UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

An exploration of the characteristics of case-based learning activities in disaster and emergency management… Slick, Jean Marie 2016

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
24-ubc_2016_september_slick_jean.pdf [ 2.19MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 24-1.0305799.json
JSON-LD: 24-1.0305799-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 24-1.0305799-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 24-1.0305799-rdf.json
Turtle: 24-1.0305799-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 24-1.0305799-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 24-1.0305799-source.json
Full Text
24-1.0305799-fulltext.txt
Citation
24-1.0305799.ris

Full Text

 AN EXPLORATION OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF  CASE-BASED LEARNING ACTIVITIES IN DISASTER AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT POST-SECONDARY PROGRAMS:  WHAT IS AND WHAT MIGHT BE  by  Jean Marie Slick  B.F.A., Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1982 M.Ed., Dalhousie University, 1988  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY   in  THE COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES  (Interdisciplinary Studies)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  (Okanagan Campus)  July 2016  © Jean Marie Slick, 2016  ii The undersigned certify that they have read, and recommend to the College of Graduate Studies for acceptance, a thesis entitled:  An Exploration of the Characteristics of Case-Based Learning Activities in Disaster and Emergency Management Post-Secondary Programs: What Is and What Might Be submitted by Jean Marie Slick in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.    Dr. Susan Crichton, Faculty of Education  Supervisor, Professor    Dr. Margaret Macintyre Latta, Faculty of Education Supervisory Committee Member, Professor    Dr. Gary Poole, Faculty of Medicine, School of Population and Public Health Supervisory Committee Member, Professor    Dr. Sara Harris, Faculty of Science, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences  University Examiner, Professor    Dr. Nancy Chick, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary  External Examiner, Professor    Date submitted to the College of Graduate Studies: July 5, 2016 iii Abstract  This study was motivated by my curiosity about what the distinctive characteristics of the use of cases in disaster and emergency management (DEM) post-secondary programs are and might be. DEM is new field of post-secondary study, and as of yet there do not appear to be any signature case-based teaching methods, as there are in other fields of study (e.g., law, business). The goals of this study were to (a) explore how and why faculty members use case in teaching in the DEM field, (b) examine cultural historic factors influencing how and why cases are used, and (c) develop instructional design guidance, based on the study findings, to support the use of cases in the DEM field, considering both what is and what might be. Qualitative case-based research methods were employed to learn about current practices for teaching with cases in the DEM field. Seven faculty members who have contributed to the development of DEM as a field of study participated in this research. The orienting theory for this study, which framed data collection and analysis, was activity theory, which is a recognized variant of socio-cultural learning theory. Data included transcripts from interviews with faculty members, as well as copies of course syllabi and materials used in their case-based learning activities. A total of 37 different case-based learning activity designs were examined in detail. The type of instructional guidance developed from the study findings was informed by practices associated with design-based research methods used in the education field. The findings from the study supported the development of an outcome theory explaining three distinctive reasons for using cases in teaching in the DEM field, as well as how cases support achievement of each of the different types learning outcomes. The findings also informed the development an instructional design framework to support the use iv of the outcome theory. The outcome theory and design framework demonstrate the value of scholarly inquiry into pedagogical practice in the DEM field, and are meant to spark discussion in the DEM higher education community about current and potential uses of cases in teaching. v Preface This study was an independent research activity. I designed the study, conducted the research, analyzed the data, and wrote this manuscript. A professional editor was hired to proofread a final draft of this manuscript and she provided me with copy and stylistic editing recommendations. Ethics approval for this study was received from The University of British Columbia Okanagan Behavioural Research Ethics Board. The number on the certificate was H12-00463. The approval was renewed on an annual basis, with the last renewal occurring on December 7, 2015. Ethics review was also received from Royal Roads University on April 17, 2012.   vi Table of Contents Abstract ................................................................................................................................... iii	Preface .......................................................................................................................................v	Table of Contents ................................................................................................................... vi	List of Tables ....................................................................................................................... xvii	List of Figures ....................................................................................................................... xix	Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................ xx	Dedication ............................................................................................................................. xxi	Chapter 1: Study Introduction .............................................................................................22	Study Rationale ................................................................................................................23	Study Design .....................................................................................................................25	Situating the Study ...........................................................................................................27	Disasters. .........................................................................................................................27	Disaster management as a field of professional practice. ...........................................29	Disaster management as a field of study. .....................................................................30	Scholarship of teaching and learning. ..........................................................................32	Organization of the Study ...............................................................................................33	Chapter 2: Conceptual Framework and Literature Review ..............................................34	Activity Theory .................................................................................................................35	Vygostky’s contributions to activity theory. ................................................................36	Leont’ev’s contributions to activity theory. .................................................................37	Engeström’s contributions to activity theory. .............................................................38	Kaptelinin and Nardi’s contributions to activity theory. ...........................................41	vii Methodological implications arising from the use of activity theory. .......................43	The Design of Learning Activities and Learning Activity Designs .............................49	The design of learning activities. ..................................................................................49	Learning activity designs. ..............................................................................................51	Case-based learning activities. ......................................................................................51	Cultural-Historic Influences on Learning Activity Designs .........................................53	Cultural Characteristics of Case-Based Learning Activity Designs ...........................58	Summary ...........................................................................................................................62	Chapter 3: Methodology and Research Design ...................................................................64	Research Questions ..........................................................................................................64	Methodology and Rationale for the Study Design ........................................................65	Design-based research methods. ...................................................................................66	Case-based research methods. ......................................................................................69	Study Propositions ...........................................................................................................70	Units of Analysis, Case Selection, and Ethics Management ........................................74	Case selection. .................................................................................................................75	Ethics management. .......................................................................................................78	Data Sources and Data Management .............................................................................80	Data Analysis and Criteria for Interpretation of Findings ..........................................81	Stage 1: First interview and supplementary data analysis. ........................................82	Stage 2: Case-based learning activity design analysis – Part 1. .................................85	Stage 3: Second interview and data analysis. ..............................................................86	Stage 4: Case-based learning activity design analysis – Part 2. .................................86	viii Stage 5: Writing the individual case reports. ..............................................................88	Stage 6: Cross-case analysis of the individual case reports. .......................................89	Stage 7: Development of instructional design guidance for the use of cases. ...........90	Researcher Role and Bias ................................................................................................90	Study Limitations and Assumption ................................................................................93	Chapter 4: Individual Faculty Member Case Reports .......................................................95	Case Report #1: Dr. Jessica Jensen ................................................................................96	Faculty member profile. ................................................................................................97	Views of DEM professional activity. ............................................................................99	University profile. ........................................................................................................101	Jensen’s case-based learning activities. ......................................................................103	Characteristics of Jensen’s objects. ..................................................................................... 104	Characteristics of Jensen’s cases and case tools. ................................................................ 108	Characteristics of Jensen’s case-based learning activity designs. ...................................... 110	Cultural-historic influences on Jensen’s case-based learning activity designs. .....116	Influences on the characteristics of objects. ........................................................................ 