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Mitchell, R. The Complementary Benefits of Cases and Simulations. Page 3 of 6.

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Differential advantages cited for cases:

Cases

  • Encourage higher-order cognitive thinking (Ejigiri, 1994)
  • Introduce theoretical principles and techniques (Einsiedel, 1995; Fripp, 1993) and develop theoretical and applied knowledge (Whiteley & Faria, 1989; Wolfe & Guth, 1975
  • )
  • Enable students to discover and develop their own unique framework for approaching, understanding, and dealing with problems (Barnes, et al., 1994; Williams, 1996) and with unstructured problems in particular (Teach, 1993)
  • Provide opportunities for issue analysis, problem definition, evaluation, and comparison of possible solutions (Einsiedel, 1995)
  • Help students learn from experience, including examples provided by case studies (Einsiedel, 1995)
  • Teach about industries and situations that may be encountered in the future (Niemeyer, 1995)
  • Can reflect the human side of a company (Keys, 1987; Li & Baillie, 1993)
  • Encourage participation, debate, substantive discussions, and the development of support for one's conclusions, and allow immediate feedback on one's conclusions and reasoning (Fripp, 1993; Grupe & Jay, 2000; Levin, 1999; Niemeyer, 1995)
  • Allow students to learn from the different conclusions and logic of others (Grupe & Jay, 2000)
  • Provide direct interaction among students and with the professor (Li & Baillie, 1993)
  • Focus equally on content, process, and the learning climate (Christensen, et al., 1991)
  • Avoid the time loss and distraction typical for students learning computer programs (Fripp, 1993; Li & Baillie, 1993)

Differential advantages cited for simulations:

Simulations

  • Help develop some intuitive skills (Knotts & Keys, 1997)
  • Facilitate the affective aspect of learning (Dukes, 1997)
  • Give students practice in developing alternative choices and in modifying implementation (Knotts & Keys, 1997)
  • Allow students to experience interdependencies among various functional areas and decisions (Fripp, 1993; Smith & Golden, 1994; Tompson & Dass, 2000)
  • Allow students to act in the role of managers with responsibility for results (Li & Baillie, 1993)
  • Permit students to test and see the consequences of their decisions, rather than recommend a course of action without ever knowing the results (Grupe & Jay, 2000; Knotts & Keys, 1997; Li & Baillie, 1993
  • )
  • Require students to adapt to changes and new situations (Teach, 1993)
  • Focus on current rather than past events (Fripp, 1993)
  • Provide more realistic experience by requiring students to make multiple, successive decisions and allowing them to see the results, and by providing concrete feedback (Fripp, 1993; Thiagarajan, 2001; Tompson & Dass, 2000; Zappia, 1986)
  • Provide feedback (results) with internal validity and credibility (Gold & Pray, 1989; Tompson & Dass, 2000)
  • Avoid the possibility of author biases embedded in cases (Grupe & Jay, 2000)
  • Provide more realism, emotional arousal, excitement, and motivation (Dukes, 1997; Fripp, 1993; Li & Baillie, 1993; Prensky, 2000; Tompson & Dass, 2000; Tompson & Tompson 1995; Wolfe & Guth, 1975)

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