Designing Effective e-Learning Case Studies
By Murray Bourne, 12 Nov 2005
Maish Nichani recently gave an interesting talk on designing e-Learning using case studies.
- Case studies should require students to take action or make a judgement based on what they are given. (based on "Why Wisdom Can't be Told" and Dewey). The case therefore needs to be some kind of emergency - where the student needs to make a decision.
- Harvard's Case In Point (link no longer available) has several good examples of case-based e-learning. It includes the social network of the case (managing performance). However, it is not collaborative - you are on your own.
- "Thin slices" concept - looking at a small slice of the total picture to make analytical decisions
- "Expertise of the masses" - decisions by a group are better than those by individuals
- Psychology for Soccer (by the Football Association at TheFA) is an interesting example of teaching coaching skills by requiring the learner to make decisions in a game. The authentic coaching class looks at the social network (from parents' perspective, other coache's etc). Collaborative example - others' opinions are available.
Critical Decision Method (CDM)
When designing the case, one approach is CDM. We extract thin slices of experience from practitioners - cues and traps. CDM aims to understand the decision requirements of a difficult task, by interviewing an expert. (eg "Give us a non-routine incident where your experience saved the day.") Go back and chunk the event with a timeline. Then go back again - get deeper insights on each slice. "What if" queries, expert-novice differences.
Wagon wheel - could be used to determine the social network of the learning situation.
Decision Requirements Table
- What is the difficult decision?
- Why is it difficult?
- How is the decision made?
- What would a novice do in this situation?
- What instructional materials can help here?
Other techniques discussed were:
- Cues & Trap Inventory Event, Cue & Trap, Description. What instructional materials can help here?
- Weave the story Background: Concept map, wagon wheels, CDM.
Present scenarios - get responses - compare your responses to everyone else's.
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