Table 3

Faculty-reported themes regarding attributes of case-based learning (columns A and B) and translation of themes to case development (C)

AttributeA) Pertaining to FacultyB) Pertaining to StudentsC) Translation to Case Development
Relative advantage
  • + Provides active learning of didactic information

  • + Increases critical thinking skills

  • + Interactive/interesting

  • + Reflects real-world application

  • Threaded questions throughout case studies to increase active learning

  • Developed cases using video in order to capture interest and model realistic verbal and non-verbal communication

Compatibility
  • − Some courses are not conducive to case studies

  • + Already used in at least some courses so students are familiar with case format

  • + Case studies are included as part of national board exams

  • + Students prefer online learning

  • Developed cases to “fit” for use in a variety of courses within the curriculum

  • Incorporated multiple-choice questions similar to national board exams

  • Developed cases for online use

Complexity
  • − Difficult to develop accurate/realistic cases

  • Developed four cases to provide a variety of opportunities with differential diagnoses and patient communication

Observability
  • − Challenging to gauge on student learning and know if case was completed

  • − Need to provide students with feedback

  • Instant feedback is provided responses to questions

  • Included printable certificate of completion

Communicability
  • − Web-based can be a challenging way of effectively communicating information

  • + Web-based is an easy way for students to access and retrieve information

  • Cases are self-contained within a larger online didactic program, making related materials and information easy to access

Time
  • − Time-consuming to develop

  • − Time-consuming to complete in class

  • Created cases online with quiz completion certificate so that students can complete cases outside of the classroom

  • Note: Themes based on results from focus groups and interviews with dental and dental hygiene faculty members conducted in Phase 1 of the current study.

  • + refers to positive characteristics of case-based learning

  • − refers to negative characteristics of case-based learning