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Case Studies - Overview

During the fall, 1999, the Fellows undertook a national search for learning technologies that satisfied a set of criteria in a variety of Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (SMET) disciplines and higher education environments. From this search, a list of 40 candidate institutions were investigated through short (1 hour), telephone interviews using a common set of interview questions. From this long list, a short list of candidates were selected for an in-depth interview process.

From December through March 2000, these case studies were conducted. For each study, a "key practitioner(s)" was interviewed at length along with up to another 20 individuals (colleagues, students, administrators, department chairs, technical support staff, etc.) associated with the key practitioner. In addition, when possible, class and laboratory meetings were observed. All interviews followed protocols which provided guidelines for the interview but did not limit the interview to a set of choreographed topics; i.e., oftentimes, significant insights are seen outside the box described by the protocols. All interviews were tape recorded and the tapes transcribed.

The transcripts were analyzed using a set of classification codes developed by the team of Fellows. This set of codes provided a methodology to analyze these voluminous studies (again, some of the cases involved as much as 20 hours of tape recordings) using two software programs (NVIVO and Nudist both from QSR). From these analyses, the cases studies were organized along a set of major themes and are presented on this website.

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