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Learning Enhancement and Development

Session 3F - Paper 1

Implementing Case-Based learning: Hitches, Hurdles and Highlights

Session Slides

Ms Lucy Myers - City, University of London, School of Health Sciences
Mr Santanu Vasant - City, University  of London, Learning Enhancement and Development

This paper will share a project aimed at incorporating case-based learning into large group (100 students) teaching. It will describe and evaluate the evolution, methods and outcomes of the project including discussion of problems, solutions and on-going, currently unresolved issues.

Case-based learning is a well-established pedagogical approach used across a range of disciplines.  Within healthcare training it can be defined as a “learning and teaching approach that aims to prepare students for clinical practice, through the use of authentic clinical cases. These cases link theory to practice, through the application of knowledge to the cases” (Thistlethwaite et al 2012 p434). Case-based learning encourages students to actively engage in learning activities which are thought to promote deeper and more meaningful learning (İlgüy et al 2014).  Case-based learning typically takes place in small groups (Srinivasan et al 2007), although has also been used in online and large group contexts (Thistlethwaite et al 2012).

This paper describes the development of case-based teaching approaches within pre-registration undergraduate and postgraduate Speech and Language Therapy courses.  The project focussed on developing an already existing 14 hour lecture strand which focussed on one topic within speech and language therapy practice.  Traditionally the course was delivered as 7 two hour lecture sessions which incorporated some case material in the form of video and short case vignettes with associated in-lecture activities.  The assessment for the postgraduate students consists of a case-based exam and the undergraduate students complete short essay questions where they are required to apply knowledge to a clinical situation.

The initial focus of the project was to develop self-directed online resources for students to use outside of the face to face sessions to support and extend their learning.  However due to issues with the online resources and the response to traditional teaching methods from the group to be described, the case-based materials and activities were introduced into the face to face sessions.  The paper will describe the process, present data on student response to the change in format of the lectures, consider the impact on the student’s final assessment outcomes.  Implications of the project outcomes for other disciplines will be discussed in terms of developing opportunities to apply knowledge to real life situations within a traditional lecture format and incorporating group activities into large group teaching.

By the end of the session participants will have:
*An overview of the strengths and drawbacks of incorporating case-based learning into online and large group teaching settings
*An overview of how case-based learning might be incorporated into online and large group teaching


İlgüy, M., İlgüy, D., Fişekçioğlu, E. and Oktay, İ., 2014. Comparison of case-based and lecture-based learning in dental education using the SOLO Taxonomy. Journal of dental education, 78(11), pp.1521-1527.

Srinivasan, M., Wilkes, M., Stevenson, F., Nguyen, T. and Slavin, S., 2007. Comparing problem-based learning with case-based learning: effects of a major curricular shift at two institutions. Academic Medicine, 82(1), pp.74-82.

Thistlethwaite, J.E., Davies, D., Ekeocha, S., Kidd, J.M., MacDougall, C., Matthews, P., Purkis, J. and Clay, D., 2012. The effectiveness of case-based learning in health professional education. A BEME systematic review: BEME Guide No. 23. Medical teacher, 34(6), pp.e421-e444.