117	Influences on the characteristics of tools. ........................................................................... 118	Influences on the characteristics of activity designs. .......................................................... 119	Uniqueness of Jensen’s case relative to the others in this study. .............................120	Case Report #2: Dr. Jane Kushma ...............................................................................121	Faculty member profile. ..............................................................................................122	Views of DEM professional activity. ..........................................................................124	University profile. ........................................................................................................124	Kushma’s case-based learning activities. ...................................................................126	ix Characteristics of Kushma’s objects. ................................................................................... 128	Characteristics of Kushma’s cases and case tools. .............................................................. 128	Characteristics of Kushma’s case-based learning activity designs. .................................... 131	Cultural-historic influences on Kushma’s case-based learning activity designs. ..........................................................................................................................134	Influences on the characteristics of objects. ........................................................................ 134	Influences on the characteristics of tools. ........................................................................... 135	Influences on the characteristics of activity designs. .......................................................... 136	Uniqueness of Kushma’s case relative to the others in this study. ..........................136	Case Report #3: Professor David Etkin .......................................................................137	Faculty member profile. ..............................................................................................138	Views of DEM professional activity. ..........................................................................141	University profile. ........................................................................................................143	Etkin’s case-based learning activities. ........................................................................144	Characteristics of Etkin’s objects. ........................................................................................ 146	Characteristics of Etkin’s cases and case tools. .................................................................. 148	Characteristics of Etkin’s case-based learning activity designs. ........................................ 152	Cultural-historic influences on Etkin’s case-based learning activity designs ........156	Influences on the characteristics of objects. ........................................................................ 156	Influences on the characteristics of tools. ........................................................................... 157	Influences on the characteristics of activity designs. .......................................................... 158	Uniqueness of Etkin’s case relative to the others in this study. ...............................159	Case Report #4: Dr. Brenda Phillips ............................................................................160	Faculty member profile. ..............................................................................................161	x Views of DEM professional activity. ..........................................................................164	University profile. ........................................................................................................167	Phillips’s case-based learning activities. ....................................................................170	Characteristics of the objects. ............................................................................................... 171	Characteristics of Phillips’s cases and case tools. ............................................................... 176	Characteristics of Phillips’s case-based learning activity designs. ..................................... 182	Cultural-historic influences on Phillips’s case-based learning activity designs. ....187	Influences on the characteristics of objects. ........................................................................ 187	Influences on the characteristics of tools. ........................................................................... 188	Influences on the characteristics of activity designs. .......................................................... 189	Uniqueness of Phillips’s case relative to the others in this study. ............................190	Case Report #5: Dr. David McEntire ...........................................................................190	Faculty member profile. ..............................................................................................192	Views of DEM professional activity. ..........................................................................194	University profile. ........................................................................................................195	McEntire’s case-based learning activities. .................................................................197	Characteristics of McEntire’s objects. ................................................................................. 198	Characteristics of McEntire’s cases and case tools. ............................................................ 199	Characteristics of McEntire’s case-based learning activity designs. .................................. 204	Cultural-historic influences on McEntire’s case-based learning activity designs. ..........................................................................................................................209	Influences on the characteristics of objects. ........................................................................ 209	Influences on the characteristics of tools. ........................................................................... 210	Influences on the characteristics of activity designs. .......................................................... 211	xi Uniqueness of McEntire’s case relative to the others in this study. ........................211	Case Report #6: Dr. William Waugh ...........................................................................212	Faculty member profile ...............................................................................................213	Views of DEM professional activity. ..........................................................................216	University profile .........................................................................................................217	Waugh’s case-based learning activities. .....................................................................218	Characteristics of Waugh’s objects. ..................................................................................... 220	Characteristics of Waugh’s cases and case tools. ............................................................... 221	Characteristics of Waugh’s case-based learning activity designs. ..................................... 224	Cultural-historic influences on Waugh’s case-based learning activity designs. ....225	Influences on the characteristics of objects. ........................................................................ 225	Influences in the characteristics of tools. ............................................................................ 226	Influences on the characteristics of activity designs. .......................................................... 227	Uniqueness of Waugh’s case relative to the others in this study. ............................228	Case Report #7: Dr. Greg Shaw ...................................................................................228	Faculty member profile. ..............................................................................................229	Views of DEM professional activity. ..........................................................................232	University profile. ........................................................................................................234	Case-based learning activities. ....................................................................................236	Characteristics of Shaw’s objects. ........................................................................................ 237	Characteristics of Shaw’s cases and case tools ................................................................... 238	Characteristics of Shaw’s case-based learning activity designs. ........................................ 241	Cultural-historic influences on Shaw’s case-based learning activity designs. ........244	Influences on the characteristics of the objects. .................................................................. 244	xii Influences on the characteristics of tools. ........................................................................... 245	Influences on the characteristics of activity designs. .......................................................... 246	Uniqueness of Shaw’s case relative to others in this study. ......................................247	Summary .........................................................................................................................247	Chapter 5: Why and How Faculty Members Use Cases in Their Teaching...................249	Why Faculty Members Use Cases in Their Teaching .................................................250	Instrumental reasons for using cases. ........................................................................252	Objects and outcomes of case-based activities. .................................................................... 252	Students’ starting points and learning needs. ..................................................................... 253	The effects of cases in mediating activity ............................................................................. 255	Discussion about the effects of cases as tools. ..................................................................... 260	Intrinsic reasons for the use of cases. .........................................................................264	How Faculty Members Use Cases in Their Teaching .................................................269	Characteristics of objects in case-based learning activity designs. .........................269	Characteristics of mediating elements. ......................................................................274	Characteristics of tools. ........................................................................................................ 274	Psychological functions of cases as tools. .............................................................274	Forms of case tools. ...............................................................................................277	Characteristics of cases and case descriptions. ....................................................277	Characteristics of knowledge frames. ....................................................................285	Characteristics of problem frames ........................................................................290	Summary of the characteristics of case tools. ........................................................294	Characteristics of the division of labour. ............................................................................. 295	Characteristics of rules. ........................................................................................................ 297	xiii Characteristics of structures of case-based learning activities. ...............................299	Low-structured activities. ..................................................................................................... 