- About Faculty Development and Support
- Programs and Funding Opportunities
Consultations, Observations, and Services
- Strategic Resources & Digital Publications
- Canvas @ Yale Support
- Learning Environments @ Yale
- Teaching Workshops
- Teaching Consultations and Classroom Observations
- Teaching Programs
- Spring Teaching Forum
- Written and Oral Communication Workshops and Panels
- Writing Resources & Tutorials
- About the Graduate Writing Laboratory
- Writing and Public Speaking Consultations
- Writing Workshops and Panels
- Writing Peer-Review Groups
- Writing Retreats and All Writes
- Online Writing Resources for Graduate Students
- About Teaching Development for Graduate and Professional School Students
- Teaching Programs and Grants
- Teaching Forums
- Resources for Graduate Student Teachers
- About Undergraduate Writing and Tutoring
- Academic Strategies Program
- The Writing Center
- STEM Tutoring & Programs
- Humanities & Social Sciences
- Center for Language Study
- Online Course Catalog
- Antiracist Pedagogy
- NECQL 2019: NorthEast Consortium for Quantitative Literacy XXII Meeting
- STEMinar Series
- Teaching in Context: Troubling Times
- Helmsley Postdoctoral Teaching Scholars
- Pedagogical Partners
- Instructional Materials
- Evaluation & Research
- STEM Education Job Opportunities
- Yale Connect
- Online Education Legal Statements
You are here
Case-based learning (CBL) is an established approach used across disciplines where students apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios, promoting higher levels of cognition (see Bloom’s Taxonomy ). In CBL classrooms, students typically work in groups on case studies, stories involving one or more characters and/or scenarios. The cases present a disciplinary problem or problems for which students devise solutions under the guidance of the instructor. CBL has a strong history of successful implementation in medical, law, and business schools, and is increasingly used within undergraduate education, particularly within pre-professional majors and the sciences (Herreid, 1994). This method involves guided inquiry and is grounded in constructivism whereby students form new meanings by interacting with their knowledge and the environment (Lee, 2012).
There are a number of benefits to using CBL in the classroom. In a review of the literature, Williams (2005) describes how CBL: utilizes collaborative learning, facilitates the integration of learning, develops students’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to learn, encourages learner self-reflection and critical reflection, allows for scientific inquiry, integrates knowledge and practice, and supports the development of a variety of learning skills.
CBL has several defining characteristics, including versatility, storytelling power, and efficient self-guided learning. In a systematic analysis of 104 articles in health professions education, CBL was found to be utilized in courses with less than 50 to over 1000 students (Thistlethwaite et al., 2012). In these classrooms, group sizes ranged from 1 to 30, with most consisting of 2 to 15 students. Instructors varied in the proportion of time they implemented CBL in the classroom, ranging from one case spanning two hours of classroom time, to year-long case-based courses. These findings demonstrate that instructors use CBL in a variety of ways in their classrooms.
The stories that comprise the framework of case studies are also a key component to CBL’s effectiveness. Jonassen and Hernandez-Serrano (2002, p.66) describe how storytelling:
Is a method of negotiating and renegotiating meanings that allows us to enter into other’s realms of meaning through messages they utter in their stories,
Helps us find our place in a culture,
Allows us to explicate and to interpret, and
Facilitates the attainment of vicarious experience by helping us to distinguish the positive models to emulate from the negative model.
Neurochemically, listening to stories can activate oxytocin, a hormone that increases one’s sensitivity to social cues, resulting in more empathy, generosity, compassion and trustworthiness (Zak, 2013; Kosfeld et al., 2005). The stories within case studies serve as a means by which learners form new understandings through characters and/or scenarios.
CBL is often described in conjunction or in comparison with problem-based learning (PBL). While the lines are often confusingly blurred within the literature, in the most conservative of definitions, the features distinguishing the two approaches include that PBL involves open rather than guided inquiry, is less structured, and the instructor plays a more passive role. In PBL multiple solutions to the problem may exit, but the problem is often initially not well-defined. PBL also has a stronger emphasis on developing self-directed learning. The choice between implementing CBL versus PBL is highly dependent on the goals and context of the instruction. For example, in a comparison of PBL and CBL approaches during a curricular shift at two medical schools, students and faculty preferred CBL to PBL (Srinivasan et al., 2007). Students perceived CBL to be a more efficient process and more clinically applicable. However, in another context, PBL might be the favored approach.
In a review of the effectiveness of CBL in health profession education, Thistlethwaite et al. (2012), found several benefits:
Students enjoyed the method and thought it enhanced their learning,
Instructors liked how CBL engaged students in learning,
CBL seemed to facilitate small group learning, but the authors could not distinguish between whether it was the case itself or the small group learning that occurred as facilitated by the case.
Other studies have also reported on the effectiveness of CBL in achieving learning outcomes (Bonney, 2015; Breslin, 2008; Herreid, 2013; Krain, 2016). These findings suggest that CBL is a vehicle of engagement for instruction, and facilitates an environment whereby students can construct knowledge.
Science – Students are given a scenario to which they apply their basic science knowledge and problem-solving skills to help them solve the case. One example within the biological sciences is two brothers who have a family history of a genetic illness. They each have mutations within a particular sequence in their DNA. Students work through the case and draw conclusions about the biological impacts of these mutations using basic science. Sample cases: You are Not the Mother of Your Children ; Organic Chemisty and Your Cellphone: Organic Light-Emitting Diodes ; A Light on Physics: F-Number and Exposure Time
Medicine – Medical or pre-health students read about a patient presenting with specific symptoms. Students decide which questions are important to ask the patient in their medical history, how long they have experienced such symptoms, etc. The case unfolds and students use clinical reasoning, propose relevant tests, develop a differential diagnoses and a plan of treatment. Sample cases: The Case of the Crying Baby: Surgical vs. Medical Management ; The Plan: Ethics and Physician Assisted Suicide ; The Haemophilus Vaccine: A Victory for Immunologic Engineering
Public Health – A case study describes a pandemic of a deadly infectious disease. Students work through the case to identify Patient Zero, the person who was the first to spread the disease, and how that individual became infected. Sample cases: The Protective Parent ; The Elusive Tuberculosis Case: The CDC and Andrew Speaker ; Credible Voice: WHO-Beijing and the SARS Crisis
Law – A case study presents a legal dilemma for which students use problem solving to decide the best way to advise and defend a client. Students are presented information that changes during the case. Sample cases: Mortgage Crisis Call (abstract) ; The Case of the Unpaid Interns (abstract) ; Police-Community Dialogue (abstract)
Business – Students work on a case study that presents the history of a business success or failure. They apply business principles learned in the classroom and assess why the venture was successful or not. Sample cases: SELCO-Determining a path forward ; Project Masiluleke: Texting and Testing to Fight HIV/AIDS in South Africa ; Mayo Clinic: Design Thinking in Healthcare
Humanities - Students consider a case that presents a theater facing financial and management difficulties. They apply business and theater principles learned in the classroom to the case, working together to create solutions for the theater. Sample cases: https://yaletmknowledgebase.org/category/case-studies/ .
Finding and Writing Cases
Consider utilizing or adapting open access cases - The availability of open resources and databases containing cases that instructors can download makes this approach even more accessible in the classroom. Instructors can consider in particular the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science , a database featuring hundreds of accessible STEM- and social science - based case studies.
- Consider writing original cases - In the event that an instructor is unable to find open access cases relevant to their course learning objectives, they may choose to write their own. See the following resources on case writing: Cooking with Betty Crocker: A Recipe for Case Writing ; The Way of Flesch: The Art of Writing Readable Cases ; Twixt Fact and Fiction: A Case Writer’s Dilemma ; And All That Jazz: An Essay Extolling the Virtues of Writing Case Teaching Notes .
Take baby steps if new to CBL - While entire courses and curricula may involve case-based learning, instructors who desire to implement on a smaller-scale can integrate a single case into their class, and increase the number of cases utilized over time as desired.
Use cases in classes that are small, medium or large - Cases can be scaled to any course size. In large classes with stadium seating, students can work with peers nearby, while in small classes with more flexible seating arrangements, teams can move their chairs closer together. CBL can introduce more noise (and energy) in the classroom to which an instructor often quickly becomes accustomed. Further, students can be asked to work on cases outside of class, and wrap up discussion during the next class meeting.
Encourage collaborative work - Cases present an opportunity for students to work together to solve cases which the historical literature supports as beneficial to student learning (Bruffee, 1993). Allow students to work in groups to answer case questions.
Form diverse teams as feasible - When students work within diverse teams they can be exposed to a variety of perspectives that can help them solve the case. Depending on the context of the course, priorities, and the background information gathered about the students enrolled in the class, instructors may choose to organize student groups to allow for diversity in factors such as current course grades, gender, race/ethnicity, personality, among other items.
Use stable teams as appropriate - If CBL is a large component of the course, a research-supported practice is to keep teams together long enough to go through the stages of group development: forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning (Tuckman, 1965).
Walk around to guide groups - In CBL instructors serve as facilitators of student learning. Walking around allows the instructor to monitor student progress as well as identify and support any groups that may be struggling. Teaching assistants can also play a valuable role in supporting groups.
Interrupt strategically - Only every so often, for conversation in large group discussion of the case, especially when students appear confused on key concepts. An effective practice to help students meet case learning goals is to guide them as a whole group when the class is ready. This may include selecting a few student groups to present answers to discussion questions to the entire class, asking the class a question relevant to the case using polling software, and/or performing a mini-lesson on an area that appears to be confusing among students.
Assess student learning in multiple ways - Students can be assessed informally by asking groups to report back answers to various case questions. This practice also helps students stay on task, and keeps them accountable. Cases can also be included on exams using related scenarios where students are asked to apply their knowledge.
Barrows HS. (1996). Problem-based learning in medicine and beyond: a brief overview. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 68, 3-12.
Bonney KM. (2015). Case Study Teaching Method Improves Student Performance and Perceptions of Learning Gains. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education, 16(1): 21-28.
Breslin M, Buchanan, R. (2008) On the Case Study Method of Research and Teaching in Design. Design Issues, 24(1), 36-40.
Bruffee KS. (1993). Collaborative learning: Higher education, interdependence, and authority of knowledge. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.
Herreid CF. (2013). Start with a Story: The Case Study Method of Teaching College Science, edited by Clyde Freeman Herreid. Originally published in 2006 by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA); reprinted by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCSTS) in 2013.
Herreid CH. (1994). Case studies in science: A novel method of science education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 23(4), 221–229.
Jonassen DH and Hernandez-Serrano J. (2002). Case-based reasoning and instructional design: Using stories to support problem solving. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 50(2), 65-77.
Kosfeld M, Heinrichs M, Zak PJ, Fischbacher U, Fehr E. (2005). Oxytocin increases trust in humans. Nature, 435, 673-676.
Krain M. (2016) Putting the learning in case learning? The effects of case-based approaches on student knowledge, attitudes, and engagement. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 27(2), 131-153.
Lee V. (2012). What is Inquiry-Guided Learning? New Directions for Learning, 129:5-14.
Nkhoma M, Sriratanaviriyakul N. (2017). Using case method to enrich students’ learning outcomes. Active Learning in Higher Education, 18(1):37-50.
Srinivasan et al. (2007). Comparing problem-based learning with case-based learning: Effects of a major curricular shift at two institutions. Academic Medicine, 82(1): 74-82.
Thistlethwaite JE et al. (2012). The effectiveness of case-based learning in health professional education. A BEME systematic review: BEME Guide No. 23. Medical Teacher, 34, e421-e444.
Tuckman B. (1965). Development sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63(6), 384-99.
Williams B. (2005). Case-based learning - a review of the literature: is there scope for this educational paradigm in prehospital education? Emerg Med, 22, 577-581.
Zak, PJ (2013). How Stories Change the Brain. Retrieved from: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_stories_change_brain
YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN
Instructional Enhancement Fund
The Instructional Enhancement Fund (IEF) awards grants of up to $500 to support the timely integration of new learning activities into an existing undergraduate or graduate course. All Yale instructors of record, including tenured and tenure-track faculty, clinical instructional faculty, lecturers, lectors, and part-time acting instructors (PTAIs), are eligible to apply. Award decisions are typically provided within two weeks to help instructors implement ideas for the current semester.
Reserve a Room
The Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning partners with departments and groups on-campus throughout the year to share its space. Please review the reservation form and submit a request.
The Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning routinely supports members of the Yale community with individual instructional consultations and classroom observations.
Center for Teaching
Case studies are stories that are used as a teaching tool to show the application of a theory or concept to real situations. Dependent on the goal they are meant to fulfill, cases can be fact-driven and deductive where there is a correct answer, or they can be context driven where multiple solutions are possible. Various disciplines have employed case studies, including humanities, social sciences, sciences, engineering, law, business, and medicine. Good cases generally have the following features: they tell a good story, are recent, include dialogue, create empathy with the main characters, are relevant to the reader, serve a teaching function, require a dilemma to be solved, and have generality.
Instructors can create their own cases or can find cases that already exist. The following are some things to keep in mind when creating a case:
- What do you want students to learn from the discussion of the case?
- What do they already know that applies to the case?
- What are the issues that may be raised in discussion?
- How will the case and discussion be introduced?
- What preparation is expected of students? (Do they need to read the case ahead of time? Do research? Write anything?)
- What directions do you need to provide students regarding what they are supposed to do and accomplish?
