South African Journal of Higher Education

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An evaluation of students\' perceptions of the use of case-based teaching and group work in a first-year nursing programme

R Cassimjee


Students\' evaluation of teaching and learning methods is often underplayed and
misjudged, yet students are the best assessors as they are the consumers of this
service (Cassimjee and Brookes 1998, 1). Also, as students are exposed to different
teaching methods on a daily basis, most of them are well equipped to recognize the
strengths and weaknesses of each. The teaching of clinical programmes, for
example nursing, involves different strategies for the teaching of theoretical and
practical material. Case-based education (CBE) uses simulated or real-life cases to
present a scenario to the students for learning. This was a descriptive study which
evaluated students\' perceptions of CBE. A semi-structured 19-point self-administered
student opinion questionnaire (SOQ) was used to collect the information. The
findings show that students viewed CBE in a positive light and felt that it increased
their ability to prepare their work for class and to then participate fully. Seventy
percent of the students felt that CBE assisted them in acquiring the necessary skills
for problem-solving. However, the students felt that some students were lazy and
did not contribute or participate in any way. Almost half the students (47.8%) found
the course interesting and manageable.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol. 21 (3) 2007: pp. 412-428
AJOL African Journals Online