299	Medium-structured activities. ............................................................................................... 301	Highly structured activities. .................................................................................................. 303	Length of activities. ............................................................................................................... 306	Characteristics of activity designs based on the object of activity. .........................307	Activity designs to develop knowledge about specific cases. ............................................... 308	Activity designs to develop students’ knowledge about something else. ............................. 310	Activity designs to develop students’ knowledge of how to do something. ......................... 313	Hybrid activity designs. ......................................................................................................... 316	Discussion About Why and How Faculty Members Use Cases in Their Teaching ..........................................................................................................................317	Comparison with established case- and problem-based learning methods. ...........318	Comparison with established systems for classification of case- and problem-based learning. ..............................................................................................................322	Summary of How and Why Faculty Members Use Cases in Their Teaching ..........327	Chapter 6: Cultural-Historic Influences on the Design of Case-Based Learning Activities ................................................................................................................................331	Faculty Member Influences ..........................................................................................331	Influence on the characteristics of objects. ................................................................333	Influence on the characteristics of case and case tools. ............................................334	Influence on the activity structures. ...........................................................................337	Discussion about faculty member influences .............................................................340	Institutional Influences ..................................................................................................341	xiv Departmental home and degree characteristics. .......................................................341	Admission criteria ........................................................................................................343	Geographic location .....................................................................................................344	Delivery model ..............................................................................................................344	Academic norms ...........................................................................................................345	Discussion about institutional influences. ..................................................................345	Disciplinary Influences ..................................................................................................345	Disciplinary orientation of departmental home. .......................................................347	Faculty members’ disciplinary background. .............................................................348	Views of the disciplinary characteristics of DEM programs ...................................349	Discussion about disciplinary influences. ..................................................................350	Influence of the Profession ............................................................................................352	Needs of the profession. ...............................................................................................353	Four-phase model. ........................................................................................................353	Methods for development of professional expertise. ................................................354	Professional practice tools. ..........................................................................................355	Student characteristics and motives. ..........................................................................355	Discussion about the influence of the profession. ......................................................356	What is the primary object of DEM professional activity? ................................................. 358	What ways of thinking are needed in the DEM profession? .............................................. 359	What ethics or values should guide professional DEM practice? ...................................... 359	Summary of Cultural-historic Influences on Case-based Learning Activity Designs ............................................................................................................................360	Chapter 7: Instructional Design Guidance and Conclusion to Study .............................362	xv Theoretical Reasons for Using Cases in DEM Postsecondary Programs .................364	Learning outcomes. ......................................................................................................364	Needs and motives for developing knowledge about a particular case. ............................. 365	Needs and motives for developing students’ knowledge about something else. ................. 366	Needs and motives for developing students’ knowledge of how to do something. ............. 366	Functions of cases in learning activities .....................................................................367	Intrinsic versus instrumental reasons for using cases. ....................................................... 368	Cases as objects versus cases as tools. ................................................................................. 369	Functional effects of cases as tools ...................................................................................... 370	Developmental effects of cases as tools ................................................................................ 371	Design Framework .........................................................................................................372	Learning activity designs from an activity theory perspective. ...............................373	The characteristics of cases and case tools. ...............................................................373	Principle 1 ............................................................................................................................. 373	Principle 2 ............................................................................................................................. 374	Principle 3 ............................................................................................................................. 375	Principle 4 ............................................................................................................................. 377	Activity design principles. ...........................................................................................378	Design principles to support development of knowledge about a particular case ............. 378	Case and case tool selection principles .................................................................378	Activity design principles .......................................................................................381	Design principles to support development of knowledge about something else ................. 383	Case and case tool selection principles. ................................................................383	Activity design principles .......................................................................................386	Design principles to support development of knowledge of how to do something ............. 388	xvi Case and tool selection principles .........................................................................389	Activity design principles. ......................................................................................390	Summary of Instructional Design Guidance ...............................................................391	Study Conclusion ...........................................................................................................392	References .............................................................................................................................396	xvii List of Tables Table 1 Activity Theory Principles and Propositions, and Propositions for this Study .........72	Table 2 Disciplinary Profiles of Study Participants and the Programs and Departments at Their Institutions ...................................................................................................78	Table 3 Participant Codes for Personal Communication Data Sources Cited within Jensen’s Case Report ................................................................................................97	Table 4 Participant Codes for Personal Communication Data Sources Cited within Kushma’s Case Report ............................................................................................122	Table 5 Participant Codes for Personal Communication Data Sources Cited within Etkin’s Case Report ................................................................................................138	Table 6 Participant Codes for Personal Communication Data Sources Cited within Phillips’s Case Report .............................................................................................161	Table 7 Participant Codes for Personal Communication Data Sources Cited within McEntire’s Case Report ..........................................................................................191	Table 8 Participant Codes for Personal Communication Data Sources Cited within Waugh’s Case Report .............................................................................................213	Table 9 Participant Codes for Personal Communication Data Sources Cited within Shaw’s Case Report ................................................................................................229	Table 10 Characteristics of Objects of Case-Based Activities ..............................................273	Table 11 Relationship Between Object, Psychological Dimensions of Case Tools, and Case Experience ......................................................................................................277	Table 12 Attributes and Characteristics of Disaster and Emergency Management Cases ....278	Table 13 Characteristics of Case-Based Learning Activity Structures ..................................305	xviii Table 14 Characteristics of Activities Designed to Develop Knowledge About a Particular Case ........................................................................................................310	Table 15 Characteristics of Activities Designed to Develop Knowledge About Something ...............................................................................................................312	Table 16 Characteristics of Activities Designed to Develop Knowledge of How to do Something ...............................................................................................................315	Table 17 Analysis of Barrow's (1986) Classification of Case- and Problem-Based Methods...................................................................................................................324	Table 18 Comparison of Individual and Institutional Disciplinary Characteristics ...............346	Table 19 Learning Outcomes and Functions of Cases Relative to Outcomes .......................368	Table 20 Characteristics of Activities for Developing Knowledge About Particular Cases .......................................................................................................................382	Table 21 Characteristics of Activities for Developing Knowledge About Something ..........387	Table 22 Characteristics of Activities for Developing Knowledge of How to do Something ...............................................................................................................391	List of Figures Figure 1. Conceptual framework for this study. ..................................................................... 