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Comparing The Lecture Method With The Case Teaching Method In A Mechanical Engineering Course

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.344.1 - 14.344.9



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Paper Authors

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Aman Yadav Purdue University

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Gregory Shaver Purdue University

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Peter Meckl Purdue University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Comparing the lecture method with case teaching method in a mechanical

engineering course.


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

lecture method.

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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