The Living Case: An Intelligent System for Providing Case Instruction
33 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2008
Date Written: September 1991
One of the primary methods of instruction in business education is the case. However, some of the basiclearning goals associated with case instruction are compromised by its form of presentation. We have used newforms of media, involving computing and communication, to build a novel learning environment, the Living Case,which flexibly and interactively presents cases along with dynamic, on-going feedback to students while they work.Key to providing meaningful assistance daring case analysis is the ability to model and interpret student behavior.Several investigations were conducted in order to understand the process of case analysis. Case analysisis characterized as a problem solving activity driven by comprehension and reasoning operators. Twelve hours ofprotocols are analyzed using "retelling profiles" as an interpretation mechanism for further specifying the operatorsinvolved in analyzing a case. Retelling profiles are visual time plots of the activities undertaken in a reading task.Our preliminary results suggest a deeper structure to case analysis which is common across business disciplines,cases, and analysts, and therefore implementable in a system like Living Case. Differences between the analysisstrategies of experts and novices are formalized in terms of the experts' use of "templates" of typical companybehaviors. This provides the basis for building mechanisms to instruct and re-orient case analysts using the LivingCase system.The Living Case system is described along with some of the insights gained during its construction. Futureresearch directions and instructional uses of the system are also discussed.
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