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Mitchell, R. The Complementary Benefits of Cases and Simulations. Page 2 of 6.


Listed below are some advantages that seem to be shared by both methods. The list was developed from the references cited and also contains my inferences about attributes that are characteristic of both methods. This is followed by two lists of possibly distinct advantages characteristic of each method.

Common advantages for cases and simulations:

Both methods

  • Integrate various courses and topics into an interdisciplinary framework, allowing better application in the future (Walter, et al., 1997)
  • Encourage critical thinking and require thoughtful reasoning and analysis (Ejigiri, 1994; Li & Baillie, 1993; Lundeberg, 1999; Lynn, 1999; Merseth, 1999; Wasserman, 1994)
  • Improve decision-making skills (Fripp, 1993; Teach, 1993; Wasserman, 1994)
  • Present complexity and ambiguity, similar to real-life situations, in which there is seldom a single "correct" answer (Einsiedel, 1995; Friedman, 1995; Fripp, 1993; Grupe & Jay, 2000)
  • Build skills in selecting strategies (Knotts & Keys, 1997)
  • Enhance interpersonal and teamwork skills (Dukes, 1997
  • )
  • Involve active/experiential learning (Barnes, et al., 1994; Christensen, et al., 1991; Desiraju, 2001; Grupe & Jay, 2000; Niemeyer, 1995)
  • Facilitate the transfer of skills to work settings by supplying contexts built on existing knowledge, by reconnecting students with the problem, and by reflecting real-world experiences (Ejigiri, 1994; Li & Baillie, 1993; Niemeyer 1995)
  • Require involvement as a participant rather than a somewhat neutral observer (Grupe & Jay, 2000)
  • Promote individual discovery from the learner's own perspective (Dukes, 1997)
  • Improve writing with appropriate assignments (Lundeberg, 1999; Teach, 1993)

1 2 3 4 5 Selected References

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