Enhancing Case-Based Learning In Large Enrollment Online Courses

  • Larisa Olesova George Mason University
  • Keith Renshaw George Mason University
  • Justin Ramsdell George Mason University


Location: JC Room D

Case-based approach as an approach proved to support studentsâ learning in and out of the course. It also gives them an opportunity to share their voices while discussing possible solutions. Moreover, case-based instruction in asynchronous online courses has become one of the most effective instructional strategies to support students in their learning how to solve real-world problems. However, this approach could bring more issues and challenges when it is integrated in large enrollment courses and, specifically, in asynchronous online learning environment. This panel discussion will overview techniques and tips to support studentâs learning through case-based approach for large enrollment online courses for undergraduate students. Two introductory online courses in Psychology Online Program will serve as examples of how faculty facilitated cases at different levels of complexity. Particularly, an introductory online course PSYC 100 "Basic Concepts in Psychology" with enrollment of 150 students will serve as a practical example of structuring studentsâ group work when they discussed and solved different types of cases. Students worked in groups of 20 students with assigned summarizes roles throughout the fall semester. At the end of each collaborative work the group summaries were posted on class discussion board that all students could view and read other groups' work. This approach increased students' engagement and interaction throughout the week. They were able to create online community during semester while working in their own private groups. The course instructor will share recommendations how case discussions can be facilitated for 150 students and when instructional feedback should be provided. In this specific course, the course instructor provided different types of feedback including text-based feedback and video feedback. Finally, the course instructor will overview assessment of large enrollment course with case-based approach. Specifically, the course instructor will share and discuss examples of grading rubric and timeline. Faculty who are interested in using case-based approach at low and medium levels of complexity will benefit from this panel discussion. The second introductory online course PSYC 380 "Forensic Psychology" with enrollment of 50 students will serve as example of how to design cases for cooperative and collaborative learning. Students in this online course also worked in groups of 25 students. The PSYC 380 course design was similar to the previous course âBasic Concepts in Psychologyâ design but with some revisions and changes based on students' feedback. However, in PSYC 380, the design of case-based discussions were enhanced with debates where students were required to agree or disagree with solutions. Similarly, to PSYC 100, students-summarizes collected the group responses and posted the final summary on class discussion board. This approach proved to be effective and helpful because all students were able to view othersâ work. The course instructor will share what types of cases were used and why; and how cases were facilitated and assessed. Finally, presenters will share the end-of-semester studentsâ evaluations and the course learning analytics as evidence of case-based design effectiveness for large enrollment courses. The conference participants will be able to join discussions of how they can implement case-based learning in their online courses.

Author Biographies

Larisa Olesova, George Mason University

Larisa Olesova is Senior Instructional Designer in Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning at George Mason University.

Keith Renshaw, George Mason University

**2015 University Teaching Excellence Award Winner**

Keith D. Renshaw, Ph.D. is Department Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology, and Chair of the Faculty Senate, at George Mason University.

Justin Ramsdell, George Mason University

**2019 University Teaching Excellence Award Winner**

Dr. Ramsdell is an Assistant Professor of psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. In addition to teaching psychology at the undergraduate level he also works as a forensic psychologist; serving as an expert witness consultant, primarily in cases involving law enforcement officer use of force and crisis de-escalation with individuals experiencing mental health crises. He also serves as a trainer for federal and local government law enforcement agencies and local police Crisis Intervention Teams.

2:45pm-3:25pm Mini-Workshops, Panels, & Roundtables