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Course Activities: Case and Field Study Approach

Toby is a 4 year old beagle. The past few weeks he has been exhibiting signs of ...

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is one of the largest manufacturers, distributors, and marketers of nonalcoholic beverages in the world...

Virtual Field Trip Three follows the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions...

A type of problem-based learning, case and field studies involve learners in real-world applications of course content. Seek ways to apply course content to an authentic learning situation.

Case Studies

A case study is a "real world" example of the content in action. The case study approach involves students in analyzing real or fictional cases in detail.

Explore examples at Shaping Outcomes.

A great way to bridge theory and practice, case studies are a practical way to help students practice course content. You're also able to see how learners apply information and demonstrate understandings in authentic situations.

Rather than looking for a "right" answer, students are encouraged to consider varied points of view.

You can build fictional cases by combining real-world media with fictional scenarios. For instance, watch the YouTube video Red Shirting Kindergartners. This video could be incorporated into an activity for school administrators exploring how to handle PR issues.

Websites such as Edutopia provide lots of articles, audio, video, and lesson materials. For instance Differentiated Instruction Ignites Elementary Learning is an example of a resource with video.

Case Study Assignments. Present a specific situation or set of facts. Ask students to analyze the case:

Ideas for Case Studies. Consider some the following ideas:

Case Studies and Critical Thinking. Encourage students to be critical thinkers who:

Examples to Explore. Below you'll find a few examples of case studies.

Field Studies and Experiences

A field experience asks students to make observations in a setting that reflects course content. For instance students might visit a museum and review works of art. Or, observe the social interactions at a local mall.

Students might shadow a professional for a day. The key is connecting course content with activities that will bring content alive.

Some projects focus on a particular shared experience such as an annual event, field trip, or school-wide activity. It might also involve connecting with students in other locations for a virtual experience.

Tools for Field Study. Consider using the following tools to record experiences and observations:

Examples to Explore. Below you'll find a few examples of case studies.

To find more examples, do a Google search for your topic and add the word "case study", "field study", or "field experience".

Virtual Field Study

Sometimes it's not possible to go on a live field trip. Consider ways to use virtual resources and data sets for these kinds of activities.

Examples of online data source materials:

The case study approach involves students in analyzing real or fictional cases in detail.

apply itApply It!
Explore examples of case studies and field experiences.

List the pros and cons of using this approach with your content.

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