Using case study method in learning process of Master students | Статья в сборнике международной научной конференции

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Рубрика: 9. Педагогика высшей профессиональной школы

Опубликовано в

международная научная конференция «Педагогика сегодня: проблемы и решения» (Чита, апрель 2017)

Дата публикации: 28.03.2017

Статья просмотрена: 33 раза

Библиографическое описание:

Крупнова, Т. Г. Using case study method in learning process of Master students / Т. Г. Крупнова. — Текст : непосредственный // Педагогика сегодня: проблемы и решения : материалы I Междунар. науч. конф. (г. Чита, апрель 2017 г.). — Чита : Издательство Молодой ученый, 2017. — С. 138-140. — URL: (дата обращения: 26.02.2024).

The main aim of the paper is to present the advantages of the case study method as a new tool of environmental education. The author of this paper uses these case studies in teaching environmental science to Master students at South Ural State University. Working on the case studies, the author used the research results of her own experience of project and research activities and materials of open publications.

Ключевые слова: case study, educational strategy, environmental education, problem-solving approach, water and wastewater treatment

Traditional teaching and learning is the one-way process. According to this teaching method, the goal of education is viewed as the transmission of knowledge by the teachers to the students. Today most environmental science instruction in Russian universities are based on the traditional didactic model of teaching and learning. There is one-way student absorption of information. Students are expected to passively receive and absorb an environmental science knowledge base and remember theories, which are recorded in textbooks and in the thematic plan of an individual teacher. Traditional method can hinder the development of individual student’s active and creative abilities.

Environmental science is a young, dynamic and integrated discipline. And traditional teaching methods is not effective in its teaching [1], [2]. The new paradigm of higher education makes the search for new teaching methods, particularly the use of active and interactive technologies in the educational process [3]. In the recent years the concept of active learning is becoming increasingly important in higher education [4]. Students must do more than just listen: they must read, write, discuss, or be engaged in solving problems. Most important, to be actively involved, students mast engage in such higher-order thinking tasks as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation [5].

Case Study is one of the active forms of an active learning [6]- [8]. Case studies were first used in law to evidence verdicts given by judges and to teach law students. In the 30s of the 20th century cases were introduced in psychiatry. In the mid-70s of the 20th century they were introduced in business schools. Harvard Business School has been using this method intensively to teach future managers how to solve real-life problems. Today, the case study method is widely used as a teaching and researching tool in medicine, psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, management, finance and other sciences where the presentation and analysis of a real problem is of relevance in teaching and researching [9], [10]. The paper presents the case study method as motivating teaching material that can be used in teaching environmental science to Master students at South Ural State University.

The case method is a method of analyzing situations. The method allows on the basis of the real problem situation to apply in practice theoretical knowledge. The use of this educational technology can be the key to solving one of the major problems of higher education in Russia, which most simply can be formulated as ‘much theory — not enough practice’. On the one hand, a large number of general subjects in the curriculum allows students to obtain a specialist endowed with a great outlook and they are able to solve interdisciplinary problems. But on the other hand, in the study of special subjects the teacher should avoid ‘theoreticians’ because it leads to detachment from reality.

In terms of the case studies are divided into two types: formulated in a few sentences (the European version) and quite large, it may be to several pages of text (the American version). Our work showed that for Russian students the first option is preferable, especially when the decision of the case for the first time. A large volume of case has always been difficult in the understanding of the situation.

When using the method of case studies during practical classes the teacher must have not only a certain set of cases by topics and methodological developments to them on matters of information and reference materials. The main distinguishing feature of case study from other methods of learning is the professional competence of students. Thus, the best way has established itself in the training of Master students. Individual working or teamwork can be provided in the case studies. The teamwork produces high-quality skill work together on a real task.

Some environmental problems are universal, but the most acute differ in different regions. Environmental education programs have to refer to local conditions. In Russian Federation, intensive agriculture and industries based on old technologies are still heavily polluting rivers and lakes. Major pollutants are toxic and hazardous chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, surfactants and waste oils. There are same problems of drinking water and sanitation at Russian Federation. Drinking water treatment sludge (DWTS) is a waste generated during the production of drinking water. Amount of sludge increases and this waste has to be managed.

The South Ural is a land of rivers and lakes. But this is one of the largest industrial regions of Russian Federation. Now the technogenic loading on the hydrological ecosystem continues to grow. In this regard, it is important for Master students of South Ural State University to study ecological water problems. We used case in environmental education of water and wastewater treatment.

