Case studies are an intuitive way to study a topic, and are a natural complement to the problem based learning we use every day in engineering courses. The practical, real-world grounding of case studies appeals strongly to the engineering way of thinking. The inspiration for our initially exploring case based learning came from our research in developing the coursework for Bioengineering 290/295 in Spring 2014 – In our initial conception of the class, the desire was to find or build these types of case studies into engaging, memorable discussions in class, while at the same time highlighting important course concepts to give a richer, more nuanced picture of the whole story.
There is quite a bit of literature about case based learning – if you are interested in reading more, explore here:
- Douglas Allchin: Problem- and Case-Based Learning in Science: An Introduction to Distinctions, Values, and Outcomes doi: 10.1187/cbe.12-11-0190; CBE Life Sci Educ vol. 12 no. 3364-372
- Teaching with Case Studies; Stanford University Center for Teaching and Learning Newsletter