Case Studies and the Flipped Classroom
The State University of New York at Buffalo's National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCSTS) is further developing the use of case studies to teach STEM subjects by including the development and use of materials and videos to facilitate a "flipped classroom" design, a teaching method that has shown promise to engage students in a variety of STEM disciplines. In this approach, students learn the subject basics at home by watching short interactive videos, then apply these principles in class to case studies and learn the material in depth. Some video material for this purpose exists from sources such as the Khan Academy, but for the most part new videos are needed that are tailored to the specific goals and content focus of the crucial cases. The project is generating videos for existing cases in key subject areas of general biology that are commonly taught. These subject areas include experimental design, biological molecules, cell structure, DNA structure and function, genetics, evolution, animal and plant anatomy and physiology, health, ecology, and conservation. These topics make up the core of the general undergraduate biology curriculum in this country and are represented by case studies in our peer-reviewed case collection at the NCCSTS. The use of the videos with (or without) the case studies is allowing a diversity of educational and scientific communities to promote active learning, content mastery, and problem solving by students at various academic levels.
This project is being funded jointly by the Directorate for Biological Sciences and the Directorate of Education and Human Resources, Division of Undergraduate Education as part of their efforts to support Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education.