- Do you need to divide students into groups or will they discuss as the whole class?
- Are you going to use role-playing or facilitators or record keepers? If so, how?
- What are the opening questions?
- How much time is needed for students to discuss the case?
- What concepts are to be applied/extracted during the discussion?
- How will you evaluate students?
To find other cases that already exist, try the following websites:
- The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science , University of Buffalo. SUNY-Buffalo maintains this set of links to other case studies on the web in disciplines ranging from engineering and ethics to sociology and business
- A Journal of Teaching Cases in Public Administration and Public Policy , University of Washington
For more information:
- World Association for Case Method Research and Application
Book Review : Teaching and the Case Method , 3rd ed., vols. 1 and 2, by Louis Barnes, C. Roland (Chris) Christensen, and Abby Hansen. Harvard Business School Press, 1994; 333 pp. (vol 1), 412 pp. (vol 2).
- Online Course Development Resources
- Principles & Frameworks
- Pedagogies & Strategies
- Reflecting & Assessing
- Challenges & Opportunities
- Populations & Contexts
- Services for Departments and Schools
- Examples of Online Instructional Modules
- Columbia University in the City of New York
- Office of Teaching, Learning, and Innovation
- University Policies
- Columbia Online
- Academic Calendar
- Resources and Technology
- Resources and Guides
Case Method Teaching and Learning
What is the case method? How can the case method be used to engage learners? What are some strategies for getting started? This guide helps instructors answer these questions by providing an overview of the case method while highlighting learner-centered and digitally-enhanced approaches to teaching with the case method. The guide also offers tips to instructors as they get started with the case method and additional references and resources.
On this page:
What is case method teaching.
- Case Method at Columbia
Why use the Case Method?
Case method teaching approaches, how do i get started.
- Additional Resources
The CTL is here to help!
For support with implementing a case method approach in your course, email [email protected] to schedule your 1-1 consultation .
Case method 1 teaching is an active form of instruction that focuses on a case and involves students learning by doing 2 3 . Cases are real or invented stories 4 that include “an educational message” or recount events, problems, dilemmas, theoretical or conceptual issue that requires analysis and/or decision-making.
Case-based teaching simulates real world situations and asks students to actively grapple with complex problems 5 6 This method of instruction is used across disciplines to promote learning, and is common in law, business, medicine, among other fields. See Table 1 below for a few types of cases and the learning they promote.
Table 1: Types of cases and the learning they promote.
For a more complete list, see Case Types & Teaching Methods: A Classification Scheme from the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science.
Back to Top
Case Method Teaching and Learning at Columbia
The case method is actively used in classrooms across Columbia, at the Morningside campus in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), the School of Business, Arts and Sciences, among others, and at Columbia University Irving Medical campus.
Professor Mary Ann Price on Using Case Study Method to Place Pre-Med Students in Real-Life Scenarios
Professor De Pinho on Using the Case Method in the Mailman Core
Case method teaching has been found to improve student learning, to increase students’ perception of learning gains, and to meet learning objectives 8 9 . Faculty have noted the instructional benefits of cases including greater student engagement in their learning 10 , deeper student understanding of concepts, stronger critical thinking skills, and an ability to make connections across content areas and view an issue from multiple perspectives 11 .
Through case-based learning, students are the ones asking questions about the case, doing the problem-solving, interacting with and learning from their peers, “unpacking” the case, analyzing the case, and summarizing the case. They learn how to work with limited information and ambiguity, think in professional or disciplinary ways, and ask themselves “what would I do if I were in this specific situation?”
The case method bridges theory to practice, and promotes the development of skills including: communication, active listening, critical thinking, decision-making, and metacognitive skills 12 , as students apply course content knowledge, reflect on what they know and their approach to analyzing, and make sense of a case.
Though the case method has historical roots as an instructor-centered approach that uses the Socratic dialogue and cold-calling, it is possible to take a more learner-centered approach in which students take on roles and tasks traditionally left to the instructor.
Cases are often used as “vehicles for classroom discussion” 13 . Students should be encouraged to take ownership of their learning from a case. Discussion-based approaches engage students in thinking and communicating about a case. Instructors can set up a case activity in which students are the ones doing the work of “asking questions, summarizing content, generating hypotheses, proposing theories, or offering critical analyses” 14 .
The role of the instructor is to share a case or ask students to share or create a case to use in class, set expectations, provide instructions, and assign students roles in the discussion. Student roles in a case discussion can include:
- discussion “starters” get the conversation started with a question or posing the questions that their peers came up with;
- facilitators listen actively, validate the contributions of peers, ask follow-up questions, draw connections, refocus the conversation as needed;
- recorders take-notes of the main points of the discussion, record on the board, upload to CourseWorks, or type and project on the screen; and
- discussion “wrappers” lead a summary of the main points of the discussion.
Prior to the case discussion, instructors can model case analysis and the types of questions students should ask, co-create discussion guidelines with students, and ask for students to submit discussion questions. During the discussion, the instructor can keep time, intervene as necessary (however the students should be doing the talking), and pause the discussion for a debrief and to ask students to reflect on what and how they learned from the case activity.
Note: case discussions can be enhanced using technology. Live discussions can occur via video-conferencing (e.g., using Zoom ) or asynchronous discussions can occur using the Discussions tool in CourseWorks (Canvas) .
Table 2 includes a few interactive case method approaches. Regardless of the approach selected, it is important to create a learning environment in which students feel comfortable participating in a case activity and learning from one another. See below for tips on supporting student in how to learn from a case in the “getting started” section and how to create a supportive learning environment in the Guide for Inclusive Teaching at Columbia .
Table 2. Strategies for Engaging Students in Case-Based Learning
Approaches to case teaching should be informed by course learning objectives, and can be adapted for small, large, hybrid, and online classes. Instructional technology can be used in various ways to deliver, facilitate, and assess the case method. For instance, an online module can be created in CourseWorks (Canvas) to structure the delivery of the case, allow students to work at their own pace, engage all learners, even those reluctant to speak up in class, and assess understanding of a case and student learning. Modules can include text, embedded media (e.g., using Panopto or Mediathread ) curated by the instructor, online discussion, and assessments. Students can be asked to read a case and/or watch a short video, respond to quiz questions and receive immediate feedback, post questions to a discussion, and share resources.
For more information about options for incorporating educational technology to your course, please contact your Learning Designer .
To ensure that students are learning from the case approach, ask them to pause and reflect on what and how they learned from the case. Time to reflect builds your students’ metacognition, and when these reflections are collected they provides you with insights about the effectiveness of your approach in promoting student learning.
Well designed case-based learning experiences: 1) motivate student involvement, 2) have students doing the work, 3) help students develop knowledge and skills, and 4) have students learning from each other.
Designing a case-based learning experience should center around the learning objectives for a course. The following points focus on intentional design.
Identify learning objectives, determine scope, and anticipate challenges.
- Why use the case method in your course? How will it promote student learning differently than other approaches?
- What are the learning objectives that need to be met by the case method? What knowledge should students apply and skills should they practice?
- What is the scope of the case? (a brief activity in a single class session to a semester-long case-based course; if new to case method, start small with a single case).
- What challenges do you anticipate (e.g., student preparation and prior experiences with case learning, discomfort with discussion, peer-to-peer learning, managing discussion) and how will you plan for these in your design?
- If you are asking students to use transferable skills for the case method (e.g., teamwork, digital literacy) make them explicit.
Determine how you will know if the learning objectives were met and develop a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the case method to inform future case teaching.
- What assessments and criteria will you use to evaluate student work or participation in case discussion?
- How will you evaluate the effectiveness of the case method? What feedback will you collect from students?
- How might you leverage technology for assessment purposes? For example, could you quiz students about the case online before class, accept assignment submissions online, use audience response systems (e.g., PollEverywhere) for formative assessment during class?
Select an existing case, create your own, or encourage students to bring course-relevant cases, and prepare for its delivery
- Where will the case method fit into the course learning sequence?
- Is the case at the appropriate level of complexity? Is it inclusive, culturally relevant, and relatable to students?
- What materials and preparation will be needed to present the case to students? (e.g., readings, audiovisual materials, set up a module in CourseWorks).
Plan for the case discussion and an active role for students
- What will your role be in facilitating case-based learning? How will you model case analysis for your students? (e.g., present a short case and demo your approach and the process of case learning) (Davis, 2009).
- What discussion guidelines will you use that include your students’ input?
- How will you encourage students to ask and answer questions, summarize their work, take notes, and debrief the case?
- If students will be working in groups, how will groups form? What size will the groups be? What instructions will they be given? How will you ensure that everyone participates? What will they need to submit? Can technology be leveraged for any of these areas?
- Have you considered students of varied cognitive and physical abilities and how they might participate in the activities/discussions, including those that involve technology?
Student preparation and expectations
- How will you communicate about the case method approach to your students? When will you articulate the purpose of case-based learning and expectations of student engagement? What information about case-based learning and expectations will be included in the syllabus?
- What preparation and/or assignment(s) will students complete in order to learn from the case? (e.g., read the case prior to class, watch a case video prior to class, post to a CourseWorks discussion, submit a brief memo, complete a short writing assignment to check students’ understanding of a case, take on a specific role, prepare to present a critique during in-class discussion).
Andersen, E. and Schiano, B. (2014). Teaching with Cases: A Practical Guide . Harvard Business Press.
Bonney, K. M. (2015). Case Study Teaching Method Improves Student Performance and Perceptions of Learning Gains†. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education , 16 (1), 21–28. https://doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v16i1.846
Davis, B.G. (2009). Chapter 24: Case Studies. In Tools for Teaching. Second Edition. Jossey-Bass.
Garvin, D.A. (2003). Making the Case: Professional Education for the world of practice. Harvard Magazine. September-October 2003, Volume 106, Number 1, 56-107.
Golich, V.L. (2000). The ABCs of Case Teaching. International Studies Perspectives. 1, 11-29.
Golich, V.L.; Boyer, M; Franko, P.; and Lamy, S. (2000). The ABCs of Case Teaching. Pew Case Studies in International Affairs. Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.
Heath, J. (2015). Teaching & Writing Cases: A Practical Guide. The Case Center, UK.
Herreid, C.F. (2011). Case Study Teaching. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. No. 128, Winder 2011, 31 – 40.
Herreid, C.F. (2007). Start with a Story: The Case Study Method of Teaching College Science . National Science Teachers Association. Available as an ebook through Columbia Libraries.
Herreid, C.F. (2006). “Clicker” Cases: Introducing Case Study Teaching Into Large Classrooms. Journal of College Science Teaching. Oct 2006, 36(2). https://search.proquest.com/docview/200323718?pq-origsite=gscholar
Krain, M. (2016). Putting the Learning in Case Learning? The Effects of Case-Based Approaches on Student Knowledge, Attitudes, and Engagement. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching. 27(2), 131-153.
Lundberg, K.O. (Ed.). (2011). Our Digital Future: Boardrooms and Newsrooms. Knight Case Studies Initiative.
Popil, I. (2011). Promotion of critical thinking by using case studies as teaching method. Nurse Education Today, 31(2), 204–207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2010.06.002
Schiano, B. and Andersen, E. (2017). Teaching with Cases Online . Harvard Business Publishing.
Thistlethwaite, JE; Davies, D.; Ekeocha, S.; Kidd, J.M.; MacDougall, C.; Matthews, P.; Purkis, J.; Clay D. (2012). The effectiveness of case-based learning in health professional education: A BEME systematic review . Medical Teacher. 2012; 34(6): e421-44.
Yadav, A.; Lundeberg, M.; DeSchryver, M.; Dirkin, K.; Schiller, N.A.; Maier, K. and Herreid, C.F. (2007). Teaching Science with Case Studies: A National Survey of Faculty Perceptions of the Benefits and Challenges of Using Cases. Journal of College Science Teaching; Sept/Oct 2007; 37(1).
Weimer, M. (2013). Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice. Second Edition. Jossey-Bass.
Teaching with Cases , Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Features “what is a teaching case?” video that defines a teaching case, and provides documents to help students prepare for case learning, Common case teaching challenges and solutions, tips for teaching with cases.
Promoting excellence and innovation in case method teaching: Teaching by the Case Method , Christensen Center for Teaching & Learning. Harvard Business School.
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science . University of Buffalo.
A collection of peer-reviewed STEM cases to teach scientific concepts and content, promote process skills and critical thinking. The Center welcomes case submissions. Case classification scheme of case types and teaching methods:
- Different types of cases: analysis case, dilemma/decision case, directed case, interrupted case, clicker case, a flipped case, a laboratory case.
- Different types of teaching methods: problem-based learning, discussion, debate, intimate debate, public hearing, trial, jigsaw, role-play.
Resources available to support your use of case method: The University hosts a number of case collections including: the Case Consortium (a collection of free cases in the fields of journalism, public policy, public health, and other disciplines that include teaching and learning resources; SIPA’s Picker Case Collection (audiovisual case studies on public sector innovation, filmed around the world and involving SIPA student teams in producing the cases); and Columbia Business School CaseWorks , which develops teaching cases and materials for use in Columbia Business School classrooms.
Center for Teaching and Learning
The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers a variety of programs and services for instructors at Columbia. The CTL can provide customized support as you plan to use the case method approach through implementation. Schedule a one-on-one consultation.
