The basic case study



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The basic case study

  • Widely used in medicine, business, and law
  • A focused look at a problem (problem-based learning)
  • Investigates a specific ‘case’ to establish principles and extrapolate to broader concepts

Student-led case studies

  • Research a ‘problem’: identify a range of sources
  • Choose key sources for class reading
  • Write the ‘case’ to introduce sources
  • Present the case to the class
  • Evaluate the process and ‘product’

Adaptation 1

Adaptation 2

Case Study Components

  • Conceptual framework
  • Descriptive Statement
  • Analytical Assessment
  • Timeline
  • Source summaries, sources, and reading questions
  • ‘Research Agenda’
  • Annotated Bibliography

Use of Technology

  • Library databases
  • Refworks (Group Account)
  • Blackboard group pages
  • Facebook
  • Google Docs

Issues for students and teachers

  • Group agreement on topic
  • Logistical issues (time, input, division of work, communication)
  • Melding different styles, skills, and cultural approaches
  • Collaborative writing as a new experience
  • Assessing group projects

What does the case study offer our students?

  • Confidence in research and writing skills through supported experience
  • Community in the classroom
  • Collaborative skills in preparation for today’s workplace

Purifying Charles River water

  • “Technology, Innovation, and International Development” WR 150 Fall 2010
  • L to R: Susie Stiles, David Conegliano, Henriette Graff, Yuzhao Wu

Final thoughts. . .

  • I believe this was the most useful and interesting
  • part of WR150 and it should be integrated into
  • every second-level writing course. I learned to
  • accept other opinions, work with other people,
  • and contribute ideas to discussions.
  • To my surprise, when the case study was finally
  • over, I was sad we would have to write a standard
  • essay for paper three and not be able to work in
  • teams.
  • David C.
  • Fall 2010
  • Questions ?


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