One of the primary methods of instruction in business education is the case. However, some of the basic learning goals associated with case instruction are compromised by its form of presentation. We have used new forms of media, involving computing and communication, to build a novel learning environment, the Living Case, which flexibly and interactively presents cases along with dynamic, ongoing feedback to students while they work. Key to providing meaningful assistance during case analysis is the ability to model and interpret student behavior. Several investigations were conducted in order to understand the process of case analysis. Case analysis is characterized as a problem solving activity driven by comprehension and reasoning operators. Twelve hours of protocols are analyzed using "retelling profiles" as an interpretation mechanism for further specifying the operators involved in analyzing a case. Retelling profiles are visual time plots of the activities undertaken in a reading task. Our preliminary results suggest a deeper structure to case analysis which is common across business disciplines, cases, and analysts, and therefore implementable in a system like Living Case. Differences between the analysis strategies of experts and novices are formalized in terms of the experts' use of "templates" of typical company behaviors. This provides the basis for building mechanisms to instruct and re-orient case analysts using the Living Case system. The Living Case system is described along with some of the insights gained during its construction. Future research directions and instructional uses of the system are also discussed.
Turner, Jon A. and Kumar, Rachna, "THE LIVING CASE: AN INTELLIGENT SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING CASE INSTRUCTION" (1991). ICIS 1991 Proceedings. 6.