Office of the Provost
The Hybrid Learning Course Redesign grant program from the Office of the Provost provides support for faculty who are developing innovative and technology-enhanced pedagogy and learning strategies in the classroom. In addition to funding, faculty awardees receive support from CTL staff as they redesign, deliver, and evaluate their hybrid courses.
The Start Small! Mini-Grant provides support to faculty who are interested in experimenting with one new pedagogical strategy or tool. Faculty awardees receive funds and CTL support for a one-semester period.
Explore our teaching resources.
- Blended Learning
- Contemplative Pedagogy
- Inclusive Teaching Guide
- FAQ for Teaching Assistants
CTL resources and technology for you.
- Overview of all CTL Resources and Technology
- The origins of this method can be traced to Harvard University where in 1870 the Law School began using cases to teach students how to think like lawyers using real court decisions. This was followed by the Business School in 1920 (Garvin, 2003). These professional schools recognized that lecture mode of instruction was insufficient to teach critical professional skills, and that active learning would better prepare learners for their professional lives. ↩
- Golich, V.L. (2000). The ABCs of Case Teaching. International Studies Perspectives. 1, 11-29. ↩
- Herreid, C.F. (2007). Start with a Story: The Case Study Method of Teaching College Science . National Science Teachers Association. Available as an ebook through Columbia Libraries. ↩
- Davis, B.G. (2009). Chapter 24: Case Studies. In Tools for Teaching. Second Edition. Jossey-Bass. ↩
- Andersen, E. and Schiano, B. (2014). Teaching with Cases: A Practical Guide . Harvard Business Press. ↩
- Lundberg, K.O. (Ed.). (2011). Our Digital Future: Boardrooms and Newsrooms. Knight Case Studies Initiative. ↩
- Heath, J. (2015). Teaching & Writing Cases: A Practical Guide. The Case Center, UK. ↩
- Bonney, K. M. (2015). Case Study Teaching Method Improves Student Performance and Perceptions of Learning Gains†. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education , 16 (1), 21–28. https://doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v16i1.846 ↩
- Krain, M. (2016). Putting the Learning in Case Learning? The Effects of Case-Based Approaches on Student Knowledge, Attitudes, and Engagement. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching. 27(2), 131-153. ↩
- Thistlethwaite, JE; Davies, D.; Ekeocha, S.; Kidd, J.M.; MacDougall, C.; Matthews, P.; Purkis, J.; Clay D. (2012). The effectiveness of case-based learning in health professional education: A BEME systematic review . Medical Teacher. 2012; 34(6): e421-44. ↩
- Yadav, A.; Lundeberg, M.; DeSchryver, M.; Dirkin, K.; Schiller, N.A.; Maier, K. and Herreid, C.F. (2007). Teaching Science with Case Studies: A National Survey of Faculty Perceptions of the Benefits and Challenges of Using Cases. Journal of College Science Teaching; Sept/Oct 2007; 37(1). ↩
- Popil, I. (2011). Promotion of critical thinking by using case studies as teaching method. Nurse Education Today, 31(2), 204–207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2010.06.002 ↩
- Weimer, M. (2013). Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice. Second Edition. Jossey-Bass. ↩
- Herreid, C.F. (2006). “Clicker” Cases: Introducing Case Study Teaching Into Large Classrooms. Journal of College Science Teaching. Oct 2006, 36(2). https://search.proquest.com/docview/200323718?pq-origsite=gscholar ↩
Using Case Studies to Teach
Why Use Cases?
Many students are more inductive than deductive reasoners, which means that they learn better from examples than from logical development starting with basic principles. The use of case studies can therefore be a very effective classroom technique.
Case studies are have long been used in business schools, law schools, medical schools and the social sciences, but they can be used in any discipline when instructors want students to explore how what they have learned applies to real world situations. Cases come in many formats, from a simple “What would you do in this situation?” question to a detailed description of a situation with accompanying data to analyze. Whether to use a simple scenario-type case or a complex detailed one depends on your course objectives.
Most case assignments require students to answer an open-ended question or develop a solution to an open-ended problem with multiple potential solutions. Requirements can range from a one-paragraph answer to a fully developed group action plan, proposal or decision.
Common Case Elements
Most “full-blown” cases have these common elements:
- A decision-maker who is grappling with some question or problem that needs to be solved.
- A description of the problem’s context (a law, an industry, a family).
- Supporting data, which can range from data tables to links to URLs, quoted statements or testimony, supporting documents, images, video, or audio.
Case assignments can be done individually or in teams so that the students can brainstorm solutions and share the work load.
The following discussion of this topic incorporates material presented by Robb Dixon of the School of Management and Rob Schadt of the School of Public Health at CEIT workshops. Professor Dixon also provided some written comments that the discussion incorporates.
Advantages to the use of case studies in class
A major advantage of teaching with case studies is that the students are actively engaged in figuring out the principles by abstracting from the examples. This develops their skills in:
- Problem solving
- Analytical tools, quantitative and/or qualitative, depending on the case
- Decision making in complex situations
- Coping with ambiguities
Guidelines for using case studies in class
In the most straightforward application, the presentation of the case study establishes a framework for analysis. It is helpful if the statement of the case provides enough information for the students to figure out solutions and then to identify how to apply those solutions in other similar situations. Instructors may choose to use several cases so that students can identify both the similarities and differences among the cases.
Depending on the course objectives, the instructor may encourage students to follow a systematic approach to their analysis. For example:
- What is the issue?
- What is the goal of the analysis?
- What is the context of the problem?
- What key facts should be considered?
- What alternatives are available to the decision-maker?
- What would you recommend — and why?
An innovative approach to case analysis might be to have students role-play the part of the people involved in the case. This not only actively engages students, but forces them to really understand the perspectives of the case characters. Videos or even field trips showing the venue in which the case is situated can help students to visualize the situation that they need to analyze.
Case studies can be especially effective if they are paired with a reading assignment that introduces or explains a concept or analytical method that applies to the case. The amount of emphasis placed on the use of the reading during the case discussion depends on the complexity of the concept or method. If it is straightforward, the focus of the discussion can be placed on the use of the analytical results. If the method is more complex, the instructor may need to walk students through its application and the interpretation of the results.
Leading the Case Discussion and Evaluating Performance
Decision cases are more interesting than descriptive ones. In order to start the discussion in class, the instructor can start with an easy, noncontroversial question that all the students should be able to answer readily. However, some of the best case discussions start by forcing the students to take a stand. Some instructors will ask a student to do a formal “open” of the case, outlining his or her entire analysis. Others may choose to guide discussion with questions that move students from problem identification to solutions. A skilled instructor steers questions and discussion to keep the class on track and moving at a reasonable pace.
In order to motivate the students to complete the assignment before class as well as to stimulate attentiveness during the class, the instructor should grade the participation—quantity and especially quality—during the discussion of the case. This might be a simple check, check-plus, check-minus or zero. The instructor should involve as many students as possible. In order to engage all the students, the instructor can divide them into groups, give each group several minutes to discuss how to answer a question related to the case, and then ask a randomly selected person in each group to present the group’s answer and reasoning. Random selection can be accomplished through rolling of dice, shuffled index cards, each with one student’s name, a spinning wheel, etc.
Tips on the Penn State U. website: http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/cases/
If you are interested in using this technique in a science course, there is a good website on use of case studies in the sciences at the University of Buffalo.
Dunne, D. and Brooks, K. (2004) Teaching with Cases (Halifax, NS: Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education), ISBN 0-7703-8924-4 (Can be ordered at http://www.bookstore.uwo.ca/ at a cost of $15.00)
Case Studies in Science Education
A video library for k-8 science teachers: 25 half-hour video programs and guides.
These video case studies take science education reform to a personal level, where individual teachers struggle to make changes that matter. Follow Donna, Mike, Audrey, and other science teachers as they work to adopt one or more research-based interventions to improve science teaching and learning. Each case follows a single teacher over the course of a year and is divided into three modules: the teacher's background and the problem he or she chooses to address, the chosen approach and implementation, and the outcome with assessment by the teacher and his or her advisor. Average running time: 1/2 hour. Program guides and supporting materials (PDF) Program guides and supporting materials (Link)
An official website of the United States government
The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.
The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.
- Account settings
- Advanced Search
- Journal List
- J Microbiol Biol Educ
- v.16(1); 2015 May
Case Study Teaching Method Improves Student Performance and Perceptions of Learning Gains †
- Appendix 1: Example assessment questions used to assess the effectiveness of case studies at promoting learning
- Appendix 2: Student learning gains were assessed using a modified version of the SALG course evaluation tool
Following years of widespread use in business and medical education, the case study teaching method is becoming an increasingly common teaching strategy in science education. However, the current body of research provides limited evidence that the use of published case studies effectively promotes the fulfillment of specific learning objectives integral to many biology courses. This study tested the hypothesis that case studies are more effective than classroom discussions and textbook reading at promoting learning of key biological concepts, development of written and oral communication skills, and comprehension of the relevance of biological concepts to everyday life. This study also tested the hypothesis that case studies produced by the instructor of a course are more effective at promoting learning than those produced by unaffiliated instructors. Additionally, performance on quantitative learning assessments and student perceptions of learning gains were analyzed to determine whether reported perceptions of learning gains accurately reflect academic performance. The results reported here suggest that case studies, regardless of the source, are significantly more effective than other methods of content delivery at increasing performance on examination questions related to chemical bonds, osmosis and diffusion, mitosis and meiosis, and DNA structure and replication. This finding was positively correlated to increased student perceptions of learning gains associated with oral and written communication skills and the ability to recognize connections between biological concepts and other aspects of life. Based on these findings, case studies should be considered as a preferred method for teaching about a variety of concepts in science courses.
The case study teaching method is a highly adaptable style of teaching that involves problem-based learning and promotes the development of analytical skills ( 8 ). By presenting content in the format of a narrative accompanied by questions and activities that promote group discussion and solving of complex problems, case studies facilitate development of the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive learning; moving beyond recall of knowledge to analysis, evaluation, and application ( 1 , 9 ). Similarly, case studies facilitate interdisciplinary learning and can be used to highlight connections between specific academic topics and real-world societal issues and applications ( 3 , 9 ). This has been reported to increase student motivation to participate in class activities, which promotes learning and increases performance on assessments ( 7 , 16 , 19 , 23 ). For these reasons, case-based teaching has been widely used in business and medical education for many years ( 4 , 11 , 12 , 14 ). Although case studies were considered a novel method of science education just 20 years ago, the case study teaching method has gained popularity in recent years among an array of scientific disciplines such as biology, chemistry, nursing, and psychology ( 5 – 7 , 9 , 11 , 13 , 15 – 17 , 21 , 22 , 24 ).
Although there is now a substantive and growing body of literature describing how to develop and use case studies in science teaching, current research on the effectiveness of case study teaching at meeting specific learning objectives is of limited scope and depth. Studies have shown that working in groups during completion of case studies significantly improves student perceptions of learning and may increase performance on assessment questions, and that the use of clickers can increase student engagement in case study activities, particularly among non-science majors, women, and freshmen ( 7 , 21 , 22 ). Case study teaching has been shown to improve exam performance in an anatomy and physiology course, increasing the mean score across all exams given in a two-semester sequence from 66% to 73% ( 5 ). Use of case studies was also shown to improve students’ ability to synthesize complex analytical questions about the real-world issues associated with a scientific topic ( 6 ). In a high school chemistry course, it was demonstrated that the case study teaching method produces significant increases in self-reported control of learning, task value, and self-efficacy for learning and performance ( 24 ). This effect on student motivation is important because enhanced motivation for learning activities has been shown to promote student engagement and academic performance ( 19 , 24 ). Additionally, faculty from a number of institutions have reported that using case studies promotes critical thinking, learning, and participation among students, especially in terms of the ability to view an issue from multiple perspectives and to grasp the practical application of core course concepts ( 23 ).
Despite what is known about the effectiveness of case studies in science education, questions remain about the functionality of the case study teaching method at promoting specific learning objectives that are important to many undergraduate biology courses. A recent survey of teachers who use case studies found that the topics most often covered in general biology courses included genetics and heredity, cell structure, cells and energy, chemistry of life, and cell cycle and cancer, suggesting that these topics should be of particular interest in studies that examine the effectiveness of the case study teaching method ( 8 ). However, the existing body of literature lacks direct evidence that the case study method is an effective tool for teaching about this collection of important topics in biology courses. Further, the extent to which case study teaching promotes development of science communication skills and the ability to understand the connections between biological concepts and everyday life has not been examined, yet these are core learning objectives shared by a variety of science courses. Although many instructors have produced case studies for use in their own classrooms, the production of novel case studies is time-consuming and requires skills that not all instructors have perfected. It is therefore important to determine whether case studies published by instructors who are unaffiliated with a particular course can be used effectively and obviate the need for each instructor to develop new case studies for their own courses. The results reported herein indicate that teaching with case studies results in significantly higher performance on examination questions about chemical bonds, osmosis and diffusion, mitosis and meiosis, and DNA structure and replication than that achieved by class discussions and textbook reading for topics of similar complexity. Case studies also increased overall student perceptions of learning gains and perceptions of learning gains specifically related to written and oral communication skills and the ability to grasp connections between scientific topics and their real-world applications. The effectiveness of the case study teaching method at increasing academic performance was not correlated to whether the case study used was authored by the instructor of the course or by an unaffiliated instructor. These findings support increased use of published case studies in the teaching of a variety of biological concepts and learning objectives.
