June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.344.1 - 14.344.9
Comparing the lecture method with case teaching method in a mechanical
As engineering education has moved from didactic instruction to more learner-centered
methodologies, new and innovative techniques are being used to teach students1. In this paper,
we present results from a study conducted in two mechanical engineering courses at a large mid-
western university on the influence of case-based instruction on students’ attitudes and beliefs on
their own learning and engagement when compared to the traditional lecture method.
Specifically, participants completed a nine-item survey comparing the two teaching approaches.
The data produced mixed results as the majority of participants felt they were more engaged and
active when case teaching method was used, but felt they learned more from the traditional
I. Case-based Instruction
Case-based instruction has its roots in legal education, where it has been used for over a
century to portray the complex and ill-structured nature of real world issues1. Other professional
fields (such as, medicine and business education) have also adopted case-based approaches to
help students deal with the dilemmas and uncertainties presented in their complex profession2.
Case studies promote an active style of investigation that helps students to better succeed in the
“real world” 3.
Barrows highlighted that problem-based learning methods, such as case-based
instruction, help students acquire knowledge rooted in the discipline and develop problem-
solving skills3. In addition, the use of case studies has been hypothesized to increase student
engagement, motivation, and participation in classes. A national survey of science faculty
Yadav, A., & Shaver, G., & Meckl, P. (2009, June), Comparing The Lecture Method With The Case Teaching Method In A Mechanical Engineering Course Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5314
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