34	Figure 2. Engeström's expanded triangular model of activity. ............................................... 39	Figure 3. Engeström’s model of the third generation of activity theory. ................................ 40	Figure 4. Functional reasons for using cases in DEM higher education programs. ............. 252	Figure 5. Jonassen’s schema for classifying the function of cases as problems to solve. .... 325	Figure 6. Faculty member influences on case-based learning activity designs .................... 333	Figure 7. Institutional influences on case-based learning activities. .................................... 341	Figure 8. Disciplinary pathways of influence on case-based learning activity designs. ....... 347	Figure 9. Influences of DEM professional activity on case-based learning designs. ........... 353	xx Acknowledgements My sincere appreciation and thanks is extended to my supervisor, Dr. Susan Crichton, who provided steady guidance throughout the entire period of my doctoral studies. She flexibly adapted as my research interests changed, challenged me at the right times, and provided clear feedback as well as moral support. I would also like to thank my committee members, Dr. Margaret Mcintyre Latta and Dr. Gary Poole, who came on board after I transferred to UBC Okanagan. They offered sage advice and were generous with the time given to me over these last few years. Additionally, I want to extend thanks to Dr. Gail Kopp who first introduced me to activity theory and helped me to see the value of its application in the education field.  My gratitude is also extended to the College of Graduate Studies at University of British Columbia, Okanagan, for the financial awards I received during my period of study. I am also appreciative of the support provided Royal Roads University and my colleagues there during the period of my doctoral studies.  This research study would not have been possible without the involvement of my research participants, who have been at the forefront of the development of disaster and emergency management as a new field of postsecondary study. Their participation enabled me to make the contributions to knowledge about the use of cases in the DEM field that is offered in this manuscript.    Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends, who have too often heard about limitations on my time because of my work on my dissertation. Your support and patience has been appreciated, and I am thrilled to now be able to spend more time with all of you.  xxi Dedication      Dedicated to my parents, Tillie Louise Slick and the late Robert Charles Slick,  who were my first teachers in life.  With gratitude for your love, encouragement of my creativity, and constant support for the pursuit of my passions, whatever they might be.             Chapter 1: Study Introduction The case method of learning was introduced as an innovative practice for teaching law at Harvard in 1870; over time, this method of instruction has been adapted for use in other professionally oriented academic programs of study (Garvin, 2003). A common motive for the use of cases in learning activities in these types of programs has been the need to develop the knowledge and competencies required for professional practice (Barrows & Tamblyn, 1980; Cruikshank, 1987; Garvin, 2003; Tosteson, 1979). Program specific (e.g., law, business) approaches to the use case-based learning activities reflect an interpretation of the nature of expertise in a given field of practice, and students’ learning needs relative to the development of this expertise (Garvin, 2003; Shulman, 2005).  The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of case-based learning activities in disaster and emergency management (DEM) programs, which is a new field of postsecondary study. As of yet, there do not appear to be any distinctive approaches to the use of cases in the DEM field, as there are in other fields of study. Thus, in addition to examining what the characteristics of the use of cases in DEM programs currently are, another purpose of this study was to theorize about what the unique characteristics of the use of cases in teaching in this field might be. Studying ‘what is’ and ‘what might be’ are two recognized lines of inquiry in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL; Hutchings, 2000).  This introductory chapter presents the rationale and design for this research study. To help situate this study, the constructs and literature related to disasters, disaster and emergency management as a field of study and practice, and the scholarship of learning and 23 teaching are reviewed. The chapter concludes with a description of the organization of this manuscript. Study Rationale DEM has emerged as a new field of academic study in post-secondary institutions in Canada and the United States over the last few decades. An impetus for the development of the field of study came from concerns that decades of social science research related to human experience with hazards and disasters were not being applied in practice (FEMA, 2014; National Research Council, 2006). Thus, while DEM has developed as an academic field of study, it has a practical aim and pedagogies need to be able to support the application of knowledge in future professional practice.  As a new field of study, there is as of yet, limited scholarship of teaching and learning in the DEM field, and the literature that does exist is primarily descriptive accounts of personal pedagogical practices (e.g., Rozdilsky, 2008; Schwartz, 2009), rather than research studies about teaching. Shulman, in an interview with Brant (2002), suggested research on teaching needs to “focus on the intersection of content and pedagogy” (p. 18) in a way that “brings together the wisdom of practice on a topic-by-topic, idea-by-idea basis” (p. 18). This research study focused on examining the intersection of content and pedagogy as it relates to the use of cases in learning activities in DEM post-secondary programs.  My interest in the use of cases in learning activities builds from over 25 years of professional experience in the DEM field, as well as my experience in using cases in my teaching in the Royal Roads Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management program since 2008. My use of cases in learning activities has been influenced by my reflections about how my DEM experiences informed the development of my professional 24 expertise. My professional expertise is craft, and thus case based. While the initial cases and designs for case-based learning activities in my own teaching drew extensively from my professional experience, during my doctoral studies I began to explore how learning theory and the literature on case-based learning could inform how I used cases in my teaching. I also started to incorporate the DEM research literature as a source for case material; however, there was a limited body of literature about this approach to the use of cases in learning activities (e.g., Bordt, 2005; Epstein, 1972, White, 2001). During this same period of time I was selected as scholar for a scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) initiative at Royal Roads University. Through my participation in SOTL workshops I started to think about how I could systematically examine how the case-based learning designs I had developed were supporting students’ learning. While my initial plan for my doctoral research was to study the use of cases in my own teaching, I came to realize that I could potentially make a more substantive contribution to the field by researching how and why other faculty members use cases in their teaching in the DEM field and considering what the rationale for a distinctive approach to the use of cases in the DEM field might be. Knowledge about the use of cases in the DEM field appeared to be a gap in the literature. Thus, the lack of scholarship related to the use of cases in teaching in the DEM field and my experiences in using cases in my own teaching were motives for this study. The intended contributions of this study were to (a) bring the language and lens of SOTL into DEM during its formative stage of development as field of study, (b) generate new knowledge about how and why cases are used in teaching in DEM post-secondary programs, and (c) support what “might be,” by developing a theoretically informed, and evidence and practice-based guidance for the use of case-based learning in DEM post-secondary programs.  25 Study Design As this research study was about the design of learning activities, the study was influenced by my own beliefs about learning, which are situated in relation to existing theories. I understand learning to be both a cognitive and sociocultural process (Cobb, 2005; Cole & Engeström, 1993; Fosnot & Perry, 2005; Greeno, 2006; Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009). This view supports that a learner constructs knowledge, and that this construction is facilitated by participation in the social world. The social dimension of learning occurs on two levels, through social interaction with others, and through the use of tools and symbols, which are culturally derived. Activity theory is viewed as an appropriate organizing framework for integrating cognitive and social constructivist dimensions of learning (Jonassen & Rohrer-Murphy, 1999; Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009). An affordance of the use of activity theory as a heuristic tool is that it provides a means of understanding the constituent elements of a particular system (e.g., case-based learning designs) in a way that captures cultural-historic influences (e.g., faculty member, disciplines, profession, local context) on an activity system (Engeström, 1999). Knowledge of the cultural-historic influences on the design of learning activities is an important input into thinking about what the use of cases in DEM learning activities might be. When using activity theory in research, Engeström, Miettinen, and Punamäki (1999) recommended the analysis of an activity system take into account a systems’ view as well as the subject’s view of the system. Accordingly, this qualitative research study sought to understand how and why faculty members teaching in DEM programs use case-based learning activities in their teaching from both emic (i.e., a faculty member’s) and etic (i.e., an activity system’s) 26 perspectives. This study also had an applied aim, which was to develop instructional guidance for the use of cases in the DEM field based on the study findings. The primary research questions that guided this study reflected my personal motives, as well as the theoretical framework for the study. The study questions were as follows: 1. How and why do faculty members use case-based learning in their teaching in disaster and emergency management postsecondary programs? 2. What cultural-historic influences are reflected in the characteristics of faculty members’ case-based learning activity designs? 