spite of its extensive use in law and business education, the application of the case method in these disciplines does not appear to have been seriously assessed. In contrast, the use of problem-based learning (one form of case study teaching) in medical schools has prompted close scrutiny. More recently, case study instruction is receiving increased attention as it enters undergraduate college and K-12 classrooms. A significant body of literature is beginning to accumulate on the assessment of case teaching and active learning strategies, though more studies are needed.

Research Articles  

Intended for faculty interested in conducting research on case-based teaching in science, this annotated bibliography lists research articles on empirical studies that focus primarily on case-based teaching and learning in the sciences. Included are evidence-based articles with an articulated research design, meta-analyses of research on the use of cases, and a number of seminal literature reviews.

Faculty Perceptions on the Benefits of Case Teaching  

We surveyed over 100 science teachers we had trained over a year-and-a-half-long period. One of the things we asked them was what they thought the benefits of case-based teaching were for their students. Here’s what they had to say.

Cases and Critical Thinking  

When we teach, we want our students to learn more than just a collection of facts – we also want them to become better critical thinkers. We believe that carefully constructed cases can provide pedagogical tools that teach not only content knowledge, but also critical thinking skills. We are currently engaged in an NSF-funded study that is looking at whether cases can be used to improve students' critical thinking skills.

Assessment Tools & Techniques

Well designed experiments based on principles of scientific inquiry in education can help us better understand whether (and how) case-based teaching approaches have the desired outcomes on student learning, motivation, and attitude. We have assembled a “tool kit” of assessment tools and techniques to help you design and implement your own case-related research.

Evaluating Student Case Work

Wondering how to evaluate and grade your students’ case work? We have some ideas for you for doing that.