Due to the rapid diffusion of modern Information- and Communication Technologies in all business areas the demand for well education IS-professional has increased enormously. As a consequence, controversial discussions on the quality of IS-education and the application of teaching methods in the field of IS came up in the recent years. Teaching experts suggest to shift the emphasis in IS-education from passive and content-transfer oriented teaching methods to active and problem-based learning approaches which address interdisciplinary perspectives. As one of the most effective method for the realisation of active and problem-based learning processes, the case study method is established in management education since decades. Nevertheless, compared to other popular learning methods the case study method has - due the long history of application - a reputation as being “traditional” and not very innovative. This paper reflects the potential of improving the case study method by using hypertext and multimedia technologies for the implementation and presentation of case-related content. Taking the strengths of the case study method and recommendations of constructivist learning theories into account two important didactic concepts have been identified which can be used to support the design and development of multimedia case studies: authenticity and complexity. In an empirical study, the effects of these concepts on cognitive learning objectives, motivational factors and the learning-effort have been analysed. For that purpose, three versions of multimedia case studies with the same content but with different levels of authenticity and complexity have been developed and applied in an Electronic Commerce case-seminar. The results of the survey suggest that with regard to cognitive learning objectives multimedia case studies with a high level of complexity and authenticity promote a deeper processing of information and leads to a higher quality of results than multimedia case studies with a low level of complexity and authenticity. Nevertheless, a high level of complexity and authenticity can also have demotivational effects on side of the learner. The results show that there is not one way to implement complexity and authenticity in multimedia case studies but that these concepts have to be carefully applied and combined to match as effective as possible the educational setting.
Bolz, Andre, "Multimedia Case Studies in IS Education - Methodological Approach and Empirical Findings" (2002). ECIS 2002 Proceedings. 25.