3. What instructional design guidance can be derived from this study’s findings to inform a theoretically grounded approach to the use of cases in learning activities in disaster and emergency management postsecondary programs? The design for this study integrated case-based research methods with elements from design-based research. Case-based research is recognized as being an appropriate methodology when asking how and why questions (Yin, 2014); it is also recognized as a methodology that aligns with the use of activity theory (Yamagata-Lynch, 2010). Given faculty members’ agency in designing courses and learning activities, each faculty member participating in the study was considered a research case, and examples of their different approaches to the use of cases in their teaching were subunits of analysis. Faculty members participating in the study were recognized scholars in the DEM field, who have all contributed to the development of DEM as a field of study. Given that this case-based research study was about case-based learning activity designs, it is considered to be a form of design-based research study. Design-based research methods requires theory about the design of an intervention be identified in an advance of a study and explicates the methods of 27 making generalizations from the findings of exploratory studies about the design of learning activities (Gravemeijer & Cobb, 2006; Nieveen, McKenney, & van den Akker, 2006). A product of design-based research studies is some form of instructional guidance, which is both theoretically grounded and empirically based. A goal of this study was to develop this type of guidance for the use of cases in DEM postsecondary programs. The next section further situates this study in relation to core constructs and the literature.  Situating the Study The way people conceptualize disasters influences the practice of DEM and the study about this practice. To help situate this research study, the definition of disaster will be discussed and the history of development of DEM as a field of professional practice and postsecondary study will be described. Finally, the research questions framing this study will be situated in relation to traditions within the SOTL. Disasters. While the definition of a disaster has long been debated and discussed (National Research Council, 2006; Perry & Quarantelli, 2005), any definition of a disaster is a social construction. There have been historical and conceptual shifts in people’s understanding of disasters as phenomena; the perspectives range from viewing disasters as acts of God, to acts of nature, to acts of men and women (Quarantelli, 2000). The fundamental difference between these worldviews of disasters is the degree of agency of people in their relationship with hazards in the human, natural, and built environments. While disasters are still referred to by some as being acts of God, the literature in the DEM field recognizes that disasters are a product of the interrelationship of hazards with social, political, and economic systems. Hazard impact cannot be separated from place, and hence hazard risk is situated. Preexisting vulnerabilities and capacities influence human experience 28 with hazards, and thus social and geographic variables influence risk in relation to particular hazards. Further, the hazard context is not static. Disasters are projected to increase in frequency and intensity, due to a changing climate, and other factors such as urbanization. In addition, events such as September 11, 2001 in the United States (US) and 2014 West African Ebola outbreak reaffirmed the diversity of hazard types and associated impacts on society. Accordingly, a postsecondary DEM program of study requires that students explore and understand (a) how personal, professional, and societal views of hazards and disasters influence the practice of DEM; (b) DEM problems as situated and complex phenomena; and (c) future experience with disasters may be outside the scope of past experience. The human experience with hazards and their impacts has been studied from multiple and interdisciplinary perspectives, and the resulting knowledge base from hazards and DEM research has advanced considerably over the last 50 years (Mileti, 1999; National Research Council, 2006). Hazards research has primarily focused on studies of the topic of hazard vulnerability and hazard mitigation; disaster research has focused on the topics of emergency response and disaster recovery; and the topic of disaster preparedness has been a shared topic (National Research Council, 2006). Experts now debate whether or not disaster management is a discipline of its own (Jensen, 2011; Phillips, 2005). Nonetheless, experts believe knowledge derived from the extensive body of hazards and disaster research “has the potential to significantly reduce the societal impacts of disasters” (National Research Council, 2006, p. 314). However, researchers have argued, “Significantly more is known about solving hazard and disaster problems than is being applied” (National Research Council, 2006, p. 36). The gap between what is known about disasters and their impacts, and 29 how society deals with disasters has been an influence on professionalization in the DEM field and the development of DEM as a field of study. Disaster management as a field of professional practice.1 While humankind has always responded to disasters, there has been increasing emphasis over the last few decades on developing DEM as a professional field of practice (Britton, 2001; FEMA, 2014; Mileti, 1999). Several paradigm shifts have influenced thinking about this field of practice. The United Nations declared the 1990s as the International Decade of Disaster Risk Reduction, drawing attention to the importance of reducing disaster risk in advance of disasters (O’Brien, O’Keefe, Rose, & Wisner, 2006). This was a shift from response and top-down management paradigm that had prevailed in the preceding decades, which drew from a civil defense approach to the management of disasters (Britton, 2001; O’Brien et al., 2006; van Aalst, Cannon, & Burton, 2008). Efforts to reduce disaster risk not only require analysis of the hazard, but also the causal factors that influence negative impacts and positive outcomes (Wisner, Blaikie, Cannon, & Burton, 2004). This broadened analysis of disaster contexts necessarily links disaster management to development practices, and changes the scope and nature of disaster management activity (Mileti, 1999). Despite the shifting paradigms of disaster management as a field of practice, much of current professional practice is response oriented, and management activities are still strongly influenced by command-and-control approaches.                                                  1 I use the term disaster and emergency management and the abbreviation DEM to refer to the profession and field of study. However, this field is often referred to as emergency management in much of the literature, particularly in the United States. For elaboration on the differences in terminology see Neal (2000). 30 Since the early 2000s, experts have placed an emphasis on the need to integrate approaches for climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction; this is because 90% of disasters are weather related (O’Brien et al., 2006; Schipper & Pelling, 2006; Thomalla, Downing, Spanger-Siegfried, Han, & Rockström, 2006). Disaster managers will increasingly need to prepare to respond to events that are outside the norm of past experience and must find ways to mitigate and reduce future risks. This requires anticipatory learning, which is the ability to anticipate a “desired event, situation, or goal, and … attempt to attain it by generating its cause” (von Glasersfeld, 1998, p. 14). Effective learning from past experience is understood to support the development of this human capacity to proactively adapt (Fazey, Fazey, & Fazey, 2005; Hollings, 2001; McBean & Ajibade, 2009; Smithers & Smit, 2009; Tschakert & Dietrich, 2010). Thus, in DEM programs of study students need to learn from past disaster experience in a way that supports application of this this knowledge to reduce future disaster risks, whatever they might be.  Disaster management as a field of study. DEM emerged as a new field of academic study in postsecondary institutions in Canada and the United States over the last few decades. Several factors influenced the development of this new field of study. The number of disasters has increased over time, as has the scale of some events (FEMA, 2014; Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters). The complexity of the current operating context is such that professional expertise is needed to effectively engage in reducing disaster risk, as well as responding to disasters (FEMA, 2014). Historically, emergency management has been a second or third career for first responders or those in the military (FEMA, 2014). While they bring transferable skills, their knowledge has been gained through experience, rather than through academic study in the DEM field (FEMA, 2014). A consequence of 31 emergency managers’ lack post-secondary education is decades of social science research related to human experience with hazards and disasters is not being applied in practice (FEMA, 2014; National Research Council, 2006). As previously noted, the knowledge gained through research, if applied, has important societal consequences (Fothergill, 2000; National Research Council, 2006; Quarantelli, 1993). These conditions were the impetus behind a FEMA initiative in the mid-1990’s that promoted the development of DEM as a field of study at post-secondary institutions in the United States. In the early 1990’s there were only a handful of postsecondary programs in the DEM field, and in 2014 it was estimated there were over 250 programs being offered at colleges and universities in the United States (FEMA, 2014). These programs are seen as an important means of supporting knowledge transfer from disaster research to professional practice (Mileti, 1999; Neal, 1993, 2000; Oyola-Yemaiel & Wilson, 2005; Phillips, 2007).  Although there was no parallel higher education initiative by the federal government in Canada, the same general conditions led to the development of DEM post-secondary programming in Canada, albeit on a smaller scale. The first Canadian undergraduate program in DEM was established at Brandon University in 2001 (May, n.d.). In 2006, Royal Roads University established the first graduate DEM program in Canada, and York University followed soon after with an undergraduate and graduate program. There are a limited number of other diploma and certificate programs offered at colleges and technical institutes at various locations across Canada. Within discipline-specific postsecondary programs (e.g., geography) individual courses related to disasters and hazards are offered.  While there has been considerable growth in the development of DEM postsecondary programs over the last few decades, DEM as a field of study is clearly still at formative stage 32 of development in Canada and the United States. Discussions in the DEM higher education community have focused on (a) whether or not disaster management is a discipline or an interdisciplinary field of study (Jensen, 2011; Phillips, 2005); (b) the required competencies of a disaster and emergency manager in the 21st century (Blanchard, 2005); (c) what the content and curriculum should include (Alexander, 2003; Drabek, 2009; Lindsay & Britton, 2010; Neal, 2000; O’Connor, 2005; Phillips, 2005); and (d) research standards (Jensen, 2014). There is as of yet minimal scholarship on teaching and learning in this new field of study, and recognition that this type of scholarship is needed (Phillips, 2005). Thus, one of the contributions of this study is the introduction and advancement of this form of scholarship during the formative stage of development of DEM as a field of study. Scholarship of teaching and learning. Boyer (1990), in his seminal text, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, situated the scholarship of teaching as one of four types of scholarly inquiry. In doing so, Boyer elevated the importance of knowledge about teaching as a distinct form of scholarship. As McKinney (2007) noted, scholarship of teaching has been a recognized form of scholarship within different disciplines (e.g., sociology) for many decades and predates Boyer’s use of this term. More recently, the term scholarship of teaching has changed to include the word learning, and disciplinary styles in this form of scholarship have been recognized (Huber & Morreale, 2006). While SOTL inquiry is commonly focused on studying learning and teaching in relation to one’s own pedagogical practice (McKinney, 2007), in this study I examined the practices of others, rather than my own practice. In this regard, this research utilized a broader definition of SOTL, which is inclusive of any scholarly inquiry that seeks to contribute to new knowledge about teaching and learning as it is situated in practice.  