An Investigation of Case-based Instructional Strategies on Learning, Retention, and Ethical Decision-making

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Case-based instruction has been successfully employed by educators across various fields; however, little is known about how individuals work with cases during the learning process. We examined two well-established instructional strategies: elaboration and self-development of narratives. Participants were randomly assigned to (1) elaborate on a given case, (2) develop their own case, (3) elaborate on a self-developed case, or (4) a control condition. Findings indicated that those who elaborated on a given case and the control group outperformed the other treatment groups in terms of case-based knowledge acquisition, execution of sense-making processes, utilization of ethical decision-making (EDM) strategies, and performance on two EDM measures. Implications for use of instructional strategies in ethics training programs are discussed.


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Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics