USG Teaching and Learning Conference: Best Practices for Promoting Engaged Student Learning
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Wednesday, April 8 • 11:00am - 11:45am
Using Case Studies to Develop Students’ Critical-Thinking Skills

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Paula Lemons, Maya Firsowicz, Joshua Abad

Case studies consist of real or realistic problems in science. Students working on a case collaborate with peers to integrate multiple sources of information and apply their knowledge to novel questions. Compared with traditional lectures, case study teach­ing improves retention of conceptual understanding and de­velopment of reasoning, problem-solving, and higher-order cognitive skills. Even though active-learning pedagogies, like case study teaching, have been shown to improve student learning, many college instructors struggle to implement these pedagogies due to significant barriers, such as insufficient time for curriculum development and a lack of training in managing an active classroom. In this session, we will work through a case study used in an introductory biochemistry course, including discussing how to prepare to manage small-group work and to respond to students’ misconceptions. We will identify barriers to case study instruction in participants’ courses and brainstorm solutions. Finally, we will consider how colleagues can provide support in our teaching, particularly as we attempt to sustain implementation of active-learning pedagogies.


Paula Lemons

Professor, University of Georgia
I conduct discipline based education research with a focus on biochemistry learning, pedagogy, and assessment. I also investigate the impact of teaching professional development on college science faculty, and I lead institutional change efforts that work at the course, department... Read More →

Wednesday April 8, 2015 11:00am - 11:45am EDT
Room C
  Concurrent Session, Developing Students' Critical Thinking Skills
  • RETA Winner - Paula Lemons - 2015 Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award Winner

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