You can view the full text of this article for free using the link below.

Title: The impact of backstory structure type on case study effectiveness

Authors: Giulia E. Palma; Bryan L. Mesmer; Kristin Weger; Amy Guerin

Addresses: The University of Alabama in Huntsville, 301 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA ' The University of Alabama in Huntsville, 301 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA ' The University of Alabama in Huntsville, 301 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA ' The University of Alabama in Huntsville, 301 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA

Abstract: Case studies are a commonly used tool in engineering practice and education to communicate lessons learned. Attributes of case studies have an impact on performance. One attribute of interest, that influences the time required to read a case study, is the storytelling element of backstory structure. In this article, a case study is rewritten with three different backstory structure types. A human experiment is conducted to understand which backstory structure type is the most effective in memory retention. Results from the experiment indicate that reading time can be reduced by employing a minimalistic backstory structure type without hindering memory retention. The findings can be applied by engineering practitioners and educators for selecting and developing case studies that may be used in training.

Keywords: case study; storytelling; backstory structure; case study design; engineering education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTCS.2020.108159

International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies, 2020 Vol.11 No.1, pp.1 - 23

Received: 03 Apr 2019
Accepted: 19 Aug 2019

Published online: 26 Jun 2020 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Free access Comment on this article