Seven principles of effective case design for a problem-based curriculum
Cases are the driving force behind students' independent study in problem-based learning. Evidently, the nature of student learning in problem-based learning is to a large extent dependent on the quality of cases presented to students. This implies that student learning can be improved by controlling the quality of cases. Several studies have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of cases. These studies provide us with evaluative tools, but not with principles for effective case design. More general research on learning and cognition has brought into reach some findings from which principles for effective case design can be deduced. In this article seven principles emerging from this research are outlined and for each of the principles an example is given of an effective or ineffective case.