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Annotated bibliography from pre-scholar assignment

For my project, I hope to develop new case studies in physiology that are challenging

and encourage interdisciplinary thinking. In addition, I plan to develop a format for

presenting case studies that can be assessed for effective learning of content. I

searched for references to obtain ideas for interdisciplinary physiology cases as well

as an assessment instrument to compare delivery format.

1. The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science Case Collection,

This website provides access to hundreds of cases in all areas of science. The use of

case studies holds great promise as a pedagogical technique for teaching science,

particularly to undergraduates, because it develops students’ skills in group learning,

speaking, and critical thinking. Many of the cases are based on contemporary—and

often contentious—science problems that students encounter in the news. The

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science promotes the development and

dissemination of innovative materials for case teaching.

I am currently involved in a project with Kipp Herreid investigating the use of "clicker

cases" in large introductory biology courses. I have written two cases in the areas of

meiosis and metabolism. Since I plan to use cases in my physiology course next

semester, I need to review the many relevant physiology cases on this website.

2. W. H. Cliff and A. W. Wright. Directed case study method for teaching human

anatomy and physiology. Advan. Physiol. Ed. 270: 19S-28S, 1996

This article describes some general features of successful cases for a

human A and P course: clear learning objectives, a concise and informative scenario,

straightforward and didactic questions, and an emphasis on information readily

available to the student. The format used by the authors involved the presentation

of a case at the beginning of each new topic. The students were required to turn in

their responses to the questions at the end of the unit and their responses were

graded. The integration of the cases improved student learning and exam

performance. The authors describe their methods for integrating the cases into their

two semester course.

I was disappointed to see that the only data presented were exam scores. I could

not tell if the exam questions were the same as in the previous year. Because I am

teaching an upper level course, I plan to have the students develop their own

questions (in the directed method, the questions are given). I did see value in the

specific example of the allergic response case and could potentially modify it for my


3. Patrick Field. Variations on an Historical Case Study: The Extraordinary

Accident of Isidro Mejia. Journal of College Science Teaching, 36 (2) p21-25.


This article describes the case of Isidro Mejia, a construction worker who had six

nails accidentally shot into his head from a nail gun. On April 19, 2004, Isidro Mejia

was working construction on the roof of a house when he lost his footing on the

scaffolding and fell on top of another worker, who was using an automatic, highpowered

nail gun. As the man holding the nail gun tried to regain his balance to

prevent himself from falling off the second floor, he grabbed Mejia, tumbled on to

him, and discharged the pressure-sensitive nail gun into his head and body. This

particular nail gun is extremely powerful, as it has to drive nails into two-inch by

four-inch wooden planks, enough power to penetrate through bone. Upon impact,

the nail gun drove six 3 1/2 inch nails into Mejia's head, face, and neck within


In this article, there are activities for introductory undergraduate biology students

with a minimal background in central nervous system (CNS) anatomy to advanced

undergraduate/graduate neuroscience students with extensive knowledge of the

structures and functions of the CNS. Because this article describes how to adapt a

news story to different levels of student knowledge, it should be helpful as I adapt

case studies to my course.

4. Berne, R.M, and Levy M.N. Case Studies in Physiology. Mosby 1994.

This book is filled with case studies in physiology. Although it is intended primarily for

medical students, it should provide many relevant examples that could be used

directly or adapted for my course. In addition, Berne was my Ph.D. advisor so I like

to get his books.

5. Cliff, W.H. Case Study Analysis and the Remediation of Misconceptions about

Respiratory Physiology. Advances in Physiology Education, 30(4) p215-223


This case study was used to help students learn about oxygen transport in the blood

and reverse misconceptions about respiratory physiology. The authors identified 4

misconceptions and, through pre- and post- course testing, were able to determine

that their use of a case study concerning carbon monoxide poisoning successfully

helped students remediate one misconception. The pre-, mid-, and post- questions

developed by the authors were helpful and the statistical analysis of the data

provided convincing evidence that the students learned the material concerning

oxygen transport better with the case study approach. The paper provided a good

model for assessment of student learning using case studies.

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