This study was conducted at Kingsborough Community College, which is part of the City University of New York system, located in Brooklyn, New York. Kingsborough Community College has a diverse population of approximately 19,000 undergraduate students. The student population included in this study was enrolled in the first semester of a two-semester sequence of general (introductory) biology for biology majors during the spring, winter, or summer semester of 2014. A total of 63 students completed the course during this time period; 56 students consented to the inclusion of their data in the study. Of the students included in the study, 23 (41%) were male and 33 (59%) were female; 40 (71%) were registered as college freshmen and 16 (29%) were registered as college sophomores. To normalize participant groups, the same student population pooled from three classes taught by the same instructor was used to assess both experimental and control teaching methods.
The four biological concepts assessed during this study (chemical bonds, osmosis and diffusion, mitosis and meiosis, and DNA structure and replication) were selected as topics for studying the effectiveness of case study teaching because they were the key concepts addressed by this particular course that were most likely to be taught in a number of other courses, including biology courses for both majors and nonmajors at outside institutions. At the start of this study, relevant existing case studies were freely available from the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCSTS) to address mitosis and meiosis and DNA structure and replication, but published case studies that appropriately addressed chemical bonds and osmosis and diffusion were not available. Therefore, original case studies that addressed the latter two topics were produced as part of this study, and case studies produced by unaffiliated instructors and published by the NCCSTS were used to address the former two topics. By the conclusion of this study, all four case studies had been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication by the NCCSTS ( http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/ ). Four of the remaining core topics covered in this course (macromolecules, photosynthesis, genetic inheritance, and translation) were selected as control lessons to provide control assessment data.
To minimize extraneous variation, control topics and assessments were carefully matched in complexity, format, and number with case studies, and an equal amount of class time was allocated for each case study and the corresponding control lesson. Instruction related to control lessons was delivered using minimal slide-based lectures, with emphasis on textbook reading assignments accompanied by worksheets completed by students in and out of the classroom, and small and large group discussion of key points. Completion of activities and discussion related to all case studies and control topics that were analyzed was conducted in the classroom, with the exception of the take-home portion of the osmosis and diffusion case study.
Data collection and analysis
This study was performed in accordance with a protocol approved by the Kingsborough Community College Human Research Protection Program and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the City University of New York (CUNY IRB reference 539938-1; KCC IRB application #: KCC 13-12-126-0138). Assessment scores were collected from regularly scheduled course examinations. For each case study, control questions were included on the same examination that were similar in number, format, point value, and difficulty level, but related to a different topic covered in the course that was of similar complexity. Complexity and difficulty of both case study and control questions were evaluated using experiential data from previous iterations of the course; the Bloom’s taxonomy designation and amount of material covered by each question, as well as the average score on similar questions achieved by students in previous iterations of the course was considered in determining appropriate controls. All assessment questions were scored using a standardized, pre-determined rubric. Student perceptions of learning gains were assessed using a modified version of the Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) course evaluation tool ( http://www.salgsite.org ), distributed in hardcopy and completed anonymously during the last week of the course. Students were presented with a consent form to opt-in to having their data included in the data analysis. After the course had concluded and final course grades had been posted, data from consenting students were pooled in a database and identifying information was removed prior to analysis. Statistical analysis of data was conducted using the Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance and calculation of the R 2 coefficient of determination.
Teaching with case studies improves performance on learning assessments, independent of case study origin
To evaluate the effectiveness of the case study teaching method at promoting learning, student performance on examination questions related to material covered by case studies was compared with performance on questions that covered material addressed through classroom discussions and textbook reading. The latter questions served as control items; assessment items for each case study were compared with control items that were of similar format, difficulty, and point value ( Appendix 1 ). Each of the four case studies resulted in an increase in examination performance compared with control questions that was statistically significant, with an average difference of 18% ( Fig. 1 ). The mean score on case study-related questions was 73% for the chemical bonds case study, 79% for osmosis and diffusion, 76% for mitosis and meiosis, and 70% for DNA structure and replication ( Fig. 1 ). The mean score for non-case study-related control questions was 60%, 54%, 60%, and 52%, respectively ( Fig. 1 ). In terms of examination performance, no significant difference between case studies produced by the instructor of the course (chemical bonds and osmosis and diffusion) and those produced by unaffiliated instructors (mitosis and meiosis and DNA structure and replication) was indicated by the Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance. However, the 25% difference between the mean score on questions related to the osmosis and diffusion case study and the mean score on the paired control questions was notably higher than the 13–18% differences observed for the other case studies ( Fig. 1 ).
Case study teaching method increases student performance on examination questions. Mean score on a set of examination questions related to lessons covered by case studies (black bars) and paired control questions of similar format and difficulty about an unrelated topic (white bars). Chemical bonds, n = 54; Osmosis and diffusion, n = 54; Mitosis and meiosis, n = 51; DNA structure and replication, n = 50. Error bars represent the standard error of the mean (SEM). Asterisk indicates p < 0.05.
Case study teaching increases student perception of learning gains related to core course objectives
Student learning gains were assessed using a modified version of the SALG course evaluation tool ( Appendix 2 ). To determine whether completing case studies was more effective at increasing student perceptions of learning gains than completing textbook readings or participating in class discussions, perceptions of student learning gains for each were compared. In response to the question “Overall, how much did each of the following aspects of the class help your learning?” 82% of students responded that case studies helped a “good” or “great” amount, compared with 70% for participating in class discussions and 58% for completing textbook reading; only 4% of students responded that case studies helped a “small amount” or “provided no help,” compared with 2% for class discussions and 22% for textbook reading ( Fig. 2A ). The differences in reported learning gains derived from the use of case studies compared with class discussion and textbook readings were statistically significant, while the difference in learning gains associated with class discussion compared with textbook reading was not statistically significant by a narrow margin ( p = 0.051).
The case study teaching method increases student perceptions of learning gains. Student perceptions of learning gains are indicated by plotting responses to the question “How much did each of the following activities: (A) Help your learning overall? (B) Improve your ability to communicate your knowledge of scientific concepts in writing? (C) Improve your ability to communicate your knowledge of scientific concepts orally? (D) Help you understand the connections between scientific concepts and other aspects of your everyday life?” Reponses are represented as follows: Helped a great amount (black bars); Helped a good amount (dark gray bars); Helped a moderate amount (medium gray bars); Helped a small amount (light gray bars); Provided no help (white bars). Asterisk indicates p < 0.05.
To elucidate the effectiveness of case studies at promoting learning gains related to specific course learning objectives compared with class discussions and textbook reading, students were asked how much each of these methods of content delivery specifically helped improve skills that were integral to fulfilling three main course objectives. When students were asked how much each of the methods helped “improve your ability to communicate knowledge of scientific concepts in writing,” 81% of students responded that case studies help a “good” or “great” amount, compared with 63% for class discussions and 59% for textbook reading; only 6% of students responded that case studies helped a “small amount” or “provided no help,” compared with 8% for class discussions and 21% for textbook reading ( Fig. 2B ). When the same question was posed about the ability to communicate orally, 81% of students responded that case studies help a “good” or “great” amount, compared with 68% for class discussions and 50% for textbook reading, while the respective response rates for helped a “small amount” or “provided no help,” were 4%, 6%, and 25% ( Fig. 2C ). The differences in learning gains associated with both written and oral communication were statistically significant when completion of case studies was compared with either participation in class discussion or completion of textbook readings. Compared with textbook reading, class discussions led to a statistically significant increase in oral but not written communication skills.
Students were then asked how much each of the methods helped them “understand the connections between scientific concepts and other aspects of your everyday life.” A total of 79% of respondents declared that case studies help a “good” or “great” amount, compared with 70% for class discussions and 57% for textbook reading ( Fig. 2D ). Only 4% stated that case studies and class discussions helped a “small amount” or “provided no help,” compared with 21% for textbook reading ( Fig. 2D ). Similar to overall learning gains, the use of case studies significantly increased the ability to understand the relevance of science to everyday life compared with class discussion and textbook readings, while the difference in learning gains associated with participation in class discussion compared with textbook reading was not statistically significant ( p = 0.054).
Student perceptions of learning gains resulting from case study teaching are positively correlated to increased performance on examinations, but independent of case study author
To test the hypothesis that case studies produced specifically for this course by the instructor were more effective at promoting learning gains than topically relevant case studies published by authors not associated with this course, perceptions of learning gains were compared for each of the case studies. For both of the case studies produced by the instructor of the course, 87% of students indicated that the case study provided a “good” or “great” amount of help to their learning, and 2% indicated that the case studies provided “little” or “no” help ( Table 1 ). In comparison, an average of 85% of students indicated that the case studies produced by an unaffiliated instructor provided a “good” or “great” amount of help to their learning, and 4% indicated that the case studies provided “little” or “no” help ( Table 1 ). The instructor-produced case studies yielded both the highest and lowest percentage of students reporting the highest level of learning gains (a “great” amount), while case studies produced by unaffiliated instructors yielded intermediate values. Therefore, it can be concluded that the effectiveness of case studies at promoting learning gains is not significantly affected by whether or not the course instructor authored the case study.
Case studies positively affect student perceptions of learning gains about various biological topics.
Finally, to determine whether performance on examination questions accurately predicts student perceptions of learning gains, mean scores on examination questions related to case studies were compared with reported perceptions of learning gains for those case studies ( Fig. 3 ). The coefficient of determination (R 2 value) was 0.81, indicating a strong, but not definitive, positive correlation between perceptions of learning gains and performance on examinations, suggesting that student perception of learning gains is a valid tool for assessing the effectiveness of case studies ( Fig. 3 ). This correlation was independent of case study author.
Perception of learning gains but not author of case study is positively correlated to score on related examination questions. Percentage of students reporting that each specific case study provided “a great amount of help” to their learning was plotted against the point difference between mean score on examination questions related to that case study and mean score on paired control questions. Positive point differences indicate how much higher the mean scores on case study-related questions were than the mean scores on paired control questions. Black squares represent case studies produced by the instructor of the course; white squares represent case studies produced by unaffiliated instructors. R 2 value indicates the coefficient of determination.
The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that teaching with case studies produced by the instructor of a course is more effective at promoting learning gains than using case studies produced by unaffiliated instructors. This study also tested the hypothesis that the case study teaching method is more effective than class discussions and textbook reading at promoting learning gains associated with four of the most commonly taught topics in undergraduate general biology courses: chemical bonds, osmosis and diffusion, mitosis and meiosis, and DNA structure and replication. In addition to assessing content-based learning gains, development of written and oral communication skills and the ability to connect scientific topics with real-world applications was also assessed, because these skills were overarching learning objectives of this course, and classroom activities related to both case studies and control lessons were designed to provide opportunities for students to develop these skills. Finally, data were analyzed to determine whether performance on examination questions is positively correlated to student perceptions of learning gains resulting from case study teaching.
Compared with equivalent control questions about topics of similar complexity taught using class discussions and textbook readings, all four case studies produced statistically significant increases in the mean score on examination questions ( Fig. 1 ). This indicates that case studies are more effective than more commonly used, traditional methods of content delivery at promoting learning of a variety of core concepts covered in general biology courses. The average increase in score on each test item was equivalent to nearly two letter grades, which is substantial enough to elevate the average student performance on test items from the unsatisfactory/failing range to the satisfactory/passing range. The finding that there was no statistical difference between case studies in terms of performance on examination questions suggests that case studies are equally effective at promoting learning of disparate topics in biology. The observations that students did not perform significantly less well on the first case study presented (chemical bonds) compared with the other case studies and that performance on examination questions did not progressively increase with each successive case study suggests that the effectiveness of case studies is not directly related to the amount of experience students have using case studies. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence from previous semesters of this course suggests that, of the four topics addressed by cases in this study, DNA structure and function and osmosis and diffusion are the first and second most difficult for students to grasp. The lack of a statistical difference between case studies therefore suggests that the effectiveness of a case study at promoting learning gains is not directly proportional to the difficulty of the concept covered. However, the finding that use of the osmosis and diffusion case study resulted in the greatest increase in examination performance compared with control questions and also produced the highest student perceptions of learning gains is noteworthy and could be attributed to the fact that it was the only case study evaluated that included a hands-on experiment. Because the inclusion of a hands-on kinetic activity may synergistically enhance student engagement and learning and result in an even greater increase in learning gains than case studies that lack this type of activity, it is recommended that case studies that incorporate this type of activity be preferentially utilized.
Student perceptions of learning gains are strongly motivating factors for engagement in the classroom and academic performance, so it is important to assess the effect of any teaching method in this context ( 19 , 24 ). A modified version of the SALG course evaluation tool was used to assess student perceptions of learning gains because it has been previously validated as an efficacious tool ( Appendix 2 ) ( 20 ). Using the SALG tool, case study teaching was demonstrated to significantly increase student perceptions of overall learning gains compared with class discussions and textbook reading ( Fig. 2A ). Case studies were shown to be particularly useful for promoting perceived development of written and oral communication skills and for demonstrating connections between scientific topics and real-world issues and applications ( Figs. 2B–2D ). Further, student perceptions of “great” learning gains positively correlated with increased performance on examination questions, indicating that assessment of learning gains using the SALG tool is both valid and useful in this course setting ( Fig. 3 ). These findings also suggest that case study teaching could be used to increase student motivation and engagement in classroom activities and thus promote learning and performance on assessments. The finding that textbook reading yielded the lowest student perceptions of learning gains was not unexpected, since reading facilitates passive learning while the class discussions and case studies were both designed to promote active learning.
