PROMOTING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND DEEPER LEARNING WITH CASE STUDIES

J. Alandejani

Northern Border University (SAUDI ARABIA)
As much as students need knowledge in core subjects, they also need skills that will help them be successful in professional and personal lives. For example, every professional needs effective communication skills and the ability to engage in critical decision-making and problem solving. Case studies engage students in reading, writing, critical thinking, problem solving, and cooperative activities, and can also bridge the gap between theory and practice, providing students with the opportunity to catch glimpses of the world outside of academia. Everything, however, begins with engagement, i.e., (to what extent students are immersed in the exploration of a particular case). This study examined students’ levels of engagement and attempted to determine whether there was a difference between graduate and undergraduate students’ levels of engagement. Further, how instructors use the case study method to engage students in their classrooms. The findings indicated that graduate students were significantly more engaged during class sessions than undergraduate students. Moreover, it was evident that more challenging cases promote greater interest in learning, especially among academically advanced students.