Effectiveness of case studies: a survey of learners' perspectives and learning styles

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for an Unknown Future Vol. 26

July, 2003, 692 pages
Published by
Helen Mathews and Rod McKay
ISBN
0 90 8557 55 8
Abstract 

With the object of improving thinking and problem-solving skills amongst its students, the School of Info-Communications Technology (ICT) at Singapore Polytechnic introduced case studies as an instructional strategy for most of the modules taught in the school. In this paper we report a survey of the views of ICT students on the use of case study as an instructional method. In addition, we investigate the students’ learning styles and determine if the use of case study is preferred by students with any particular learning style. Two questionnaires were administered to 79 students studying the Diploma in Information Technology (DIT) and Diploma in Multimedia Technology (DMMT) in the School of ICT at Singapore Polytechnic. The first questionnaire surveyed the students' learning styles and classified them according to three main styles: visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. The second questionnaire surveyed the students' perceptions on the use of case study as an instructional method for the Database Management Systems (DBMS) module. The results of the survey show that a very large number of ICT students support the idea of case based learning. However, students are sceptical about adopting case based learning extensively in the polytechnic. The paper concludes with a discussion about how case based learning could be introduced across the whole polytechnic and the implications for teaching, curriculum design and assessments.

Keywords: Learning styles (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic); case-based learning.

Effectiveness of case studies: a survey of learners' perspectives and learning styles

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Ho, J. & Leong-Wee, H.