33 Hutchings (2000) suggested that SOTL inquiry is commonly focused on asking “what works” (p. 4), “what is” (p. 4), what might be, as well as developing “new conceptual framework(s) for shaping thought about practice” (p. 5). The original focus of this research study was on examining ‘what is’ as well as ‘what might be.’ An unexpected outcome of this study was the development of a new conceptual framework for shaping thought about the use of cases in learning activities in DEM post-secondary programs. Organization of the Study This first chapter has served to introduce and explain the purpose of the study and to situate the study in relation to the development of DEM as a field of study and professional practice, as well as to the SOTL. The second chapter presents the conceptual framework for the study, grounds this framework in relation to the literature, and discusses the methodological implications for the study design. The third chapter describes the research design in more detail, including the methods for and conduct of the study. The fourth chapter is comprised of seven individual case reports, each addressing how and why faculty members used cases in their teaching, and the cultural-historic factors that appeared to influence their approach to the use of cases. The fifth chapter presents the cross-case analysis of how and why faculty members used cases in their teaching, while the sixth chapter presents the cross-case analysis of the cultural-historic influences on the characteristics of case-based learning activities. The seventh and final chapter presents the instructional design guidance developed from the findings from this study. The seventh chapter ends by summarizing the contributions and limitations of the study. 34 Chapter 2: Conceptual Framework and Literature Review This purpose of this chapter is to present the conceptual framework for this study, and in doing so to situate the framework in relation to established learning theory and other relevant bodies of literature. The conceptual framework for this study was grounded by a constructivist epistemology. Activity theory, as a cultural-historic variant of constructivist learning theories, served as the “orienting framework” (diSessa & Cobb, 2004, p. 81) for examining how and why faculty members use cases in their teaching. Figure 1 illustrates the progressive refinement of the application of activity theory in this study; each refinement, or lens, draws from and integrates additional perspectives and literature bases. The second lens for this study focused on instructional design as a design-based activity, learning activities as a specific type of design, and case-based learning as a specific type of learning activity. The third lens focused on the cultural-historic factors that are understood to influence the characteristics of learning activity designs. These factors included, but were not limited to, the influence of disciplines and professions associated with a field of study. The fourth lens focused specifically on the cultural characteristics of case-based learning activities. These different lenses provided the conceptual framework for the study of faculty members’ practice of using cases in DEM postsecondary programs and for theorizing about how cases might be used in this newly developing field of study. The structure for this chapter follows the flow of elements in the conceptual framework, as illustrated in Figure 1. Figure 1. Conceptual framework for this study. activity theory design of learning activities; learning activity designs; case-based learning activities cultural-historic influences on learning activity designs cultural characteristics of case-based learning activity designs 35 Activity Theory Activity theory is based on a constructivist view of learning, which supports that meaning is constructed out of experiences in the world. The development of constructivist learning theories is attributed to the work of Piaget (1969) and Vygotsky (1978), who, while living in different cultural contexts, each posited that learning occurs through interaction between a subject and their world. Understanding the difference between their perspectives helps to situate activity theory as a specific variant of constructivist learning theory. Piaget, drawing from his early work as a biologist, studied the mechanism of learning, specifically how individuals come to know. He stated, “To know is to construct or reconstruct the object of knowledge in such a way as to capture the mechanism of construction” (Piaget, 1969, p. 356); the structure of knowledge is then both figurative (representational) and operative (transformational). Piaget viewed human cognition as a process of equilibration with the environment, which occurs through interaction of the subject with the world. Theories of the construction of knowledge at a cognitive level, with emphasis on internal and biological aspects of cognition are referred to as cognitive constructivist perspectives. Vygotsky (1978), who also built from a biological and zoological understanding of learning, sought to “describe and specify the development of those forms of practical intelligence that are specifically human” (p. 23). Vygotsky argued that the human process of cognition could not be separated from the social environment of the individual. Theories of the construction of knowledge as a sociocultural process are referred to as social constructivist perspectives (Cobb, 2005). Activity theory is one social constructivist theory of learning, situated learning theory (i.e., Lave & Wenger, 1991) is another. Constructivist theories on learning continue to evolve, as have the debates about the congruity or tension 36 between cognitive and sociocultural constructivist perspectives (Cobb, 2005). Cobb (2005) suggests that Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural strand of constructivism is an early variant or the first generation of activity theory. Activity theory, as it has developed, is understood to incorporate the cognitive and sociocultural dimensions of constructivism (Cobb, 2005; Greeno, 2006). The theory, which is also referred to as cultural-historic activity theory using the acronym CHAT, has had a significant influence on approaches to the design of instruction and the study of learning in context. This section provides an overview of the development of activity theory, explains the key tenets of the theory, and discusses some of the methodological implications of the theory for the design of this study. Vygostky’s contributions to activity theory. Vygotsky (1978), a Russian psychologist, studied the different ways in which human engagement in the social world through practical activities contributes to psychological development. He explained that human activity, at its most basic level, is a subject acting on an object through the use of signs and tools, which are culturally derived. While signs and tools mediate activity, they each have a different function: The tool’s function is to serve as the conductor of human influence on the object of activity; it is externally oriented; it must lead to changes in objects … the sign, on the other hand, changes nothing in the object of psychological operation. It is a means of internal activity aimed at mastering oneself; the sign is internally oriented. (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 55) The integrated use of signs and tools as mediating artifacts in the conduct of activity is understood to be a uniquely human “higher psychological function” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 55). 37 It is the use of signs (which are psychological tools) in particular that enable external activity to become internalized.  Vygotsky (1978) explained the process of internalization of activity is also supported by social interaction, and this interpersonal and interpsychological activity is a foundational step in intrapsychological development. Vygotsky further elaborated on the role of others in an individual’s psychological development, and in doing so articulated the different between learning and development. He noted there is a gap between what an individual can independently do when faced with a problem to solve, and what an individual can accomplish when aided by a more knowledgeable person (Vygotsky, 1978). Vygotsky referred to this gap as the “zone of proximal development” (p. 86) and stated that a characteristic of learning environments is the intentional creation of zones of proximal development. From this perspective, he argued, “Learning is not development” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 90); rather, learning is a socially enabled and necessary process that supports psychological development over time. While Vygotsky broke away from cognitive constructivist traditions based on a biological understanding of learning and development, his work remained focused on the way in which the social world influenced individual psychological development. Leont’ev’s contributions to activity theory. Leont’ev expanded on the work of Vygotsky and other Russian scholars. Leont’ev’s contributions to the development of activity theory included providing a deeper understanding of the object of human activities, as well as the structure of collective activities. While the needs of a subject direct activity, Leont’ev (1974) asserted it is the object that fulfills these needs; thus, the object is the “true motive” (p. 62) of activity. Given that objects meet different needs, activities can be distinguished and 38 differentiated by their objects (Leont’ev, 1974). Leont’ev further explained, while needs and motives were realized in the object of activity, the structure of activity itself was made up of individual goal-directed actions and operations based on conscious or unconscious conditions. The division of labour in relation to the object of an activity allows individuals to work collectively towards fulfillment of their needs (Leont’ev, 1974). Hence, the structure of a collective activity is comprised of different individuals carrying out different actions towards different goals, even though the activity is directed towards and motivated by a shared object (Leont’ev, 1974). This hierarchical model of activity is understood to support a finer grained analysis of the structure of activity (Leont’ev, 1974). The development of activity theory continued as other researchers outside of the Russian context appropriated the theory for their own use (e.g., Engeström, 1999; Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009). The differing foci of the application of activity theory have shaped its subsequent development. Two recognized strands of the development of activity theory were of relevance to the design of this research and informed the propositions for this study. The first strand is Engeström’s (1999) work, which has focused on learning, development, and change in work contexts (developmental work research), and the second strand is Kaptelinin and Nardi’s (2009) work, which has focused on digital artifact interaction design. These more recent contributions to the development of activity theory show how the theory has continued to evolve as a result of different needs and motives. Engeström’s contributions to activity theory. Engeström’s (1999) contributions include expanding the triangular model of activity theory, which had previously been limited to subject, object, mediating artifacts (signs and tools), and a focus on psychological development, to include the elements of community, rules, division of labour, and outcomes. 39 These additional elements reflect and take into account the collective dimensions and nature of activity (Engeström, 1999). The inclusion of the element of community situates the subject in relationship to a specific community, or communities, while rules, which have their own histories, mediate the relationship between the subject and community (Engeström, 1999). The division of labour mediates the relationship between the community and the object, and is the basis for understanding the structure of individual goal-directed actions (Engeström, 1999). The inclusion of outcome reflects Engeström’s attention to the collective dimensions of activity, in which the needs satisfied by the object relate to prospective development or change at the external level, rather than to individual psychological development. Engeström’s way of illustrating this expanded triangular model of activity is depicted in Figure 2.    Figure 2. Engeström's expanded triangular model of activity. Note. From Learning by Expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research. 2nd Edition. (p. 63), by Y. Engeström, 2015, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Copyright 2015 by Y. Engeström. Reprinted with permission. 40 In addition to expanding on the triangular structure of activity, Engeström (2001) suggested a third generation of activity theory is needed to address the interrelationships between different activity systems (p. 135). An understanding of collective activity, Engeström (2001) suggested, requires analysis of a minimum of two interrelated activity systems (p. 136). In the third generation model, as illustrated in Figure 3, the interaction between activity systems is focused on the elements of the object that are shared by and connect both systems. In this research study, I considered the process of designing a learning activity to be one activity system, with the object of the instructional design activity being a learning activity design. The learning activity design is itself a separate activity system, of which the object is some form of learning outcome. The shared object of the design activity and learning activity design is the intended learning outcomes.  Figure 3. Engeström’s model of the third generation of activity theory. Note. From “Expansive Learning at work: Toward an Activity Theoretical Reconceptualization,” by Y. Engeström, 2001, Journal of Education and Work, 14(1), p. 136. Copyright 2001 by Y. Engeström. Reprinted with permission. Engeström (2010) also developed a “theory of expansive learning” (Engeström, 2010, p. 74), in which he conceptualized learning as a collective activity that enables the creation of new forms of practice. Engeström (2010) suggested the need for development of this theory arises from the context in which work is situated today, as the lifespans of products and 41 processes have been shortened. He further noted that the “societal need for expansive learning” (Engeström, 2010, p. 75) has been influenced by the advancement of digital forms of mediation (e.g., the Internet and Web 2.0) and the emergence of global threats and risks (e.g., climate change and pandemics).  Kaptelinin and Nardi’s contributions to activity theory. Another strand of development of activity theory has been focused on its application in human–computer interaction, specifically on interaction design (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009). The appropriation of activity theory as theoretical framework for understanding human computer interaction served to situate and understand digital artifacts in relation to human activity systems (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009). Activity theory has been used as a tool to support the formulation and instantiation of human–computer interaction designs (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009). Interaction design, Kaptelinin and Nardi (2009) stated, “Comprises all efforts to understand human engagement with digital technology and all efforts to use that knowledge to design more useful and pleasing artifacts” (p. 5). Kaptelinin and Nardi advanced theoretical understanding of (a) the outcomes of collective activities; (b) the relationship between needs, motives, and the object of an activity; and (c) the characteristics of agents and agency from an activity theory perspective. While acknowledging that activity is object oriented, Kaptelinin and Nardi (2009) qualified the inherent relationship between a subject and an object determines an activity, and this relationship informs the development of both the subject and object that occurs through the conduct of activity. Hence, from a methodological perspective, analysis of activity seeks to understand the developmental changes in both the subject and the object, and their interrelationship. This perspective contrasts with Engeström’s (1999) illustration in Figure 2 42 of the outcome stemming from the object of activity. While the object influences the outcome of an activity, change in the object is not the only outcome. The process of internalization of external activity through sign use was established in Vygotsky’s (1978) work. In this regard, the outcomes of learning activities also include interpsychological developmental of the subject. In this regard, the placement of the outcome of an activity in Engestrom’s model of human activity (Figure 2) might be better illustrated as being between the object and the subject. Another contribution of Kaptelinin and Nardi’s (2009) in the development of activity theory has been their work on analyzing the relationship between the needs, motives, and object of activity. Kaptelinin and Nardi addressed perceived contradictions in Leont’ev’s (1974) understanding of polymotivated activities and argued for the separation of analysis of needs and motives in relationship to an object. Further, Kaptelinin and Nardi proposed there is a one-to-one relationship between needs and motives and that multiple motives conjoin in a given social context, as well as in relation to the conditions and means within that context in the formulation of the object of an activity; regardless of the number of needs and corresponding motives, Kaptelinin and Nardi (2009) stated there is only one object in a given activity. This holds true in collaborative activity, in which various subjects may have different motives relative to the object of the activity; these diverse motives may be a source for tensions or contradictions during the instantiation of an activity (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009). Kaptelinin and Nardi suggested a goal in the analysis of activity is to understand the relationship between all of the different motives; this presumably extends to an analysis of needs. In turn, the ability to link goal-directed actions back to the needs that gave rise to the activity provides a deeper understanding of why the activity is taking place (Kaptelinin & 43 Nardi, 2009, p. 155). Within this study, I hypothesized that learning and instructional needs conjoin in both the formulation and instantiation of the design of a learning activity, and that multiple needs and motives could be reflected in the object of a learning activity. A further contribution of Kaptelinin and Nardi (2009) is a typology that explains the relationship between different types of agents and forms of agency; a motive for development of this typology was the need to be able to distinguish between the agency of digital artifacts and humans. Kaptelinin and Nardi defined human agency “as the ability and the need to act” (p. 242) and further bound the definition of acting to mean, “producing an effect according to an intention,” with the intentions reflecting needs (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2006, p. 242). Using these definitions, and building from the principles of activity theory they propose that the types of agency include (a) conditional agency, which is to produce effects; (b) needs-based agency, which includes acting according to biological or cultural needs, and (c) delegated agency, which is realizing the intention of (other) human beings (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2006, p. 244). Of relevance to this study is that both human beings and social entities (e.g., universities) are understood to have conditional agency, needs-based agency, and delegated agency. Methodological implications arising from the use of activity theory. Learning theories are descriptive, rather than prescriptive. Principles, which reflect one or more propositions inherent in activity theory, have been developed to support the application of learning theory in practice. Both Engeström (2001), and Kaptelinin and Nardi (2006) have developed a set of activity theory principles; variations between these sets of principles reflect differences in their foci in the use of activity theory in their work. Both sets of principles build on and extend the core tenets of activity theory as established by Vygotsky 44 (1978) and Leont’ev (1974). These different principles and their potential application in studying the characteristics of case-based learning activity designs are as follows. Engeström’s (2001) first principle is that a “collective, artifact-mediated, object-oriented activity system” (p. 136) should be the primary unit of analysis. Further, Engeström stated that individual actions could only be understood when they are situated in relation to the collective activity of which they are a part. For example, in this study, while an individual instructor may have designed a case-based learning activity, the object of that learning activity would necessarily be a reflection of the instructor’s perception of the collective motives of a program of study, which is the larger activity system of which an individual course or learning activity is a part. Given the professionally oriented nature of DEM as a postsecondary field of study, the collective motives of a program of study reflect an institution’s interpretation of the interrelationship between academic learning needs and the needs of DEM as a profession. Hence, while the subunit of analysis of this study included faculty members’ case-based learning activity designs, their learning designs were situated in and need to be understood in relation to the program of studies at the university in which they work. Engeström’s (2001) second principle is multivoicedness, which recognizes that the nature of collective activity is such that there are always multiple perspectives reflected in the different elements within an activity system. For example, while all faculty members in a program of study have their own disciplinary backgrounds, the tools they select for use in a case-based learning activity will necessarily reflect the different disciplinary orientations of the authors of the articles or books selected for use in a given activity. These disciplinary perspectives may be the same as, or different from, those of the faculty member who is a 45 subject in an activity system. Similarly, students bring their own beliefs and experiences into a learning activity. Hence any learning activity, even when considered as a closely bounded system, still integrates multiple points of view.  