Case Study is the Most Effective Method to Learn Highly Complex Material Form

Posted on June 5, 2013 · Posted in How to Study

When students are trying to learn highly complex material form, many of them use a Case Study, which is the most effective method because it brings the material into real life – or at least something they can relate to that makes sense.  These Case Study scenarios generally contained detail information and allow the students to analyze the context of the case and relate to a vast selection of topics.   They can be extended into real-life circumstances where an assortment of ideas can grow and students have the ability to come up with alternative solutions rather than just the one presented in the case.  There are numerous researchers who prefer to use this methodology in the pursuit of their research topic.

Case Study is the Most Effective Method to Learn Highly Complex Material Form

Steps to Use

There are a lot of different tracks that students can take when they embark on a Case Study analysis, and many different ideas of what is the most effective method.  Each student will develop their own individual technique in order to determine the methodology that is best suited to their own style.  Here are some steps to consider when starting with this form of study:

  1. Identify the Topic – The best way to start is to identify the topic and begin to list the questions that should arise during the research.  It helps to form ideas about the topic that leads to more questions and more ideas in order to discover the purpose of the Case StudyIn most cases these are “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, or “why” questions.
  2. Establish the Technique Used to Collect the Data – The next logical step is to ascertain how the data is to be gathered.  Is the data to be gathered utilizing “real-life” sampling?  How many cases are to be studied?  Decide what constitutes “valid” data.  Are the studies supposed to be completely unique or should by be similar or typical?  Are the cases limited to one geographic region, or one type of product?  When establishing the appropriate technique, always refer back to the purpose of the Case Study to ensure the progress is continuing on the right track.
  3. Be Organized and have a plan to Handle the Amount of Data Collected – Have a plan of where to store the data and a plan of how the data is to be documented during the process.  For many using this method, there are extreme amounts of data that comes in, and the students can become overwhelmed by the quantity of data being thrown at them.    Make sure that clear procedures are established in gathering the data, and appropriate protocols are used. Be sure to have guidelines of categorizations of the data and clear definition of where the data is to be catalogued.  For many, doing a small sampling and test run is a great way to start and weed out those annoying areas that were forgotten so that when actually in the real collection process these unexpected pieces can be easily handled.
  4. Accumulate the Data – It’s totally impossible to prepare for every contingency, but be as prepared as possible when the actual data collection begins. Continue to return to the purpose, and tweak the process and protocol as unexpected situations arise to ensure that the data collection is “clean” and “organized”.  Be prepared for unexpected changes in organizing the data, and for that wild card to be thrown into the mix as well.  Make sure every piece of data is properly documented, classified, and cross referenced to be as efficient in the analysis phase as possible.
  5. Examine the Information – Pull the data together, and evaluate the data that has been collected.  Look for the proof that pulls the data to the questions being asked at the beginning.  Be prepared to use multiple techniques to analyze the data, and remain open to new and unexpected outcomes.  Be sure to look for patterns as well as data sampling that are totally outside the ordinary or predictable.
  6. Write the Report – Remember that the goal of the report is to be understood by those who will read the Case Study.  It should be logical, factual, and have sufficient supporting evidence that allowed the conclusions to be reached.  Be critical of the final document to ensure it is complete, both technically and grammatically.

Successful Completion

When research topics are determined, one of the best ways to “argue” the conclusion is with a thorough Case Study.  When the data is gathered with the utmost integrity, is organized, and presented allowing the same conclusion to be reached, the study is considered to be successful.Natural memory enhancer