Creating Online Teaching Cases
From E-Learning Faculty Modules
Note: The Using Online Teaching Cases link is the next in this sequence.
This module focuses on how to create online teaching cases. Teaching cases are built around stories (whether real or fictional) for deep analysis and learning. Teaching cases may be good jumping-off points for studying complex systems issues. They may offer opportunities for role-plays and empathy building. They may also form the basis for various types of simulated, experiential learning.
- Describe what teaching cases are and the different parts to the teaching cases
- Define the steps to creating teaching cases
- Explain how teaching cases are created for online delivery
- Consider how to build augmentations to an online teaching case
1. What are online teaching cases?
2. How are they used in higher education?
3. What are the basic elements of teaching cases?
4. What are the steps that are necessary for creating online teaching cases?
5. Why are online teaching cases not considered very "generalizable" in terms of primary research?
The following is a slideshow about "Creating Online Teaching Case Studies." (Click on the arrows to move forward or backward.)
A .pdf version of the above slideshow may be accessed at the link below.
A PowerPoint 2007 version of the slideshow may be downloaded at the link below.
Please sample some of the teaching cases from the links below in the Extra Resources area.
The following workflow image shows the work required for creating an online teaching case.
Creating teaching case studies involves a range of challenges. One of the central ones is to ensure the relevance of the case. A case has to be sufficiently original and “believable” (whether as a nonfiction work or as an imaginary work—which cannot stretch fictional credulity). It has to offer learning value. The decision-making in a case must be compelling and relevant to the real world; it must be complex enough so as not to be an “open and shut” case. A case must have enough substance to offer some insightful talking points. A teaching case also needs to hold its value with the passage of time but still not be written so generally as to be dealing with a generic situation. A teaching case study should have sufficient supporting details and research citations (for the non-fiction ones).
Teaching cases are also not a typical way of assessment. It takes a lot of work to build such cases. Testing cases not only involves the usual revision and editing but also often requires user testing to see how well various targeted groups of learners experience the case.
Instructors who take on teaching cases often have to do some lengthy lead-up priming, skillful facilitation, and some in-depth debriefing. Instructors have to work quite a bit harder in order to use these skillfully.
Lastly, teaching cases are not considered a traditional pedagogical choice. There are not typical assessments for assessing learner performances. For traditional institutions of higher education, teaching cases may not be viewed as formally as other types of learning and assessment.
1. What are the characteristics of online teaching cases?
2, What are some basic elements of online teaching cases?
3. What types of learning may be achieved with online teaching cases?
4. Why are online teaching cases considered to be less traditional methods of student learning and assessment?
5. What are the steps needed to create an online teaching case?
6. How are online teaching cases deployed for online studies?
Albano, G., Iovane, G., Salerno, S. & Viglione, S. (n.d.) Web based simulations for virtual scientific experiment: Methodology and tools. 1st International EleGI Conference on Advanced Technology for Enhanced Learning. 1 – 9.
Carroll, J.M. & Rosson, M.B. (2005). A case library for teaching usability engineering: Design rationale, development, and classroom experience. Journal on Educational Resources in Computing: 5(1).
Crossley, M. & Vulliamy, G. (1984). Case-study research methods and comparative education. Comparative Education: 193 – 207.
Herreid, C. (1994). Case studies in science—A novel method of science education. Journal of College Science Teaching: 23(4).
Ip, A. and Naidu, S. (2001). Experienced (sic)-based pedagogical designs for elearning. Education Technology: Vol. XLI, No. 5. 53 – 58.
Orngreen, R. (n.d.) CaseMaker: An environment for case-based e-learning. Academic Conferences Limited. 167 – 180.
Smith, B. (2007, Mar. 18). Early draft notes… Enduring Legacies Project.
Tripp, D.H. (1985). Case study generalisation: An agenda for action. British Educational Research Journal: 11(1), 33 – 43.
Yin, R.K. (1981). The case study as a serious research strategy. Science Communication. Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization: 3(1), 97 -114.
The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science Case Collection (State University of New York at Buffalo / SUNY Buffalo)