Engeström’s (2001) third principle is historicity. Engeström (2001) explained the methodological implications of the principle of historicity and provided an example of its application in studying work practice: History itself needs to be studied as the local history of the activity and its objects, and as the history of theoretical ideas and tools that have shaped an activity. Thus medical work needs to be analyzed against the history of its local organization and against the more global history of the medical concepts, procedures and tools employed and accumulated in the local activity. (p. 137) While a case-based learning activity design can be analyzed according the relationship between the constituent elements in the activity system, the characteristics of the learning activity need to be further analyzed in relation to the histories of the constructs, tools, and practices that are reflected in a particular faculty member’s approach to the use of case-based learning in his or her teaching. These histories include the individual biographies of the faculty members, who are subjects in an activity system, as well the histories associated with the other elements of a learning activity design. A goal of this research study was to understand the particular histories that shape the disciplinary characteristics of case-based learning activity designs in DEM higher education programs of study. Engeström’s (2001) referenced his fourth principle, contradictions, as originating with the work of Il’enkov. This principle is based on the notion that activity systems give rise to contradictions or tensions between elements in a system (Engeström, 2001). These 46 contradictions, or tensions, Engeström explains, are a source for change and development of an activity system or practice. For example, the limitation of existing tools in mediating students’ learning activity may give rise to the appropriation or creation of new tools for use in an activity. The development of new tools may be a need of an instructor or a need of students. The tension, or contradiction, in this instance is between the tools and the object. If the tension is not addressed and the tools are not appropriate for the object, then the activity may be disrupted, or the needs associated with the object may not be met (Engeström, 2001). Engeström’s (2001) fifth principle is the expansive cycle of activity, which recognizes that collective activity time is cyclic and repetitive; this contrasts with action time, which is finite. Contradictions within a collective activity system, or networks of activity systems, give rise to the development of new forms of activity and practice (Engeström, 2001). For example, if new tools are appropriated or created to mediate collective activity (e.g., an electronic discussion forum vs. a virtual collaborate session), the nature of the activity itself may change. Engeström suggested that an expansive cycle of activity is a collective perspective on Vygotsky’s (1978) “zone of proximal development” (p. 86). The recent and continuing development of DEM as a field of study is an example of the construct of an expansive cycle of development. Engeström’s (2001) principle of the expansive cycle of activity was further developed into his theory of expansive learning (Engeström, 2010), in which learning is conceptualized as a collective activity that enables the creation of new forms of practice. Engeström’s (2010) notes that his expansive theory of learning builds from activity theory, as well as from Bateson’s notion of double-bind and level-III learning, and Bakhtin’s ideas about multivoicedness. 47 There are similarities as well as differences between Kaptelinin and Nardi’s (2009) and Engeström’s (2001) set of principles based on activity theory. Kaptelinin and Nardi’s principles of object-orientedness, hierarchical structure of activity, mediation were all reflected in Engeström’s (2001) first principle. As previously discussed, a distinction is that Kaptelinin and Nardi argued that both the subject and the object of an activity are changed through the course of activity. This perspective retains activity theory propositions established by Vygotsky (1978). The principle of hierarchical structure of activity reinforces that while objects direct activity, the actions that comprise activity are directed to goals; this proposition has a basis in Leont’ev’s (1974) work. In addition, with regard to the principle of mediation, Kaptelinin and Nardi reinforced that from an activity theory perspective, tools have both functional and developmental effects; this frame draws from Vygotsky’s (1978) work. One of the goals in this study was to understand faculty members’ beliefs about the effects of cases in learning activities; this supported understanding why they chose to use cases in their teaching. Kaptelinin and Nardi’s (2009) principle of development aligns with Engeström’s (2001) principle of historicity. While Engeström (2001) and Kaptelinin and Nardi (2009) did not make the explicit link, the principles of historicity and development, and the approach to analyzing prior activity as a means of understanding current activity are based upon the work of Leont’ev (1978). Leont’ev qualified that human needs are generated from prior activity and cannot be understood apart from this activity. This reinforced that, from a methodological perspective, understanding of current practice must take into account the histories that shaped that practice. 48 Kaptelinin and Nardi (2009) offered an additional principle, which was not reflected in Engeström’s (2001) set of principles. Kaptelinin and Nardi’s principle of internalization–externalization, which has two dimensions, reflects foundational propositions in activity theory. The first dimension is that “internalization is the transformation of external activities into internal activities” (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009, p. 69). While Vygotsky (1978) established this principle, Leont’ev (1974) further developed the explanations about how this occurs. Kaptelinin and Nardi reinforced, “Internalization provides a means for people to consider interactions with reality through mental simulations or imagining without performing any actual manipulations with real objects” (p. 69). The second dimension of internalization, which again draws from Vygotsky’s work, is that intrapsychological development is supported through interpsychological activity. These two dimensions, collectively, are the basis of the proposition that learning occurs through activity. The kind of learning that occurs and the processes by which learning occurs are reflective of the characteristics of a learning activity. Both Kaptelinin and Nardi (2009) and Engeström (2001) reinforced that while principles and propositions inherent in activity theory can be distinguished, the principles are nonetheless interrelated and need to be applied as a whole. Kaptelinin and Nardi also noted that despite the fact that activity theory accounts for the individual in relation to the collective, many studies that used activity theory focused on only one of these dimensions. As illustrated in this discussion, while Engeström’s (2001) and Kaptelinin and Nardi’s (2009) principles share similarities, Engeström’s (2001) principles place more emphasis on the collective. In contrast, Kaptelinin and Nardi placed more emphasis on the individual process of internalization of external activity. These variations appear to reflect difference in the foci 49 of their work. In designing this study, I drew from both approaches. The next section explores the characteristics of instructional design and learning activities, as specific kinds of activities, from a learning theory perspective. The Design of Learning Activities and Learning Activity Designs While the primary unit of analysis in this study was case-based learning activity designs, which are their own activity systems, the designs were at the same time the object of an instructor’s design-based activity, and need to be understood in relation to this activity. Consistent with Engeström’s (2001) third generation activity theory model, there is an inherent relationship between the object of an instructor’s design-based activity and the design product of that activity. The characteristics of each of these activity systems and their interrelationship are as follows. The design of learning activities. Instructional design is a design-based activity; this type of activity is characterized by the use of a specific form of professional expertise to solve a specific type of design problem (Reigeluth & Carr-Chellman, 2009). Each field of design (e.g., architecture, engineering, education) has its own knowledge base, referent system, as well as traditions (Gibbons & Rogers, 2009). In many design-based fields, professional preparation programs support the development of specific professional design competencies. While there are formal theories related to learning and the design of instruction, this knowledge is usually held by professional instructional designers, or professional educators, not faculty members. The professional preparation program for a faculty member is the doctorate, and hence a faculty member’s expertise is associated with one or more disciplines; this knowledge base is referred to as a faculty member’s content knowledge (Shulman, 1986, 1987). While faculty members may possess general pedagogical 50 knowledge, their insight into how to teach within a discipline or field of study is referred to as their pedagogical content knowledge (Shulman, 1986, 1987). One of the components of pedagogical content knowledge is case knowledge related to the subject matter being taught (L.S. Shulman & J. Shulman, 2004). Historically, individual pedagogical content knowledge in postsecondary contexts has been craft based, rather than research based (Burkhardt, 2006). From a cultural-historic perspective, the history of development of faculty members’ expertise and pedagogical knowledge can be traced through construction of their biographies (Shulman, 1986). This approach recognizes the activity theory principle of historicity (Engeström, 2001), which suggests a faculty member’s interpretation of students’ learning needs, both in terms of what students learn and how to design learning activities, builds from the faculty member’s own experiences. A faculty member, in his or her role as an instructor, is a subject in the system of designing a learning activity. A learning design is the object of the faculty member’s design activity. Kaptelinin and Nardi (2009) explained the creation of an object entails both formulating and instantiating the object (p. 156). The formulation of the object requires identifying the various needs that an object should satisfy (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009). The design of a learning activity needs to take into account the starting and end points, which are an interpretation by an instructor of the students’ prior knowledge and learning goals relative to this knowledge (Gravemeijer & Cobb, 2006). The difference between the starting and end points, from an activity theory perspective, is the “zone of proximal development” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86). Student learning needs in a particular course are a subset of collective motives, which are reflected in the stated or implicit aims or learning outcomes in a particular program of study. To understand why faculty members use cases in learning 51 activities, the different learning and instructional needs that were met through the use of case-based learning activities need to be identified. Learning activity designs. The object of learning activities is the intended learning outcomes. Within a learning activity design, the instructor and students are both subjects. Their roles, while prescribed in the division of labour for a learning activity, are presumed to reflect an instructor’s epistemological view of learning. The tools prescribed for an activity have specific affordances and constraints (Bærentsen & Trettvik, 2002), which mediate the interaction between students, as subjects, and the object of their activity. In keeping with the propositions in activity theory, tools can be both material and psychological, and each type of tool has a different function. The community in a learning activity system may be limited to the students and the instructor, or may extend into the university (e.g., library) or the community (e.g., professional setting). The rules express constraints that the instructor places on the learning activity as the students interact with their learning community. In analyzing the interrelationship of each of these elements in a learning activity design, the analysis needs to take into account the sequence of actions and goals that comprise an activity. While learning designs prescribe how learning is intended to occur, the degree of prescription can vary. Most learning designs are underprescribed, thus giving space for emergent activity. The boundaries of a learning design provide what Confrey (2006) referred to as a conceptual corridor, in which students move through different and individual learning trajectories (p. 145). In this regard, learning designs reflect intentions, which may or may not be realized in the instantiation or outcomes of an activity. