Blog Question: What are appropriate purposes of case studies, how are
subjects selected, how is data collected and analyzed, and what kinds of
generalizations are possible?
Case studies are appropriate when the researcher wants to identify new variables and further research questions. Subjects are selected based on the categories (activities, processes, demographics, conversations, etc.) being investigated.
Data is collected based on the setting up and labeling of categories, or conducting a "content analysis." Therefor, coding because very necessary to the process. Generalizations are not actually possible. The data gathered is uniquely specific to the case that is observed and results can only be applied under limited circumstances. Nonetheless, what is learned from a case study is applicable to developing theories of behavior and process for use under similar circumstances. With a case study, practices can be analyzed and manipulated in order to adjust practices for improved research applications. In the humanities and social sciences case studies have proven useful because they offer new data for analysis in human ght endeavors. Case studies are useful in testing pedagogy, especially when they are expanding on previous research questions and applied under the same (or very similar) circumstances.
For this reason, it is important that researchers clearly articulate the characteristics of the subjects and the circumstances under which they are being observed. Data can be collected through interviews that are recorded by notes, and video or audio recordings.