Science for real life : the use of case studies and online discussions in high school anatomy and physiology

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Montana State University - Bozeman, Graduate School


Students in post-secondary health care programs often utilize case studies as a mechanism for learning and reinforcing content. In addition, students are increasingly taking courses online. Therefore, an action research-based project was undertaken in a high school anatomy and physiology course to identify the impact of case studies and online discussions on content acquisition, student interest and engagement. Two treatment methods were employed across three separate sections of grade twelve anatomy and physiology classes. One treatment included the implementation of case studies entirely in class, while the second treatment duplicated the first treatment but included additional case analysis via online discussions outside of class time. The results suggest that students can acquire new content through the use of case studies and that students generally enjoy and find case studies to be an interesting learning method. In addition, while overall student perceptions of using online discussions were negative, overall student test scores across all three case studies were higher, on average, in the treatment group that included online discussions.




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