Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Instructional Design and Development

Committee Chair

R. Burke Johnson


Case-based instruction (CBI) is a strategy that has shown positive outcomes for promoting learner engagement, improving attitudes toward instruction, and increasing measures of learning. Research methods courses are an area for which CBI may effectively improve learning performance and attitudes. Studies have shown that research methods is a topic that students often find especially difficult and stressful. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether students who received online CBI with feedback would score higher on a posttest and satisfaction questionnaire, compared to students who received the same CBI without feedback. The sample used for this study included students that were enrolled in a psychology graduate course in research methods; an interdisciplinary graduate course in educational research methods; and an undergraduate course in educational technology. The independent variable was online case-based instruction, with two levels: with feedback, and without feedback. The dependent variables were student knowledge performance, and student satisfaction. Student knowledge performance was measured by a multiple-choice posttest, and student satisfaction was measured by a 11-item questionnaire. viii The data were analyzed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) for performance and analysis of variance (ANOVA) for satisfaction, with the alpha level set at .05. No statistically significant differences were found for test performance nor satisfaction with the instruction. Given this finding of no statistically significant differences, follow-up analyses were conducted on categories of question topics (independent/dependent variables; experimental/non-experimental research designs; and causation). No statistically significant differences were found when results were examined by question topic. Further follow-up analyses were conducted on question topic categories for each of the three courses in the study. No statistically significant differences were found in the psychology and research methods courses. The sample size for the educational technology course was not large enough for statistical analysis. Several factors may have contributed to this finding of no statistically significant difference. These factors include preexisting knowledge and insufficient difference between the control and treatment conditions. Further research is suggested, including investigation of the effects of CBI with feedback on reflective thinking, and the enhanced use of multimedia to deliver CBI

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