Case Study, Research and its Importance:
Case study research is a specific research type of studying any complex issue which can extend the experience of the learner further and add up the strength of the current knowledge after going through previous researches. In this type of research, comprehensive background investigation is conducted of a small quantity of procedures or conditions and relations are identified among them. This research is particularly useful for a social scientist and is based on qualitative research analysis used to examine the current real-life situation and also provides the foundations to apply the ideas and to extend the identified methods.
Steps Involved in Case Study Research:
There are six steps in case study research which are as follows:
Step 1: Establish and describe the study issue
Step 2: Choose the case or subject and decipher the data collection and analysis strategies
Step 3: Prepare yourself to gather the information
Step 4: Gather the information in the field
Step 5: Assess and evaluate the information
Step 6: Develop an account of the whole.
Case Selection and its Structure in the Educational Context:
A standard or an unusual case is frequently considered not the only source of information. It is more practical to select the subjects which are offering some unusual or essentially enlightening set of circumstances. If a case is selected on the basis of representativeness, then it is seldom to produce the insights of these sorts. Whenever a subject is selected for a case study, the researcher has to use the information-oriented procedure for sampling which is different from random sampling. There are three types of cases which can be selected:
- Outlier cases: These are those which are intense, unexpected or out of the ordinary. They reveal more facts than the potentially representative type of cases.
- Key cases: They are selected because of the inherent interest of the researcher in a particular case or the situation which are surrounding it.
- Local Knowledge cases: The researcher has a local in-depth knowledge and they are allowed to ‘soak and poke’ and then to offer the reasoned lines of explanation.
Usage of Case Studies in Educational Research:
- In the development of new theories: Glaser and Strauss presented the Grounded theory in 1967. In the educational context case studies are gaining popularity, especially in educational evaluation. They are particularly used in the development of educational research.
- In Problem-based learning: Case studies are used as a method of teaching and use in the process of professional development.
- In Ethnography Research: It is a type of case study, typically found in communication case studies like term papers.
Limitations in Case Study:
The reviewers believe that this method relates to a small number of cases and there is no authenticity and consistency in the findings. Some of the critics believe that when so much intense concentration is given to a single case then it creates business. Yet it is considered as a research method which is carefully planned and well-developed in real-life situations. A typical example of case from history is the Galileo Galilei’s refusal of the Aristotle’s law of gravity which was done after information-oriented sampling. This rejection was based on a practical experiment.