Introduction To Case Study Development And Use For Engaged Learning

  • Cara Frankenfeld George Mason University


Location: JC Room B

Case studies can be a powerful and effective means by which to engage students through the process of learning towards a goal or goals. Case studies provide an instructional method that further allows students to incorporate material from different parts of a course into a practical application. For some disciplines, there a large repository of cases that teachers can use. However, sometimes they are not ideal for the specific objectives of a course or, in the case of some disciplines, there is a dearth of existing case studies. The development of case studies for a course allows the teacher to focus and align material with the needs and experiences of his/her/their students, and utilization of case studies that rely on freely accessible material reduce barriers to access. Case studies in the classroom can be adapted in ways that are useful in Active Learning Classrooms or take advantage of technology. The objectives of this proposed workshop are to provide teachers with foundational knowledge about the development and use of different types of case studies in the classroom and to provide participants with an opportunity apply this knowledge to their own material. The session is suitable for teachers of undergraduate and graduate students for in-person or on-line formats that are new to developing case studies. The proposed workshop will be divided into four components: 1) theoretical foundations; 2) application; 3) discussion; and, 4) implementation. In the theoretical foundations component, the facilitator will provide an overview of different types of case studies and research-backed information about when and for whom they are most effective. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and the facilitator will be lead a discussion with examples. In the application stage, participants will have a period of time for independent work, following a guided worksheet, to develop an outline and strategy for developing a case study for their own course. In the discussion stage, participants will work in pairs or small groups to share their ideas and provide peer feedback. In the implementation component, participants will return to the full group to hear about tips and tricks for utilizing Blackboard to move cases into an on-line format, which can be useful for assignments or in the instruction of hybrid or fully on-line courses. As the end of the session, participants will leave with an idea and plan for incorporating a case study into one of their courses and know where they can seek additional information and resources for developing and implementing case studies. The proposed facilitator for the session has participated in case study development workshops, completed on-line course development certification, and recently re-designed GCH 762 Environmental Epidemiology with newly developed case studies to target student learning towards specific skill development and knowledge utilization. The workshop will draw upon these experiences and provide participants with theoretical foundation and practical application towards their own teaching.

Author Biography

Cara Frankenfeld, George Mason University

Dr. Frankenfeld is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on understanding the influence on complex exposures on health. She applies advanced quantitative methods to research questions in the areas of nutrition (public health nutrition, microbiome, phytoestrogens), environmental health (chemical exposure), and social determinants of health (residential segregation, spatial factors), with applications across different diseases and health conditions. She teaches courses in epidemiologic methods and biostatistics, and has developed courses across multiple platforms in-class and on-line. She is passionate about identifying ways to engage students in the learning process and reduce barriers to access. Dr. Frankenfeld also applies her epidemiology and biostatistics skills to understand trends in career skills needed for epidemiologists in order to inform her teaching.

1:00pm-2:30pm Workshops