Importantly, there was no statistical difference in student performance on examinations attributed to the two case studies produced by the instructor of the course compared with the two case studies produced by unaffiliated instructors. The average difference between the two instructor-produced case studies and the two case studies published by unaffiliated instructors was only 3% in terms of both the average score on examination questions (76% compared with 73%) and the average increase in score compared with paired control items (14% compared with 17%) ( Fig. 1 ). Even when considering the inherent qualitative differences of course grades, these differences are negligible. Similarly, the effectiveness of case studies at promoting learning gains was not significantly affected by the origin of the case study, as evidenced by similar percentages of students reporting “good” and “great” learning gains regardless of whether the case study was produced by the course instructor or an unaffiliated instructor ( Table 1 ).
The observation that case studies published by unaffiliated instructors are just as effective as those produced by the instructor of a course suggests that instructors can reasonably rely on the use of pre-published case studies relevant to their class rather than investing the considerable time and effort required to produce a novel case study. Case studies covering a wide range of topics in the sciences are available from a number of sources, and many of them are free access. The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCSTS) database ( http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/ ) contains over 500 case studies that are freely available to instructors, and are accompanied by teaching notes that provide logistical advice and additional resources for implementing the case study, as well as a set of assessment questions with a password-protected answer key. Case study repositories are also maintained by BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium ( http://www.bioquest.org/icbl/cases.php ) and the Science Case Network ( http://sciencecasenet.org ); both are available for use by instructors from outside institutions.
It should be noted that all case studies used in this study were rigorously peer-reviewed and accepted for publication by the NCCSTS prior to the completion of this study ( 2 , 10 , 18 , 25 ); the conclusions of this study may not apply to case studies that were not developed in accordance with similar standards. Because case study teaching involves skills such as creative writing and management of dynamic group discussion in a way that is not commonly integrated into many other teaching methods, it is recommended that novice case study teachers seek training or guidance before writing their first case study or implementing the method. The lack of a difference observed in the use of case studies from different sources should be interpreted with some degree of caution since only two sources were represented in this study, and each by only two cases. Furthermore, in an educational setting, quantitative differences in test scores might produce meaningful qualitative differences in course grades even in the absence of a p value that is statistically significant. For example, there is a meaningful qualitative difference between test scores that result in an average grade of C− and test scores that result in an average grade of C+, even if there is no statistically significant difference between the two sets of scores.
In the future, it could be informative to confirm these findings using a larger cohort, by repeating the study at different institutions with different instructors, by evaluating different case studies, and by directly comparing the effectiveness of the case studying teaching method with additional forms of instruction, such as traditional chalkboard and slide-based lecturing, and laboratory-based activities. It may also be informative to examine whether demographic factors such as student age and gender modulate the effectiveness of the case study teaching method, and whether case studies work equally well for non-science majors taking a science course compared with those majoring in the subject. Since the topical material used in this study is often included in other classes in both high school and undergraduate education, such as cell biology, genetics, and chemistry, the conclusions of this study are directly applicable to a broad range of courses. Presently, it is recommended that the use of case studies in teaching undergraduate general biology and other science courses be expanded, especially for the teaching of capacious issues with real-world applications and in classes where development of written and oral communication skills are key objectives. The use of case studies that involve hands-on activities should be emphasized to maximize the benefit of this teaching method. Importantly, instructors can be confident in the use of pre-published case studies to promote learning, as there is no indication that the effectiveness of the case study teaching method is reliant on the production of novel, customized case studies for each course.
This article benefitted from a President’s Faculty Innovation Grant, Kingsborough Community College. The author declares that there are no conflicts of interest.
† Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
- Our Mission
Making Learning Relevant With Case Studies
The open-ended problems presented in case studies give students work that feels connected to their lives.
To prepare students for jobs that haven’t been created yet, we need to teach them how to be great problem solvers so that they’ll be ready for anything. One way to do this is by teaching content and skills using real-world case studies, a learning model that’s focused on reflection during the problem-solving process. It’s similar to project-based learning, but PBL is more focused on students creating a product.
Case studies have been used for years by businesses, law and medical schools, physicians on rounds, and artists critiquing work. Like other forms of problem-based learning, case studies can be accessible for every age group, both in one subject and in interdisciplinary work.
You can get started with case studies by tackling relatable questions like these with your students:
- How can we limit food waste in the cafeteria?
- How can we get our school to recycle and compost waste? (Or, if you want to be more complex, how can our school reduce its carbon footprint?)
- How can we improve school attendance?
- How can we reduce the number of people who get sick at school during cold and flu season?
Addressing questions like these leads students to identify topics they need to learn more about. In researching the first question, for example, students may see that they need to research food chains and nutrition. Students often ask, reasonably, why they need to learn something, or when they’ll use their knowledge in the future. Learning is most successful for students when the content and skills they’re studying are relevant, and case studies offer one way to create that sense of relevance.
Teaching With Case Studies
Ultimately, a case study is simply an interesting problem with many correct answers. What does case study work look like in classrooms? Teachers generally start by having students read the case or watch a video that summarizes the case. Students then work in small groups or individually to solve the case study. Teachers set milestones defining what students should accomplish to help them manage their time.
During the case study learning process, student assessment of learning should be focused on reflection. Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick’s Learning and Leading With Habits of Mind gives several examples of what this reflection can look like in a classroom:
Journaling: At the end of each work period, have students write an entry summarizing what they worked on, what worked well, what didn’t, and why. Sentence starters and clear rubrics or guidelines will help students be successful. At the end of a case study project, as Costa and Kallick write, it’s helpful to have students “select significant learnings, envision how they could apply these learnings to future situations, and commit to an action plan to consciously modify their behaviors.”
Interviews: While working on a case study, students can interview each other about their progress and learning. Teachers can interview students individually or in small groups to assess their learning process and their progress.
Student discussion: Discussions can be unstructured—students can talk about what they worked on that day in a think-pair-share or as a full class—or structured, using Socratic seminars or fishbowl discussions. If your class is tackling a case study in small groups, create a second set of small groups with a representative from each of the case study groups so that the groups can share their learning.
4 Tips for Setting Up a Case Study
1. Identify a problem to investigate: This should be something accessible and relevant to students’ lives. The problem should also be challenging and complex enough to yield multiple solutions with many layers.
2. Give context: Think of this step as a movie preview or book summary. Hook the learners to help them understand just enough about the problem to want to learn more.
3. Have a clear rubric: Giving structure to your definition of quality group work and products will lead to stronger end products. You may be able to have your learners help build these definitions.
4. Provide structures for presenting solutions: The amount of scaffolding you build in depends on your students’ skill level and development. A case study product can be something like several pieces of evidence of students collaborating to solve the case study, and ultimately presenting their solution with a detailed slide deck or an essay—you can scaffold this by providing specified headings for the sections of the essay.
Problem-Based Teaching Resources
There are many high-quality, peer-reviewed resources that are open source and easily accessible online.
- The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science at the University at Buffalo built an online collection of more than 800 cases that cover topics ranging from biochemistry to economics. There are resources for middle and high school students.
- Models of Excellence , a project maintained by EL Education and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has examples of great problem- and project-based tasks—and corresponding exemplary student work—for grades pre-K to 12.
- The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning at Purdue University is an open-source journal that publishes examples of problem-based learning in K–12 and post-secondary classrooms.
- The Tech Edvocate has a list of websites and tools related to problem-based learning.
In their book Problems as Possibilities , Linda Torp and Sara Sage write that at the elementary school level, students particularly appreciate how they feel that they are taken seriously when solving case studies. At the middle school level, “researchers stress the importance of relating middle school curriculum to issues of student concern and interest.” And high schoolers, they write, find the case study method “beneficial in preparing them for their future.”
- Conferences & Events
- Professional Learning
- Science Standards
- Awards & Competitions
- Daily Do Lesson Plans
- American Rescue Plan
- For Preservice Teachers
NCCSTS Case Collection
- NSTA Career Center
- Interactive eBooks+
- Digital Catalog
- Regional Product Representatives
- Bestselling Books
- Latest Books
- Popular Book Series
- Prospective Authors
- Web Seminars
- Exhibits & Sponsorship
- Conference Reviewers
- National Conference • Kansas City 23
- National Conference • Denver 24
- Leaders Institute 2023
- Submit a Proposal
- Latest Resources
- Professional Learning Units & Courses
- For Districts
- Online Course Providers
- Schools & Districts
- College Professors & Students
- The Standards
- Teachers and Admin
- Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision
- Junior Science & Humanities Symposium
- Teaching Awards
- Climate Change
- Earth & Space Science
- New Science Teachers
- Early Childhood
- Middle School
- High School
- Informal Education
- Journal Articles
- Lesson Plans
- Science & Children
- Science Scope
- The Science Teacher
- Journal of College Sci. Teaching
- Connected Science Learning
- NSTA Reports
- Next-Gen Navigator
- Science Update
- Teacher Tip Tuesday
- Trans. Sci. Learning
- My Collections
Featured Free Resources
Sponsored by: HESI Global
Free Lessons & Professional Learning Units
Sponsored by: AIAA & ESTES Education
Sponsored by: National Human Genome Research Institute
Sponsored by: The Climate Initiative & Kikim Media
Johns Hopkins University
The NCCSTS Case Collection, created and curated by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, on behalf of the University at Buffalo, contains nearly a thousand peer-reviewed case studies on a variety of topics in all areas of science.
Free Lesson Plans
Sponsored by: NASCAR Kids
Agriculture / Food Lesson Plans
Learn more and download the free Where Does Our Food Come From? poster here . | Sponsored by Corteva
Helping students make sense of the world using next generation science and engineering practices.
Free chapter: “Developing and Using Models”
Disciplinary Core Ideas: Reshaping Teaching and Learning
Free chapter: "Core Idea PS4: Waves and Their Applications In Technologies for Information Transfer"
A Head Start on Science, Second Edition: Encouraging a Sense of Wonder
Free chapter: Nature Bracelets
Uncovering Student Ideas About Engineering and Technology: 32 New Formative Assessment Probes
Free chapters: What’s the Problem?
Picture-Perfect STEM Lessons, K–2: Using Children’s Books to Inspire STEM Learning
Free chapter: Preface and “Robots Everywhere”
Picture-Perfect STEM Lessons, 3–5: Using Children’s Books to Inspire STEM Learning
Free chapter: Preface and “The Inventor’s Secret”
Novel Engineering, K–8: An Integrated Approach to Engineering and Literacy
Free chapter: Introduction to Novel Engineering
Toward High School Biology: Understanding Growth in Living Things, Teacher Edition
Free chapter: Introduction and one lesson from Chapter 1
Argument-Driven Inquiry in Earth and Space Science: Lab Investigations for Grades 6–10
Free Chapter: Lab 7. Formation of Geologic Features: How Can We Explain the Growth of the Hawaiian Archipelago Over the Past 100 Million Years?
Discovery Engineering in Biology: Case Studies for Grades 6–12
Free chapter: The Triumph of the Pika: Understanding Environmental Impacts on Species
All Free Sample Chapters
- Published: 21 November 2023
Transforming Issues-Based Science Education with Innovative Technologies
- Jing Lin 1 ,
- Knut Neuman 2 ,
- Troy D. Sadler ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-9401-0300 3 &
- David Fortus 4
Journal of Science Education and Technology ( 2023 ) Cite this article
Issues-based science education represents a suite of approaches for science teaching and learning that prioritizes contextualization of learning experiences in real-world issues that are societal problems. These approaches have grown in prominence in terms of research and classroom applications over the last decade, but issues-based teaching remains challenging and has not been fully realized in educational settings. The gap between the positive potential of issues-based science education and the reality of science learning spaces creates opportunities for innovation. The purpose of this special issue is to explore ways in which educational technologies can be used to promote innovations that narrow this gap. This introduction to the special issue offers a brief overview of how technologies could be used to enhance issues-based teaching and summarizes trends that emerge across the seven articles that make up the special issue.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution .
Buy single article.
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA) Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Rent this article via DeepDyve.
Availability of Data and Materials
Avargil, S., Herscovitz, O., & Dori, Y. J. (2012). Teaching thinking skills in context-based learning: Teachers’ challenges and assessment knowledge. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 21 , 207–225.
Article Google Scholar
Hancock, T. S., Friedrichsen, P. J., Kinslow, A. T., & Sadler, T. D. (2019). Selecting socio-scientific issues for teaching: A grounded theory study of how science teachers collaboratively design SSI-based curricula. Science & Education, 28 , 639–667.
Tidemand, S., & Nielsen, J. A. (2017). The role of socioscientific issues in biology teaching: From the perspective of teachers. International Journal of Science Education, 39 (1), 44–61.
Zeidler, D. L. (2014). Socioscientific issues as a curriculum emphasis. Theory, research, and practice. In N. G. Lederman & S. K. Abell (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education , 2 , 697-726.
Authors and affiliations.
Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
IPN-Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Kiel, Germany
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Troy D. Sadler
Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
You can also search for this author in PubMed Google Scholar
The authors contributed equally to the preparation of this manuscript.
Correspondence to Troy D. Sadler .
Ethical approval, informed consent, research involving human participants and/or animals.
Consent to Participate
Consent for publication.
The authors provide consent to publish.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Rights and permissions
Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.
Reprints and Permissions
About this article
Cite this article.
