How to Use Investigative Cases with Examples
Practicing scientists define problems, develop methodologies and strategies to investigate those problems, and present their findings to persuade other members of their community of the reasonableness of their findings.
Investigative case based learning strategies involve a corresponding three phase process based on problem posing, problem solving, and peer persuasion. (For more information, see the BioQUEST 3P's approach (more info) to science education.)
Each phase of ICBL and key strategies are listed below. The links lead to further explanation of these strategies and application to an environmental science case Goodbye Honeybuckets which was developed at a LifeLines OnLine ( This site may be offline. ) workshop.
You may find the Case Analysis worksheet (Microsoft Word 24kB Aug17 03) helpful in guiding you through this process.
Phase I. Problem Posing: Analyzing a Case
- Introduce the case
- Recognize potential issues
- Identify major themes
- Pose specific questions via Know/Need to Know analysis
Phase II. Problem Solving: Investigating the Questions
- Obtain additional references/resources
- Define problems further by sharing views and concerns
- Design and conduct scientific investigations
Phase III. Peer Persuasion: Supporting Methods and Reasoning