What Is Case-Based Learning?
Case-based learning suggests that students should be presented with real-life scenarios or cases. This puts students at the center, letting them explore the learning material through examples and come up with solutions and conclusions based on their existing knowledge. As a result, they can grasp the subject matter more effectively and collaborate with their peers. The case-based learning model involves four steps. The first requires the teacher to choose a relevant real-life scenario for the learners to study. Next, the students analyze it and try to understand the presented problem. In the third step, students need to apply what they’ve learned in the lessons to solve the case. Lastly, they have to reflect on the whole process and identify where they need improvement and if they’ve understood the subject. Explore the case-based learning model in greater detail and see why it’s popular in experiential learning circles.
Benefits Of The Case-Based Learning Model
This learning model puts the students in the spotlight and gives them full responsibility for the learning material. This is because they need to combine their existing knowledge with what they’re currently learning to solve a case’s problem, giving them an active role in the learning process. Thus, they understand the subject matter more deeply and can retain what they’ve learned for a longer span of time.
The real cases and examples that have happened or could happen offer a more realistic approach to the lessons. This helps students see the practical side of the subject matter and where it can be applied in real life. As a result, they’re more prepared for relevant situations that may occur in their everyday lives and see how their training ties into their future careers.
The case-based learning model requires students to develop their own solutions to a presented problem, which promotes critical thinking. They need to figure out the details and filter the correct information for analysis, which helps them develop problem-solving skills. This process also helps them enhance their analytical skills, as they learn to gather, read, and use evidence to support their opinions.
Students work in groups to study a case and solve a problem. They become more social and learn to form effective professional relationships with their peers. Also, when they’re working together, they benefit from listening to different perspectives and build teamwork skills. In many respects, the model prepares students to express themselves in front of others and articulate their thoughts and ideas.
Case-based learning can be established inexpensively since educators are able to repurpose what they already have or create low-tech scenarios. Plus, there isn’t any need to invest in physical resources if they use online platforms to develop and distribute the content.
Rather than studying for exams that only require the students to learn the material by heart, in case-based learning, they must actually apply their knowledge to devise a solution. This provides a more accurate assessment of their understanding of the subject matter and ability to use what they’ve learned in the real world. The model also offers more meaningful feedback to the students about their work, so they know what they can do better or where to focus their attention moving forward.
It’s the use of practical scenarios that makes case-based learning so interesting. It’s particularly helpful for students who struggle in traditional classroom settings and easily get bored or distracted. This model also creates a sense of accomplishment for students since there’s often a significant amount of work that goes into solving problems, and they have a sense of pride when they achieve the best outcome and their efforts pay off.
Where Can The Model Be Applied?
The case-based learning model is used in medical schools to teach students about treatments and diagnoses. The students are shown real-life cases of patients and must study them to find the information that matters, make the diagnosis, and then apply what they’ve learned to find the right treatment.
In law schools, the model is used to teach students to analyze legal cases. After reviewing past or current cases, they have to identify the legal issues and create valid arguments based on their understanding of the appropriate laws and legal principles.
Business schools use this model to present their students with cases for business development or other management issues. Then, the students need to assess the situation and come up with a business strategy that can help the organization overcome challenges and achieve its objectives.
Students are shown real-life cases of patients and need to identify the mental disorder or underlying issues that require the help of a professional. Then, they can plan the treatment and even create a script for a therapy session with the patients involved in the cases.
How To Implement The Case-Based Learning Model
Identify The Learning Objectives
Before choosing the cases they want to share with the students, educators need to know what they’re trying to achieve with them. Every scenario should be relevant to the field of study and the specific learning goals of each student.
Select Appropriate Cases
Educators should also ensure that the cases are challenging enough to enhance students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In addition, the scenarios can be tailored to meet the needs of the students since not everyone has the same learning preference and different people are able to perform at different difficulty levels.
The most important part of case-based learning is for educators to offer support during the case-solving process to ensure that students understand the steps they must take. Guidance can be provided through lectures, discussions, and feedback on their performance so far.
Evaluate Student Performance
The last step in the process is for educators to develop assessment tools that will help them identify whether the students have met their learning goals and have reached the lessons’ desired results. Those tools can include written assignments, presentations, group essays, or even oral exams.
Case-based learning is an effective approach, as it focuses on the students’ abilities to apply their newfound knowledge and tie it into their preexisting base. However, educators should be aware of the limitations and challenges associated with this model. For example, the process can be time-consuming if the subject matter is more complex and multifaceted. If you’re considering hiring an outsourcing partner to launch your case-based learning strategy, check out our list of top eLearning content providers.