, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 315-336
Date: 13 Mar 2012

Enhancing students’ approaches to learning: the added value of gradually implementing case-based learning

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Previous research has shown the difficulty of enhancing students’ approaches to learning, in particular the deep approach, through student-centred teaching methods such as problem- and case-based learning. This study investigates whether mixed instructional methods combining case-based learning and lectures have the power to enhance students’ approaches to learning, compared to instructional methods using either case-based learning or lectures. A quasi-experimental research was set up using a pre-/post-test design. Participants were 1,098 first-year student teachers taking a course on child development. Statistical analysis showed that students in a gradually implemented case-based setting, in which lectures gradually made way for case-based learning, scored significantly higher on the scales organised studying and effort management and significantly lower on the surface approach, compared to students in a completely case-based setting. Therefore, students in a gradually implemented case-based setting worked in a better organised way and spent more effort and concentration than students who experienced only case-based learning. Nevertheless, the gradually implemented case-based setting did not encourage students to apply deep approaches that aimed at understanding. Quantitative content analysis revealed that students in the gradually implemented case-based setting especially appreciated the variation in teaching methods and the specific combination of lectures and case-based learning.