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Case Study Research | Research Conduction

Published on May 10th, 2017 | Last updated on February 23rd, 2021 by | Category: TESOL / TESL Issues through CALL | No Comments on Case Study Research | Research Conduction | 84 Views | Reading Time: 3 minutes

Case Study

Case study research involves the study of an issue explored through one or more cases within a bounded system (a setting or context).

  • Case study research is a qualitative approach in which the investigator explores a bounded system (case) or multiple bounded systems (cases) over time through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information (observations, interviews, audiovisual materials, documents and reports) and reports a case description and case-based themes.
  • Types of qualitative case studies are distinguished by the size of the bounded case, such as whether the case involves one individual, several individuals, a group, an entire program, an activity or the intent of the case analysis. Three variations exist in terms of intent: the single instrumental case study, the collective or multiple case study, and the intrinsic case study.
    1. Single Instrumental Case Study (Stake, 1995): The researcher focuses on an issue or concerns, and then selects one bounded case to illustrate this issue.
    2. Collective or Multiple Case Study: The one issue or concern is again selected, but the inquirer selects multiple case studies to illustrate the issue. The researcher might select for study several programs from several research sites or multiple programs within a single site. Often the inquirer purposefully selects multiple cases to show different perspectives on the issue.
    3. Intrinsic Case Study: The focus is on the case itself because the case presents an unusual or unique situation.
  • This research design is a good approach when the inquirer has clearly identifiable cases with boundaries and seeks to provide an in-depth understanding of the cases or a comparison of several cases.
  • In choosing which case to study, an array of possibilities for ‘purposeful sampling’ is available.
  • The data collection in case study research is typically extensive, drawing on multiple sources of information, such as observations, interviews, documents and audiovisual materials.
  • The type of analysis of these data can be a ‘holistic analysis’ of the entire case or an ‘embedded analysis’ of a specific aspect of the case (Yin, 2003). Through this data collection, a detailed description of the case emerges in which the researcher details such aspects as the history of the case, the chronology of events, or a day-by-day rendering of the activities of the case.
  • In the final interpretive phase, the researcher reports the meaning of the case, whether that meaning comes from learning about the issue of the case (an instrumental case) or learning about an unusual situation (an intrinsic case).

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