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An Investigation of Student Impressions of the Case Study Teaching Method

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Investigating Instructional Strategies

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

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Paper Authors


Stephanie Luster-Teasley North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Stephanie Luster-Teasley is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Departments of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, and Chemical, Biological, and Bioengineering. Over the last ten years, Dr. Luster-Teasley has demonstrated excellence in teaching by using a variety of research-based, student-centered, pedagogical methods to increase diversity in STEM. Her teaching and engineering education work has resulted in her receiving the 2013 UNC Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award, which is the highest teaching award conferred by the UNC system for faculty.

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Sirena C. Hargrove-Leak Elon University

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Sirena Hargrove-Leak is an Associate Professor in the Dual-Degree Engineering Program at Elon University in Elon, NC. The mission and commitment of Elon University have led her to explore the scholarship of teaching and learning in engineering and service-learning as a means of engineering outreach. With all of her formal education in chemical engineering, she also has interests in heterogeneous catalysis for fine chemical and pharmaceutical applications and membrane separations.

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Willietta Gibson Bennett College

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Willietta Gibson is an Associate Professor of Biology at Bennett College in Greensboro, NC. Dr. Gibson’s research interests include breast cancer health disparities amongst African-American women, natural products as chemo- preventive agents in breast cancer and undergraduate STEM education. She has a deep passion for teaching, mentoring and increasing the number of underrepresented minorities entering into STEM graduate programs.

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Case studies are used extensively in medical, law, and business schools to help students understand how theory applies to actual events or situations. This work explores the impact of the use of case studies in an environmental engineering laboratory, introductory engineering course, introductory biology seminar course, and upper level biology course. Motivations for implementing the cases include determining how case studies teaching impacts students’ ability to carry out a scientific investigation (from hypothesis to data analysis to discussion of results) and if the results correlate to students’ learning style preferences. This work is part of a continuing funded investigation of the use of case studies with the potential to contribute to the body of knowledge related to the use of learning styles assessments in educational practice across a variety of disciplines. The full study includes quantitative and qualitative assessments in the form of surveys, focus groups with students, and evaluation of student work (lab reports or oral presentations) for quality and content by two external reviewers. Student learning styles (active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal and sequential/global) were also assessed using the Index of Learning Styles Survey (ILSS) by Felder and Solomon. Data was collected at three different institutions: a public, land-grant minority serving institution, a private minority serving liberal arts college for women, and a private, predominantly white liberal arts college. A control group of students experienced a traditional laboratory or seminar and an intervention group experienced case studies to cover the same content. For this work, institutional survey data collected over two years assessing student impressions of the case study method were evaluated to determine if the responses vary by institution type. Early data reveals some interesting demographic trends and possible reasons for the behavior are discussed.

Luster-Teasley, S., & Hargrove-Leak, S. C., & Gibson, W. (2017, June), An Investigation of Student Impressions of the Case Study Teaching Method Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27585

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