Lin, J., Neuman, K., Sadler, T.D. et al. Transforming Issues-Based Science Education with Innovative Technologies. J Sci Educ Technol (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-023-10086-5
Accepted : 10 November 2023
Published : 21 November 2023
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-023-10086-5
Share this article
Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:
Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.
Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative
- Issues-based teaching
- Socio-scientific issues
- Context-based teaching
- Find a journal
- Publish with us
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCSTS)
The mission of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCSTS) at SUNY-Buffalo is to promote the development and dissemination of materials and practices for case teaching in the sciences.
Click on the links below to learn more about-
- a bibliography of case studies,
- faculty perceptions on the benefit of teaching case studies, and
- research articles
Below is a sample work flow showing how to navigate the NCCSTS case collection. Enjoy!
1. Start at the NCCSTS homepage ( http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/ ). Then click on Case Collection (red arrow, upper right).
2. Clicking on Case Collection takes you to the Keyword Search page. As shown below use the dropdown arrows to narrow your search parameters. As an example I chose Organic Chemistry under Subject Heading.
3. Below is a partial list (6/25) of case studies categorized under the Subject Heading choice, Organic Chemistry.
4. Click on a case study. I chose The Case of the Missing Bees (not shown in the partial list above). Below is a partial screenshot of the case study description. To download the case study click on the DOWNLOAD CASE icon (red arrow, upper right).
5. Below is the the top of the first page of the case study, The Case of the Missing Bees .
6. And of course make sure to review and adhere to the Permitted and Standard Uses and Permissions ( http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/collection/uses/ ).
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Case study title: The Case of the Missing Bees: High Fructose Corn Syrup and Colony Collapse Disorder
Case study authors: Jeffri C. Bohlscheid and Frank J. Dinan
November 24, 2023
This article has been reviewed according to Science X's editorial process and policies . Editors have highlighted the following attributes while ensuring the content's credibility:
A different kind of peer pressure identified between mentors and students
by David Bradley, Inderscience
Provided by Inderscience
Feedback to editors
Dynamic bio-interface between mussel tissue and byssus plays important role in quick release
14 hours ago
KiDS in the sky: New stellar system discovered by the Kilo-Degree Survey
16 hours ago
A new theory to explain the nature of volcanic fountaining
17 hours ago
From underground detectors to cosmic secrets: Exploring dark matter-nucleon interactions
Saturday Citations: Lead, microplastics and coal on our filthy planet—plus, faster-charging lithium-ion batteries
19 hours ago
A 1,400-year-old temple discovered at Suffolk royal settlement
Nov 24, 2023
Poisonous invasive plant exhibits twice as many genes as expected
Corruption can increase environmental efficiency and improve economy in developing countries, study argues
Plastic waste in the water might be stopping, or interrupting, some shrimp-like creatures from reproducing
First successful substitutes for ivory billiard balls were made with celluloid reinforced with ground cattle bone
Relevant physicsforums posts, cover songs versus the original track, which ones are better, who is your favorite jazz musician and favorite song.
3 hours ago
For WW1 & WW2 History Buffs
23 hours ago
O Brother, Where Art Thou? film analysis
Nov 22, 2023
Music to Lift Your Soul: 4 Genres & Honorable Mention
Nov 21, 2023
Metal, Rock, Instrumental Rock and Fusion
More from Art, Music, History, and Linguistics
Employers should think twice before implementing peer recognition programs
Jun 8, 2023
Peers, more than teachers, inspire us to learn
Mar 21, 2017
Effect of peer feedback on academic writing
Aug 24, 2018
Study suggests struggling students who repeat third grade see improved achievement
Oct 12, 2023
New research highlights importance of equity in education
Sep 18, 2023
How fellow students improve your own grades
Jan 21, 2021
Recommended for you
Higher levels of financial optimism associated with lower levels of cognitive ability
Nov 23, 2023
Higher cognitive ability linked to higher chance of having voted against Brexit
Study suggests men benefit more from being attractive in the workplace than women
Childhood in medieval Bavaria: What teeth reveal about nutrition and migration
Study finds female academics less likely to win prizes, even when the award is named after a woman
The bilingual brain may be better at ignoring irrelevant information
Let us know if there is a problem with our content.
Use this form if you have come across a typo, inaccuracy or would like to send an edit request for the content on this page. For general inquiries, please use our contact form . For general feedback, use the public comments section below (please adhere to guidelines ).
Please select the most appropriate category to facilitate processing of your request
Thank you for taking time to provide your feedback to the editors.
Your feedback is important to us. However, we do not guarantee individual replies due to the high volume of messages.
E-mail the story
Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. The information you enter will appear in your e-mail message and is not retained by Phys.org in any form.
Newsletter sign up
Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details to third parties.
Donate and enjoy an ad-free experience
We keep our content available to everyone. Consider supporting Science X's mission by getting a premium account.
I am a passionate educator who has been teaching in USA for many years.
National Center For Case Study Teaching In Science
Unlocking the power of case studies in science education.
Hi there, I’m Emma Miller, an experienced educator passionate about enhancing learning experiences. Today, I want to introduce you to the National Center For Case Study Teaching In Science, a remarkable resource that has transformed the way we teach science. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the benefits and impact of incorporating case studies into science education!
What is the National Center For Case Study Teaching In Science?
The National Center For Case Study Teaching In Science (NCCSTS) is a renowned organization dedicated to promoting the use of case studies in science education. They provide a vast collection of high-quality case studies, teaching resources, and professional development opportunities for educators across the United States.
Why are case studies important in science education?
Case studies offer a unique approach to learning by presenting real-world scenarios that require critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They engage students in active learning, encouraging them to apply their scientific knowledge to solve complex problems. By using case studies, educators can foster deeper understanding, enhance analytical skills, and promote collaboration among students.
Benefits of incorporating case studies into science education
- Develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Enhances students’ ability to analyze and interpret data
- Promotes active learning and student engagement
- Encourages collaborative teamwork and communication
- Connects science concepts to real-world applications
Personal Experiences with the NCCSTS
As an educator, I have personally witnessed the transformative power of using case studies in my science classes. My students became more motivated, actively participating in discussions and eagerly exploring different perspectives. They developed a deeper understanding of scientific concepts and their relevance in the world around them. Case studies sparked their curiosity and nurtured their passion for science.
Curiosities, Statistics, and Interesting Facts about NCCSTS:
- The NCCSTS has over 600 carefully designed case studies covering various scientific disciplines.
- According to a recent survey, 85% of educators reported improved student engagement after implementing case studies in their classrooms.
- Studies have shown that students who learn through case studies perform better on assessments and retain information for longer periods.
- Through the NCCSTS, educators can access interactive teaching notes, assessment tools, and video resources to enhance their instruction.
- The organization offers workshops and webinars to support professional development and collaboration among educators.
FAQs: Answering Your Questions
Q: how can i access the case studies provided by the nccsts.
A: The NCCSTS offers free access to their extensive collection of case studies on their website. Simply visit their website and explore the available resources.
Q: Are the case studies suitable for all grade levels?
A: Yes, the NCCSTS provides case studies suitable for different grade levels, ranging from middle school to college. Educators can select appropriate resources based on their students’ needs and abilities.
Q: Can I modify the case studies to align with my curriculum?
A: Absolutely! The NCCSTS encourages educators to adapt and customize the case studies to suit their specific teaching goals and curriculum requirements. They provide guidance on how to effectively modify the cases while maintaining their educational value.
Q: How can I stay updated with new case studies and resources?
A: By subscribing to the NCCSTS newsletter, you will receive regular updates on new case studies, teaching tips, and upcoming professional development opportunities. It’s a fantastic way to stay connected and continuously enhance your science instruction!
The National Center For Case Study Teaching In Science is a game-changer in science education. By incorporating case studies into our teaching, we can empower students to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and lifelong learners. The NCCSTS provides a wealth of resources and support to help educators create engaging and impactful learning experiences. Let’s join hands and revolutionize science education together!
- Center for Science Teaching and Learning
- Science Of Teaching Reading Study Guide
- Center for Teaching and Learning Yale
- The National Center for Education Statistics Monitors Many Aspects
- National Center for Education Statistics Search Page
- National Center for Education Statistics 2023
- National Great Rivers Research and Education Center
- Pedagogy The Study Of Teaching Applies To Motor Behavior Research.
- Is training like teaching?
- What are the 2 main types of teaching methods?
- Best Webcam for Teaching Online Classes
- Teaching Jobs in Illinois Private Schools
- Physical Education Teaching Jobs Near Me
- Never Stop Learning Because Life Never Stops Teaching
- The Heart of Learning and Teaching
- Teaching Students With Disabilities in the General Education Classroom
- New Directions for Teaching and Learning
- Principles of Learning and Teaching Praxis
- The Physical Education Teaching Profession Took Root in the United States
- Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
- Physical Education Teaching Jobs in Colorado
- Teaching Students Who Are Exceptional Diverse and at Risk in the General Education Classroom
- Early Learning Centre Wooden Teaching Clock
- Abolitionist Teaching and the Future of Our Schools
- Teaching Islam in American Public Schools
- Strategies for Teaching Students With Learning and Behavior Problems
- Study Science Teacher Totally Science
- Who Is Leading The Elephant Study In Gorongosa National Park
- Macroeconomics Unit 3 Study Guide National Income And Price Determination
- National Geographic Commissioned A Study Of The Maine Sinking In
Leave a Comment
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
science case study
Resource types, all resource types, science case study.
- Rating Count
- Price (Ascending)
- Price (Descending)
- Most Recent
On My Way to Being A CNA...Clinical Case Studies (Nursing, Health Sciences )
- Word Document File
Forensic Science : Case Study Investigation
- Internet Activities
Growing Bundle | Environmental Science Case Studies Sketch Notes
Scientific Method Case Study
Psychology: Mental Health Disorders Mini- Case Studies (Health Sciences )
Invasive Species Lionfish Case Study | Marine Science Worksheet
- Google Drive™ folder
Phlebotomy Scenarios (Mini- Case Studies ) (Health Sciences , Nursing)
Forensic Science Case Study . The Case of the Disaster at the Dog Show
Death and Dying Case Studies (Nursing, Health Science , Nursing Assistant)
Adaptation // Science // Worksheet // Case Study // PPT // Animal Adaptation
AP Environmental Science : Unit 6 Case Study - Costa Rica & Renewable Energy
Science Case Study Bundle - Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Space Readings
AP Environmental Science Ecosystems Case Study : How Wolves Change Rivers
Bike Crash Case Study for Anatomy, EMS, Health Science
Scientific Method Interactive PowerPoint Case Study #2: Bark of the Willow Tree
Estuary Case Study | Marine Science Worksheet| Data Analysis | Bull Sharks
Migration // Science // Worksheet // Case Study // PPT // Animal Migration
AP Environmental Science Unit 8 Case Study : The Story of Stuff
- Google Slides™
Nursing Assistant: Fall Precautions-Mini- Case Studies (Nursing, Health Sciences )
Acropora Corals Case Study | Data Analysis | Marine Science Worksheet
Bone Break Case Studies , Veterinary Science
Soil Conservation Case Studies - Webquest - Middle School Science
The Extinction of the Dodo Bird - Environmental Science Case Study
Extinction of the Tasmanian Tiger - An Environmental Science Case Study
- We're hiring
- Help & FAQ
- Student privacy
- Terms of service
- Tell us what you think
Big-data study explores social factors affecting child health
A team led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine has used an AI-based approach to uncover underlying patterns among the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age, termed social determinants of health (SDoH), and then linked each pattern to children's health outcomes. Compared with traditional approaches, the strategy, in principle, provides a more objective and comprehensive picture of potential social factors that affect child health, which in turn, can enable better targeted interventions.
As reported Oct. 16 in JAMA Pediatrics, the researchers analyzed data on more than 10,500 American children, in communities across 17 U.S. states. Quantifying more than 80 neighborhood-level SDoH factors for each child, the analysis uncovered four broad patterns in the sample, including affluence, high-stigma environment, high socioeconomic deprivation, and high crime and drug sale rates coupled with lower education and densely populated areas. They found statistical associations between these patterns and outcomes relating to child developmental health, including mental, cognitive and physical health.
"A complex set of social factors can influence children's health, and I think our results underscore the importance of using methods that can handle such complexity," said study lead author Dr. Yunyu Xiao, an assistant professor of population health sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Dr. Xiao co-led the study with Dr. Chang Su, also an assistant professor of population health sciences. Both are in the Division of Health Informatics in the Department of Population Health Sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Jyotishman Pathak and Dr. Fei Wang, also at Weill Cornell Medicine, are co-authors in this joint work.
The Weill Cornell Medicine investigators work with a multi-institutional, multidisciplinary team of experts to study potential social determinants of health for clues to persistent causes of bad health outcomes. The team includes psychiatry expert Dr. John Mann from Columbia University; Drs. Timothy Brown, Lonnie Snowden, and Julian Chun-Chung Chow, experts in health economics, health policy and social welfare, respectively, at the University of California; Berkeley School of Public Health, and social epidemiologist Dr. Alex Tsai of Harvard Medical School. Identifying health-influencing social factors also can guide social policies aimed at improving child health, such as legislation mandating free school lunches for children from low-income families coupled with holistic health care provisions at school and clinical settings, Dr. Xiao said.
A New Approach to a Complex Issue
Prior studies in this field have tended to focus on narrow sets of socioeconomic variables and health outcomes, and typically have examined outcomes that are averaged over large geographic areas such as counties or states.
