IIS-ALT: Collaborative Case Studies in Problem-Based Learning for CISE

Project: Research project

Project Details


Recent innovations in CISE (computer and information science and engineering) curricula and educational infrastructures have focused on collaborative group projects that closely model the work of CISE professionals. Students are asked to identify what needs to learned to solve a problem, to organize a solution process, applying knowledge creatively, and to reflect on what they did and what they learned. Realistic learning activities and materials are intrinsically motivating to students because they constantly remind learners of the possibilities for meaningfully applying knowledge and skills in the world beyond the classroom. Moreover, learning with others naturally allows students to engage knowledge and skill in the context of using it to describe, explain, listen, negotiate, and interpret. The PIs will investigate the technological feasibility and pedagogical effectiveness of collaborative case-based learning in the CISE curriculum. Case studies of actual system development projects put CISE course content into vivid contexts that engage students, many of whom see system development as a potential career. Our research hypothesis is that it is motivating and effective for students to be able to collaboratively read and annotate, understand and discuss, apply and elaborate, analyze and report on case studies directly in their learning environment whether they are face-to-face or apart. Assessing this research hypothesis requires innovations in both case-based learning and collaborative systems technology. The researchers will investigate new designs for case study information structures, for problem-based case study activities, and for assessment techniques to measure collaborative case based learning outcomes. They will also develop and investigate new approaches for teams to collaborate with case-based content by enhancing activity awareness in group projects involving a significant series of synchronous and asynchronous work sessions and by supporting end-user configuration, annotation and authoring. Although case study resources are widely used, and frequently distributed via the Internet, no one has yet investigated computer support for such integrated collaborative case-based learning activities. This research group has experience in both case-based pedagogy and in collaborative systems technology.

Effective start/end date10/1/079/30/12


  • National Science Foundation: $540,463.00


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