The following list covers the main methods and also discusses other options and experiences external to our institution.
Our case studies encourage learning of both course content and key skills, and careful consideration needs to be made as to how to assess these different aspects.
There are a number of definitions for the term case study.
For example, Fry et al (1999) describe case studies as complex examples which give an insight into the context of a problem as well as illustrating the main point.
Students' comments include: In our experience, an important factor in the introduction of case studies into a course is the style or structure of the course itself.
We offer a number of separate courses in our department and have recognised that they fall into two distinct types (defined here as Type I and Type II).We hope that by explaining our rationale for the adoption of case studies, and by discussing their development and structure, you will be encouraged to consider your own teaching methods and whether this approach, or aspects of it, is appropriate to you.At the end of the guide are 5 examples of case studies that illustrate some of the different topics discussed below.These courses are not accredited and take students with a wider range of background skills, varied academic qualifications and different career aspirations.Overall, we have found it easier to introduce case studies into our Type II courses and therefore these courses contain a greater proportion of this type of learning.The structure and format of our case studies can be likened to project-based learning as described by Savin-Baden (2003).Savin-Baden highlights the differences between problem-based learning and project-based learning and these can be summarised as follows: In practice there is overlap between the two teaching modes and we should not worry too much about clear distinctions.Raju and Sanker (1999) demonstrate the importance of using case studies in engineering education to expose students to real-world issues with which they may be faced.Case studies have also been linked with increased student motivation and interest in a subject (Mustoe and Croft, 1999).In this guide, we consider the topic of case studies in its entirety.We begin by outlining our reasons for incorporating case studies into the teaching syllabus and then look at different aspects of case studies, including subject choice and content development, running and structuring of case studies, and assessment methods.