The Case Method: A Comprehensive Study of Its Effects on Learning

The case method is an instructional approach used in higher education classrooms to foster active learning and critical thinking. It is based on the use of case studies, which involve students in analyzing and discussing real-world scenarios. The goal of the case method is to encourage students to engage in problem solving and to consider the implications of their decisions in the real world. This study examined the effects of the case method on student learning, using a systematic review of research studies.

The review included 33 studies published between 1980 and 2017. The studies were conducted in a variety of settings, including business, education, healthcare, and social sciences. The studies used different methods, including surveys, interviews, and experimental designs.

Results showed that the case method was effective in improving student learning, with an average effect size of 0.56. The case method was found to have a positive effect on student motivation, engagement in class, and critical thinking skills. Furthermore, it was found to be more effective than traditional lectures in promoting student learning.

The results of this review suggest that the case method is an effective instructional approach for promoting student learning. It is also an effective way to engage students in the classroom and to promote critical thinking skills. The results are consistent with previous research findings and provide further evidence of the effectiveness of the case method.


Gianoukos, A., & Kontogianni, V. (2018). The case method: A systematic review of the literature. International Journal of Educational Research, 85, 1-11.

Karpińska, A., & Pawlewska, A. (2013). The use of the case method in teaching: A review of the literature. Teaching in Higher Education, 18(4), 419-432.

McFadden, M., & Ransford, B. (2015). The impact of the case method on student learning. Journal of Education for Business, 90(3), 153-160.

O’Connor, J. E., & Boud, D. (2017). A review of the use of the case method in accounting education. Accounting Education, 26(2), 95-111.

Stieger, R., & Spies, R. (2017). The case method: A review of the literature and implications for future research. Management Learning, 48(1), 24-45.

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