The use of case study teaching and group work to promote autonomous learning, transferable skills and attendance

Karianne Backx

Abstract


The project aimed to promote autonomous learning through the implementation of group work and a case study approach to teaching in a large class size, year one module. The module was evaluated by the students through a structured questionnaire. These evaluations were compared to the student evaluations of the same module, taught in a more traditional way in the previous year, therefore involving a different cohort. This ensured that the effectiveness of the case study approach to teaching was checked and compared to the traditional methods of teaching, rather than following a cohort of students, who might have matured in terms of their ‘learning to learn’ ability. Assessment by student response reinforced the effectiveness of cooperative-learning strategies compared to the traditional lecture-based classroom in terms of their perceptions of enhanced autonomous learning, transferable skills and increasing their attendance. A significant difference was observed between groups for the questions related to the ‘learning process’ (p <0.001). Specifically students felt more able to work independently, using effective planning and time management skills, and were better at evaluating their own performance through self-appraisal and reflection within the intervention group. The group taught through traditional methods reported significantly lower levels of satisfaction with their ability to work in groups than the intervention group (p <0.001), the intervention group also felt that more transferable skills were gained during the module (p <0.001), rated the quality of the module as a whole significantly higher (p <0.01) and also felt they learnt more on this module compared to other modules than the traditional taught group (p <0.001).

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