Case Based Learning
Case based learning has been used extensively in education—particularly in professionally-focused disciplines such as medicine, law, business, and teacher education (Bennett, Harper, & Hedberg, 2002; Crang-Svalenius & St. Jernquist, 2005; Golich, 2000; Kim, Hannafin, & Kim, 2004; Tarnvik, 2002; Tomey, 2003). Case based learning refers to a suite of approaches that seek to engage students in analysis of specific, usually real-world, situations (or cases). This is usually achieved through individual and/or group analysis of a case description in which students develop an understanding of the events depicted and consider possible interpretations or resolutions.The role, structure, and application of cases in educational environments vary greatly depending on the intended purpose, which has led to a great diversity in case based learning approaches. Research across the these disciplines has shown the power of using cases in their various forms to create vicarious or pseudo experience for learners that promote the development of knowledge and skills through a situated approach to learning (Bennett et al., 2002; Conyers & Ritchie, 2001; Floyd & Bodur, 2005; Malloy & DeNatale, 2001; Thomas, O’Connor, Albert, Boutain, & Brandt, 2001).