In the new study, the researchers took a different approach. Drs. Xiao and Su are experts in the use of machine learning and other advanced AI techniques that allow relatively unbiased, fine-grained analyses of large datasets. In recent years, they have been bringing these "big-data" techniques to bear on important social epidemiology problems -- for example, examining factors potentially influencing children's mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our approach is data-driven, allowing us to see what patterns there are in large datasets, without prior hypotheses and other biases getting in the way," Dr. Su said.
The dataset in the new study was generated by an ongoing, survey-based, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored project called the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. It covered a cohort of 10,504 children, aged 9-10 at the start, and their parents at 21 sites across the United States from 2016 to 2021. The sample's ethnic and racial mix broadly reflected that of the U.S. as a whole.
In the analysis, each child's record was scored on 84 different SDoH variables relating to educational resources, physical infrastructure, perceived bias and discrimination, household income, neighborhood crime and drugs. The machine learning algorithm identified underlying patterns in the children's SDoH profiles -- and also looked for statistical associations between these patterns and health outcomes.
Child Health Outcomes Vary Depending on Social Determinants
A key finding was that the data clustered into four broad SDoH patterns: affluent; high socioeconomic deprivation; urban high crime and low level of educational attainment and resources; and high-stigma -- the latter involving higher self-reported measures of bias and discrimination against women and immigrants and other underrepresented groups. White children were overrepresented in the affluent and high-stigma areas; Black and Hispanic children in the other two.
Each of the four profiles was associated with its own broad pattern of health outcomes, the "high socioeconomic deprivation" pattern being associated with the worst health outcomes on average, including more signs of mental illness, worse cognitive performance, and worse physical health. The other two non-affluent patterns were also associated generally with more adverse outcomes compared with the affluent pattern.
The study had some limitations, including the survey-based, self-reported nature of the ABCD data, which is generally considered less reliable than objectively measured data. Also, epidemiological analyses like these can reveal only associations between social factors and health outcomes -- they can't prove that the former influence the latter. Even so, the researchers said, the results demonstrate the power of a relatively unbiased, machine-learning approach to uncover potentially meaningful links, and should help inform future studies that can discover actual causative mechanisms connecting social factors to child health.
"This multi-dimensional, unbiased approach in principle can lead to more targeted and effective policy interventions that we are investigating in a current NIH-funded project," Dr. Xiao said.
- Children's Health
- Health Policy
- Public Health Education
- Teen Health
- Child Psychology
- Mental Health
- Child Development
- Educational Psychology
- Public health
- Social cognition
- Personalized medicine
- Early childhood education
- Health science
- Body mass index
Materials provided by Weill Cornell Medicine . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Journal Reference :
- Yunyu Xiao, J. John Mann, Julian Chun-Chung Chow, Timothy T. Brown, Lonnie R. Snowden, Paul Siu-Fai Yip, Alexander C. Tsai, Yu Hou, Jyotishman Pathak, Fei Wang, Chang Su. Patterns of Social Determinants of Health and Child Mental Health, Cognition, and Physical Health . JAMA Pediatrics , 2023; DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2023.4218
Cite This Page :
- 'Strange Metal' Is Strangely Quiet in Noise ...
- Second Highest-Energy Cosmic Ray Ever
- From First Bite, Taste Helps Pace Eating
- AI System Self-Organizes: Brain Features
- High-Power Fiber Lasers
- Megafires and Terrestrial Wildlife Habitat
- Bacterial Support Across Generations
- Our Brains Not Able to 'Rewire' Themselves?
- Amazing Star Factories of Dwarf Galaxies
- Trilobites Reveal Ancient Map
2 degrees, 40 feet: Scientists who study Earth’s ice say we could be committed to disastrous sea level rise
Top scientists say the world’s ice sheets are melting more rapidly than expected and that world leaders must ramp up their climate ambitions to avoid a catastrophic rise in sea levels.
A report released Thursday from the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative, a network of policy experts and researchers, pleads with world leaders to heed their warnings as they gather for the United Nations’ COP28 climate conference later this month. The report says if global average temperatures settle at 2 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial baseline, the planet could be committed to more than 40 feet of sea-level rise — a melt that would take centuries and reshape societies across the globe.
The collapse of ice sheets and ice shelves has been a major point of uncertainty within the climate science community. But a flurry of new research suggests that dangerous tipping points are nearer than once thought and that there is likely less room in Earth’s carbon budget than expected.
“We might be reaching these temperature thresholds that we’ve been talking about for a long time sooner than we were thinking about years ago,” said Rob DeConto, the director of the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Earth & Sustainability and an author of the report. “And it may be that the thresholds for some of these processes that can drive really rapid ice loss are lower than we were thinking just a few years ago.”
Without a dramatic turn in the pace of climate action, those factors could leave humanity “facing rates of sea-level rise way outside the range of adaptability,” DeConto said.
In the report, the scientists argue a rise in global temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius would force many to flee coastal communities.
“We’re displacing millions of people with the decisions being made now,” said report author Julie Brigham-Grette, a geosciences professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
More than 60 scientists contributed to the report. Many are experts in their specialties, and some have worked on past reports for the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading body on assessing the climate crisis.
In the IPCC’s 2021 report, scientists estimated that sea level will rise about 0.9 to 3.3 feet (0.28 to 1.01 meters) by 2100, but also said those numbers didn’t factor in uncertainties around ice sheets like the ones scientists have been probing more deeply in the past few years.
New studies suggest that melting ice sheets are a greater cause for concern than the IPCC had considered.
“Many ice sheet scientists now believe that by 2°C, nearly all of Greenland, much of West Antarctica, and even vulnerable portions of East Antarctica will be triggered to very long-term, inexorable sea-level rise, even if air temperatures later decrease,” the new ICCI report says.
The new report also outlines how the declining mass of mountain glaciers threatens hydropower supplies and endangers drinking water sources, how permafrost could intensify warming by releasing massive amounts of methane, and how polar waters are becoming increasingly acidified, which threatens the survival of shell-building creatures like krill and crab.
World leaders in 2015 agreed to limit warming to well below 2 degrees C and also to aim for 1.5 degrees. But many countries are struggling to cut fossil fuels from their economies, and efforts remain off pace to limit warming. A 2022 U.N. report found the planet was on track to warm about 2.8 C above preindustrial times by 2100 .
A recent United Nations Environment Programme report found that world leaders plan to extract and produce twice the amount of fossil fuels needed to keep global temperatures from exceeding 1.5 degrees C.
This year, scientists have observed a slew of concerning signs for the world’s ice.
Antarctic sea ice reached its lowest-ever maximum since scientists began measuring in 1979 , a possible sign that climate change could be making an impact in what has been a more resilient region for sea ice.
Swiss glaciers lost about 10% of their remaining mass in the past two years, the report says. And Greenland experienced the second-highest surface melt in recorded history.
Meanwhile, scientists revealed new research that suggests the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet might already be inevitable and that Greenland’s glaciers are melting at five times the rate they were 20 years ago . And another group of scientists found that the remaining carbon budget to limit warming was far smaller than once thought. At the current pace, the scientists believe global average temperatures will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels in about six years.
The authors hope the new ICCI report will influence negotiations at COP28, the climate discussions among world leaders that are slated to take place in Dubai from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.
“We’re committing today’s kindergartners to a very different future,” Brigham-Grette said, adding that policymakers’ “selective hearing is the problem.”
Added DeConto: “While some change has already been set in motion, the truly dire impacts of cryosphere loss can be avoided with immediate reductions in carbon emissions.”
Evan Bush is a science reporter for NBC News. He can be reached at [email protected].
You are using an outdated browser. This website is best viewed in IE 9 and above. You may continue using the site in this browser. However, the site may not display properly and some features may not be supported. For a better experience using this site, we recommend upgrading your version of Internet Explorer or using another browser to view this website.
- Download the latest Internet Explorer - No thanks (close this window)
- Penn GSE Environmental Justice Statement
- Philadelphia Impact
- Global Initiatives
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Catalyst @ Penn GSE
- Penn GSE Leadership
- Program Finder
- Academic Divisions & Programs
- Professional Development & Continuing Education
- Teacher Programs & Certifications
- Dual and Joint Degrees
- Faculty Directory
- Research Centers, Projects & Initiatives
- Lectures & Colloquia
- Books & Publications
- Academic Journals
- Application Requirements & Deadlines
- Tuition & Financial Aid
- Campus Visits & Events
- International Students
- Penn Undergraduates
- Non-Degree Studies
- Contact Admissions / Request Information
- Life at Penn GSE
- Penn GSE Career Paths
- Living in Philadelphia
- DE&I Resources for Students
- Student Organizations
- Career & Professional Development
- News Archive
- Events Calendar
- The Educator's Playbook
- Find an Expert
- Race, Equity & Inclusion
- Counseling & Psychology
- Education Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- Education Policy & Analysis
- Higher Education
- Language, Literacy & Culture
- Teaching & Learning
- Special Topic: COVID-19
- Support Penn GSE
- Contact Development & Alumni Relations
- Find a Program
- Request Info
- Make a Gift
- Current Students
- Staff & Faculty
Literacy studies, master of science in education (m.s.ed.) and reading specialist certification (pennsylvania), you are here, inquiry-based master's program for educators and reading specialists committed to educational change and social justice..
The Literacy Studies master's is an interdisciplinary program focused on the study of literacy and language from sociopolitical, cultural, psychological, historical, and linguistic perspectives. This program was previously known as Reading/Writing/Literacy M.S.Ed. Beginning in Summer 2024, this program will be titled Literacy Studies M.S.Ed.
What Sets Us Apart
About the program.
The master’s degree program in Literacy Studies can be completed in just one year. Students can tailor the program to their area of interest, through selecting electives from our courses, from other Penn GSE programs, and from across the University of Pennsylvania. During fieldwork and research, students have the opportunity to work with learners from diverse age groups and cultures, building their expertise as researchers and practitioners.
Fall: 4 courses; Spring: 4 courses; Summer: 2 courses
Research apprenticeship Internship
Culminating experience Academic portfolio
Duration of program 1-2 years (full-time) 2+ years (part-time)
Transfer courses accepted 1 course
The M.S.Ed. in Literacy Studies is a master’s degree program that prepares students to be literacy practitioners, researchers, and policymakers in a wide range of contexts. Four principles guide the program:
- The program is interdisciplinary because literacy, language, and culture interact in rich and complex ways. Literacy and language are studied from sociopolitical, cultural, psychological, historical, linguistic, and literary perspectives.
- The program is inquiry-based, intended to raise questions about the relationships among theory, research, policy, and practice while encouraging students to build their own theories of research and practice.
- The program focuses on diversity, urban settings, and the contexts of different schools, communities, families, and cultures.
- The program is committed to educational change and recognizes that educational institutions are sites in which to work for social justice, equity, and transformation.
Certificate/Licensure offered Reading Specialist certification (PA) available
Dual degree options Master of Social Work (MSW)
The master’s in Literacy Studies program includes 10 courses: four required courses as well as six electives. One of the program’s highlights is the flexibility in choosing electives. Students can take electives from our program, electives from other programs at Penn GSE, or even courses offered elsewhere at the University. The culminating experience is the presentation of the student’s academic portfolio.
The Literacy Studies master’s program with Reading Specialist certification requires 10 courses: eight required courses and two electives. An eleventh course is required for students without a teaching certification or one year of teaching. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for Pennsylvania Reading Specialist certification after the completion of coursework.
For more information on courses and requirements, visit the Literacy Studies M.S.Ed. program in the University Catalog .
Internships and Research
The internship in the Literacy Studies master’s program gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom. Through internships in settings such as the Weingarten Learning Resources Center; public, charter, and independent schools; community colleges; and community and social service agencies, students will work with learners across generations and cultures.
During their internships, students work with our faculty in research associated with some of the most distinguished research centers and professional development projects in the country: the Philadelphia Writing Project, the Penn Literacy Network, the National Center on Fathers and Families, the National Center on Adult Literacy, Penn’s Early Childhood and Family Studies Institute, and the International Literacy Institute.
Other Options: Certification, Dual Degree, and Accelerated Program
Reading specialist certification.
The Reading Specialist certification can be part of the master’s program, or students can enroll in it as a stand-alone program. Read more about the stand-alone Literacy Studies certificate in the University Catalog .
Students enrolled in the master’s program have the option of pursuing a dual degree in Literacy Studies (M.S.Ed.) and Social Work (M.S.W.) with Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice. Interested students should consult with their academic advisor. Learn more about Dual and Joint Degrees at Penn GSE.
Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Degree Program
The Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Degree Program (Accelerated Program) is an exclusive offer for undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania to explore graduate education and apply up to four specific courses to both degrees, at no additional cost while they are full-time undergrads.
Philadelphia writing project fellows program.
All full-time Literacy Studies, M.S.Ed. applicants are encouraged to apply for the Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP) Fellows Program. Each PhilWP Fellow will work as a graduate assistant for the Philadelphia Writing Project , gaining research experience while assisting in nationally-recognized studies and professional development experience activities. Additionally, fellows will receive:
- A half-tuition scholarship to be applied toward their graduate coursework
- Enrollment in PhilWP’s exclusive Summer Invitational Institute. This two-week professional development experience will yield students a certificate and status as a Teacher Consultant, making them eligible to facilitate paid professional development activities across the district and region.
