Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence


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The interrupted case study is a structured way to engage students in active learning. Interruptions, or pauses for reflection and discussion scheduled within the case-study presentation, provide students with a chance to collaborate and engage in critical thinking. Critical thinking style, which is a measure of how one tends to think critically, provides insight into how one tackles problem solving. This article describes a pilot project that combined critical-thinking style and an interrupted case study, delivered over a two-class-period time frame, to four college courses. The project’s goals were to assess students’ self-reported knowledge, self-reported ability, changes in thinking, and intentions to use their critical thinking style in the future. The University of Florida Critical Thinking Inventory and an end-of-session evaluation were administered online, and 110 students voluntarily responded. Results indicated that many students enjoyed the discussion-based and problem-solving structure of the interrupted case study. Results also showed increases in students’ self-reported knowledge about critical thinking style and content covered in the case study. For teachers looking to pilot an interrupted case study with a critical thinking style component, two class sessions can have a positive effect on student learning and encourage critical thinking.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.