Scenario 4A - Case Study

Practice sharing behaviours in health science are frequently based on case study approaches. The way case studies are implemented can vary a lot, from teacher centred cases, where the teacher illustrates exemplar practice, to cases used to trigger problem solving by the students under the teacher’s guidance with a problem-based learning approach, to the so-called “unfolding case studies” [26] [27], where the patient and his/her family and household are the focus of attention and a fully-fledged inquiry process is carried out collaboratively by teacher and students, thus simulating real-life behaviour of expert staff. Unfolding case studies lend themselves very well to foster not only the learning of declarative knowledge, procedural skills and know-how, but also ethical conduct, an often neglected aspect of nursing education [28].

Whatever the approach adopted, case studies are a very effective way to share practice between teachers and students, both in formal and informal contexts, based as they are on authentic problem solving scenarios. In your course, you can give a case and provide your students with the solution for them to discuss, or ask them to analyse the case and try to work out a solution, collaboratively or individually. You can also combine the two.

Collaborative learning approaches fit very well with case studies, and almost all the collaborative techniques can be adopted to scaffold the learning process (see T3 “How can I support collaboration among FCNs in my online course?”  for more details about collaborative techniques). 

For example, the Debate technique (see scenario 3E “Debate”) can be implemented by devoting the first phase to individual analysis of the case and the second phase to the collaborative production of the case solution. Alternatively, a Peer Review (see scenario 3A “Peer Review”) could be implemented where the first phase is devoted to developing individual case solutions, the second to producing feedback on one or more solutions produced in the first phase and the third is devoted to implementing changes to the original solution based on the feedback received. Another example is the application of a Role Play (see scenario 3C “Role Play”) to implement the case study, where different roles correspond to the different medical professionals needed to solve the case. Different solutions provided by the students can also be compared with one another through a pyramid technique to trigger discussion on possible alternatives and produce a synthesis. The Jigsaw technique (see scenario 3B “Jigsaw”) could be used to split among different students the different aspects of the case that need to be analysed in the Expert groups and then ask the Jigsaw groups to devise a solution that takes into consideration all of the aspects analysed. 

Whatever collaborative technique you use, the case study implementation might happen in synchronous or asynchronous mode. 

FORUM. If you opt for asynchronous communication, you will need a forum. Watch the following video to learn how to set up a forum. 



WEBINAR. If you opt for asynchronous communication, you will need a webinar. Watch the following videos to learn how to set up a webinar or a webinar with breakout rooms. 





Last modified: Thursday, 17 December 2020, 2:51 PM