- Opportunities to participate in professional learning experiences and community partnership work across Philadelphia and the U.S.
Students can apply for this fellowship opportunity when completing the GSE Application . In addition to the general application requirements, students applying for this fellowship will be asked to write a 250-word statement on their interest in becoming a PhilWP Fellow. There will be two fellowships awarded annually.
Literacy Studies Search Candidate Talk: Dr. Saba K. Vlach
Our faculty are renowned scholars who are committed to the study of literacy and language, to educational change, and to educational institutions as agents for social justice, equity, and transformation.
In addition to Penn GSE faculty, our program draws on scholars from across the University of Pennsylvania as members of its affiliated faculty.
Myrna Cohen Adjunct Associate Professor Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Adrianne Flack Adjunct Assistant Professor Ed.D. University of Pennsylvania
Adelyn Heidi Gross Lecturer, Penn GSE Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Jessica Whitelaw Adjunct Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
"I’m using the skills I developed at Penn GSE to collaborate with my colleagues to deliver targeted literacy supports for students, while also constructing a vision for literacy across our school."
The M.S.Ed. program in Literacy Studies prepares students as practitioners, researchers, and policy makers in educational settings that include K-12 schools, colleges and universities, community-based literacy programs, educational publishing, and government programs.
- Basic Skills Teacher, Plumsted Township School District
- Doctoral student, English Education, Teacher’s College, Columbia University
- English Teacher, Olney Charter High School
- Language Arts Teacher, Ocean City School District
- Reading Specialist, Cristo Ray Network of Schools
- Reading Specialist, Southeast Delco School District
- Seventh Grade Teacher, Khepera Charter School
- Editor, Chinese News
- Literary agent (e.g. Penguin Random House)
- Planning Director, United Jewish Appeal
- Assistant Fine Arts Librarian, University of Pennsylvania
- Marketing Manager, AWE Learning
- Product Development, American Reading Company
Admissions & Financial Aid
Please visit our Admissions and Financial Aid pages for specific information on the application requirements , as well as information on tuition, fees, financial aid, scholarships, and fellowships.
Contact us if you have any questions about the program.
Tamika Easley Program Manager (215) 898-3245 [email protected]
Kemba Howard Administrative Assistant [email protected]
Please view information from our Admissions and Financial Aid Office for specific information on the cost of this program.
Penn GSE is committed to making your graduate education affordable, and we offer generous scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships.
Related News & Research
UTAP student Meresa García shares her passion for literacy and community work with Penn Libraries in “Penn Today”
Celebration of writing and literacy seeks proposals on safe spaces for october conference, maría cioè-peña receives prestigious 2023 naed/spencer postdoctoral fellowship.
Black Girls Literacies Project promotes self-care and community for Philadelphia teens
Urban Education Journal
The Penn GSE Perspectives on Urban Education journal is an electronic, student-run publication and interactive forum to investigate critical issues in urban education.
Literacy.org: National Center for Adult Literacy/International Literacy Institute
The National Center for Adult Literacy (NCAL) focuses on research, innovation, and training in adult education and technology. The International Literacy Institute (ILI), established by UNESCO and Penn in 1994, provides leadership in research, development, and training in the broad field of international literacy and...
Philadelphia Writing Project
The Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP) is network of over 800 teacher consultants who work with teachers and other educators to explore literacy, writing, teaching, and learning in their classrooms and schools regardless of grade or discipline.
You May Be Interested In
- Education, Culture, and Society M.S.Ed.
- Urban Teaching Apprenticeship Program M.S.Ed.
- Urban Teaching Residency Program M.S.Ed.
- Independent School Teaching Residency
- About Amazon (English)
- About Amazon (日本語)
- About Amazon (Français)
- About Amazon (Deutsch)
- About Amazon (Italiano)
- About Amazon (Polski)
- About Amazon (Español)
- About Amazon (Português)
Amazon aims to provide free AI skills training to 2 million people by 2025 with its new ‘AI Ready’ commitment
- Facebook Share
- Twitter Share
- LinkedIn Share
- Email Share
- Copy Link copied
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the most transformative technology of our generation. If we are going to unlock the full potential of AI to tackle the world’s most challenging problems, we need to make AI education accessible to anyone with a desire to learn.
That’s why Amazon is announcing “AI Ready,” a new commitment designed to provide free AI skills training to 2 million people globally by 2025. To achieve this goal, we’re launching new initiatives for adults and young learners, and scaling our existing free AI training programs—removing cost as a barrier to accessing these critical skills.
The three new initiatives are:
- Eight new and free AI and generative AI courses
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Generative AI Scholarship, providing more than 50,000 high school and university students globally with access to a new generative AI course on Udacity
- New collaboration with Code.org designed to help students learn about generative AI
The need for an AI-savvy workforce has never been greater. A new study by AWS and research firm Access Partnership found the following:
- Hiring AI-skilled talent is a priority for 73% of employers—but among these, three out of four say they are unable to meet their AI talent needs.
- Employers expect their workers to earn up to 47% more in salaries if they upskill in AI.
- AI will become more integral to the way business is done, with 93% of businesses expecting they will be using AI solutions across their organizations in the next five years.
Amazon is launching AI Ready to help those with a desire to learn about AI and benefit from the tremendous opportunity ahead. The following initiatives are designed to open opportunities to those in the workforce today as well as the future generation.
Free generative AI training for in-demand jobs
To support professionals in the workplace, we’re announcing eight new, free AI and generative AI courses open to anyone and aligned to in-demand jobs. There is something for everyone with courses ranging from foundational to advanced and for business leaders as well as technologists. These courses augment the 80+ free and low-cost AI and generative AI courses and resources provided through AWS .
Courses for business and nontechnical audiences
- Introduction to Generative Artificial Intelligence provides an introduction to generative AI, its applications, and need-to-know concepts, like foundation models. Find it on AWS Educate .
- Generative AI Learning Plan for Decision Makers is a three-course series covering how to plan a generative AI project and build a generative AI–ready organization. Find it on AWS Skill Builder .
- Introduction to Amazon CodeWhisperer teaches participants how to use Amazon’s AI code generator, which produces whole lines of code. Find it on AWS Educate .
Courses for developer and technical audiences
- Foundations of Prompt Engineering introduces the basics of prompt engineering, the practice of designing inputs for generative AI tools, all the way through to advanced prompt techniques. Find it on AWS Skill Builder .
- Low-Code Machine Learning on AWS explores how to prepare data, train machine learning models, and deploy machine learning models, with minimal coding and without deep knowledge of machine learning. Find it on AWS Skill Builder .
- Building Language Models on AWS covers how to use Amazon SageMaker distributed training libraries to build language models and how to fine-tune open source models and foundation models. Find it on AWS Skill Builder .
- Amazon Transcribe—Getting Started explores how to use Amazon Transcribe, a fully managed AI service that converts speech to text using automatic speech recognition technology. Find it on AWS Skill Builder .
- Building Generative AI Applications Using Amazon Bedrock teaches how to use Amazon Bedrock to build generative AI applications. Find it on AWS Skill Builder .
$12 million in generative AI scholarships
Through the AWS Generative AI Scholarship , AWS will provide Udacity scholarships, valued at more than $12 million, to more than 50,000 high school and university students from underserved and underrepresented communities globally.
We want to help as many students as possible. Eligible students can take the new Udacity course Introducing Generative AI with AWS for free. The course, which was designed by AI experts at AWS, introduces students to foundational generative AI concepts and guides them through a hands-on project. Upon successful course completion, students earn a certificate from Udacity to showcase their knowledge to future employers.
Accessible and fun introduction to generative AI with new Hour of Code Dance Party: AI Edition
Amazon is kicking off a new collaboration between Amazon Future Engineer and Code.org to launch Hour of Code Dance Party: AI Edition . During this hour-long introduction to coding and AI, students will create their own virtual music video set to hit songs from artists including Miley Cyrus, Harry Styles, and more.
Students will code their virtual dancer’s choreography and use emojis as AI prompts to generate animated backgrounds. The activity will give participants an introduction to generative AI, including learning about large language models and how they are used to power the predictive analytics responsible for creating new images, text, and more.
Hour of Code will take place globally during Computer Science Education Week, December 4–10, engaging students and teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade. Additionally, AWS is providing up to $8 million in AWS Cloud computing credits to Code.org, which runs on AWS, to further support Hour of Code.
Cloud skills training investment
Amazon’s new AI Ready commitment is in addition to AWS’s commitment to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to provide free cloud computing skills training to 29 million people by 2025, which has already trained more than 21 million people.
Sign up for the weekly Amazon newsletter
5 things you need to know about re:Invent, AWS’s biggest cloud event of the year
AWS announces 6 new projects to help address water scarcity challenges
How AWS is using AI to bring Formula 1 fans closer to the race
How AWS Activate has helped more than 280,000 startups bring their ideas to life
What you need to know about the AWS AI chips powering Amazon's partnership with Anthropic
The founder of an AWS-powered $10 billion startup offers 7 tips on how to navigate a business through tough economic times
5 ways AWS data centers benefit local communities
3 ways AWS is helping to make the internet more secure
Introducing AWS Cloud Institute, a virtual program that trains you to become a cloud developer in as little as one year
- Share full article
Scientists Find First Evidence That Groups of Apes Cooperate
Some bonobos are challenging the notion that humans are the only primates capable of group-to-group alliances.
By Carl Zimmer
If a troop of baboons encounters another troop on the savanna, they may keep a respectful distance or they may get into a fight. But human groups often do something else: They cooperate .
Tribes of hunter-gatherers regularly come together for communal hunts or to form large-scale alliances. Villages and towns give rise to nations. Networks of trade span the planet.
Human cooperation is so striking that anthropologists have long considered it a hallmark of our species. They have speculated that it emerged thanks to the evolution of our powerful brains, which enable us to use language, establish cultural traditions and perform other complex behaviors.
But a new study , published in Science on Thursday, throws that uniqueness into doubt. It turns out that two groups of apes in Africa have regularly mingled and cooperated with each other for years.
“To have extended, friendly, cooperative relationships between members of other groups who have no kinship ties is really quite extraordinary,” said Joan Silk, a primatologist at Arizona State University who was not involved in the study.
The new research comes from long-term observations of bonobos, an ape species that lives in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A century ago, primatologists thought bonobos were a slender subspecies of chimpanzee. But the two species are genetically distinct and behave in some remarkably different ways.
Among chimpanzees, males hold a dominant place in society. They can be extremely violent, even killing babies. In bonobo groups, however, females dominate, and males have never been observed to commit infanticide. Bonobos often defuse conflict with sex, a strategy that primatologists have not observed among chimpanzees.
Scientists made most of their early observations of bonobos in zoos. But in recent years they’ve conducted long-term studies of the apes in the wild.
Martin Surbeck, a behavioral ecologist at Harvard, in 2016 set up a new observational site in the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Working with the Mongandu people who live in neighboring villages, he set out on hikes through the forests in search of bonobos.
On their first scouting trip, Dr. Surbeck was shocked to see what happened when the bonobo group they were following encountered another one. After some excited hooting, the apes settled down into a friendly gathering.
The encounter couldn’t have been more different than what happens between chimpanzee groups. Male chimpanzees typically patrol the boundaries of their ranges, ready to battle males from other groups. They will even climb hilltops to scan the horizon for other groups.
“I just felt very privileged to witness this encounter,” Dr. Surbeck recalled.
After that, Dr. Surbeck and his colleagues came to know the two groups of bonobos very well. They called one group, with 11 adults, Ekalakala. The other group, with 20 adults, came to be known as Kokoalongo.
He and his colleagues observed 95 encounters between the two groups over the course of two years. Some lasted less than an hour, but others lasted days. Once, the Ekalakala and Kokoalongo groups lingered for two weeks before parting ways.
During these mixers, the bonobos behaved much as they would in a single group. They groomed one another, shared food and cooperated to chase away snakes.
Yet the two groups remained distinct. The scientists found no evidence of any offspring from Ekalakala and Kokoalongo apes. The two groups even maintained their own cultures. Although their ranges overlapped, they hunted for different kinds of game. Ekalakala bonobos went after small deer-like mammals called duikers. Kokoalongo bonobos caught squirrels.
Liran Samuni, an expert on chimpanzees at the German Primate Center in Göttingen who joined the Kokolopori research, said that the cooperation between the groups was not just the result of bonobos being friendly in general. “It’s not just random,” she said.
Dr. Samuni and her colleagues found that individual apes from the different groups gradually formed bonds as they offered favors and gifts back and forth. In some cases, two apes from the different groups even formed an alliance to harass a third bonobo.
Dr. Silk hoped that the new research would encourage similar studies elsewhere to see just how widespread this cooperation really is among bonobos. “You always want to see things happening over and over in different populations before you’re really convinced of how important this feature is,” she said.
Those observations may not come any time soon. It’s hard to establish bonobo research sites, and not only because the apes live deep in rainforests. Scientists also have to contend with the internal conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And bonobos, which may number only 15,000 individuals, are threatened by logging and poaching.
Dr. Samuni noted that chimpanzees, with their hostile encounters, are just as closely related to us as bonobos are. Our species resembles both lineages, in different respects. While human groups can cooperate in remarkable ways, they can also organize themselves to fight.
“I wouldn’t say it’s either-or,” Dr. Samuni said. “They are jointly teaching us about our past.”
Carl Zimmer covers news about science for The Times and writes the Origins column . More about Carl Zimmer