Initially, we always took the situation for cases from their own scientific and engineering experience. Experience shows that this approach has advantage and disadvantage. The advantage is the fact that the teacher knows the situation and can describe it in detail. The teacher can quickly make the necessary adjustments if any condition is omitted in case. The downside, however, it turned out. Disadvantage is that students offer multiple solutions, but due to psychological factors the teacher pushes the students to the decision that he took when working on the proposed problem. So the subjective assessment appears. In addition, many cases are quickly outdated because water and wastewater treatment technologies develop. So we became used to the situation described in the literature over the past few years. It made cases more interesting and relevant. Examples of water and wastewater treatment case studies are presented below.

All three of cases have the same guidelines: the group should be divided into 2 teams of their choice; the teacher should give time (20 minutes) on the distribution of roles, the study of background information, the formulation the choice of technology sludge dewatering and re-use technology. Teacher's role is reduced to monitoring and, if necessary, to assist the teams. After that, the student’s presentation of projects, discuss questions.

Example of case study

Title: «Analysis of the existing disinfection technologies»

Disinfection is a key process of any water treatment system. For that reason, it is important to emphasize a number of special considerations that had to be taken into account before undertaking disinfection to produce safe drinking water. When choosing the disinfection technique and system to be used, it is important to take into account the impacts and operational and maintenance costs.

The problem of quality of water supply network exists in the Russian Federation. Concerns about the supply of drinking water and its safety have sharply intensified in recent years. This is partially due to the long-standing concerns about the supply of safe drinking water, but it is also due to the severe outbreaks of waterborne diseases both in Russia and around the world.

In Russia, like in many other countries, the use of chlorine-based disinfectants is the most common disinfection practice in the drinking water systems. Chlorine reacts with natural organic matter during the disinfection process. This leads to the formation of the water disinfection secondary compounds such as trihalometanes (THMs). Some epidemiological studies report higher risks of cancers associated with THMs in drinking water.

Water supply and wastewater treatment in Russia is managed by «Vodokanals». Now some «Vodokanals» take steps to limit the use of gaseous chlorine whenever possible and replace it with other alternative methods such as the combined disinfection technology with sodium hypochlorite and ultraviolet (UV) or disinfection with chlorine dioxide. But, a large number of Russian «Vodokanals» have not opted out of using chlorine-based disinfectants because the use of alternative methods imposes an unacceptably high financial burden on municipalities.

Task: Analyze modern technologies of water disinfection, applied in the Russian Federation the centralized water supply systems.

Variant of solution using Life Cycle Assessment [11]: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is widely used in environmental management technologies of drinking water treatment. The LCA study was conducted according to ISO 14040 standards.

The goal was to compare the technologies of disinfection for drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) with different capacities. We chose DWTPs with capacities of 700 thousand cubic meters per day (as DWTP of Chelyabinsk city with a population of 1 million people) and 10 thousand cubic meters per day (as DWTP of typical small provincial town).

This LCA study is a gate-to-gate study that focused on one stage of the life cycle. The chosen stage is the production stage, taking into consideration the chemical usage and electricity consumption at this stage to produce treated water. Life cycle for all chemicals and electricity generation process. which begins from raw material acquisition until the disposal stage is considered as the system boundary for this study.

The SimaPro 8.0.2 software developed by PRé Consultants was used as the analysis tool. The chosen functional unit is produced accordingthe legal water quality requirements of the SaNPiN–01 «Drinking water. Hygienic Regulations of the Water Quality of Centralized Drinking Water Supply System. Quality Control». Cost analysis was also made on 1 m3 of drinking water

Summarizing the above mentioned, it should again be noted that the method of case-study provides students with an excellent opportunity to apply creatively the water and wastewater treatment material and to allow students to adapt to the real and potential situations.

Being an active method of teaching, it has positive attitude on Master students, who see it as an opportunity to take the initiative, to feel self-sufficiency in the development of theory and mastery of practical skills. It is important for positive motivation to learn.

This paper was supported by Vladimir Potanin Foundation, Grant GPK-3/16.


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Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): DWTP, LCA, ASHE-ERIC, DWTS, ISO, SGEM.

Ключевые слова

Тематическое исследование, Образовательной стратегии, экологическое образование, Подход к решению проблем, Очистка воды и сточных вод, Case study, educational strategy, environmental education, problem-solving approach, water and wastewater treatment

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