What is a Case Study/Case Analysis

Case studies depict real-life situations in which problems need to be solved. Case studies are commonly used methods of problem-based learning. Typically, using this method, teachers aim to develop student reasoning, problem-solving and decision-making skills (Tunny, Papinczak & Young, 2010; Bloomfield & Magney, 2009).

Teachers in higher education are increasingly likely to use case studies, particularly in business, law, medicine and the other health disciplines. Science and engineering teachers have made increasing use of them, as they give students opportunities to engage with current issues in a field, making their learning clearly relevant to real-world situations.

Case study is a powerful learning tool used by a small group of people for solving real-world organisational problems. The group meets to discuss ways to resolve these issues. Case study:

  • thrives on a real and complex crisis requiring group members to draw from and share their experiences to help solve the problem (Garratt, 1997)
  • involves developing problem-solving, teamwork and decision-making skills.
  • allows participants to learn by doing, applying what they have learned to a real organisational issue
  • can achieve multiple results simultaneously within a relatively short period (Serrat, 2008).

An alternative overview

  • A case study is a research methodology that has commonly used in social sciences.
  • A case study is a research strategy and an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon within its real-life context.
  • Case studies are based on an in-depth investigation of a single individual, group or event to explore the causes of underlying principles.
  • A case study is a descriptive and exploratory analysis of a person, group or event.
  • A case study research can be single or multiple case studies, includes quantitative evidence, relies on multiple sources of evidence and benefits from the prior development of theoritical propositions.
  • Case studies are analysis of persons, groups, events, decisions, periods, policies, institutions or other systems that are studied holistically by one or more methods.

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 Example Assessment

Relevant GLO

Task

Review a case related to your profession. Students should analyse the case, identifying problems found.  Analysis of each problem should be supported by facts given in the case, relevant theory and course concepts. Identify alternative solutions to the major problems. Briefly outline each alternative solution and then evaluate it in terms of its advantages and disadvantages. Choose which of the alternative solutions should be adopted, briefly justify your choice, using theory and coursework, explaining how it will solve the major problem/s. Explain how the plan should be implemented and by whom.

Alternatively: Add the following rubric line to a case study already in use.

Sample Rubric Line
CRITERION High Distinction  Distinction  Credit  Pass  Fail 
Exercise professionalism, initiative and judgement in decision making, actions and evaluation in professional practice at the level of a beginning practitioner or professional

Displays professionalism, initiative and judgment to identify which procedures to follow in their profession as expected of a beginning practitioner,

Analyse the practices to evaluate which action/professional practice is appropriate for the situation.

Reflects on performance to support future practice.

Displays professionalism, initiative and judgment to identify which procedures to follow in their profession as expected of a beginning practitioner,

Analyse the practices to evaluate which action/professional practice is appropriate for the situation.

Displays professionalism, initiative and judgment to identify which procedures to follow in their profession as expected of a beginning practitioner,

Explains their decision making and their actions/performance

Displays professionalism, initiative and judgment to identify which procedures to follow in their profession as expected of a beginning practitioner.

Describes their decision making and their actions/performance

Does not identify appropriate actions to take in their profession as a beginning practitioner, to follow procedures within their profession.

Does not describe their decision making and their actions/performance

 

Resources

https://teaching.unsw.edu.au/assessment-case-studies-and-scenarios

http://www.csu.edu.au/__data/assets/word_doc/0010/2536507/Case-analysis-Safety-HSM405.doc

https://ebn.bmj.com/content/21/1/7

Definition of Case Study

https://www.monash.edu/rlo/quick-study-guides/writing-a-case-study