The effect of case-based learning in a high school anatomy and physiology class on student motivation, higher-order thinking skills, and college readiness

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Montana State University - Bozeman, Graduate School


This study considers the effectiveness of case-based learning (CBL) on student motivation, the development of higher-order thinking skills, and college preparedness in a high school anatomy and physiology classroom. Data was collected over four units of study; one of which acted as a non-treatment group, two were treatment groups that used CBL once during the unit to help solidify the information being taught, and one treatment group used CBL as the main method to teach the students the content of the unit. Surveys, interviews, classroom monitoring, pretests, and posttests were all used as means to collect data. They compared the engagement levels, the skills developed for career and college readiness, and critical thinking skills of students using traditional methods versus CBL. From the data collected, there was no conclusive evidence to support an improvement in college preparedness. Student motivation and engagement increased slightly for CBL and there was a definite improvement in higher-order thinking skills after the use of any CBL throughout these units.




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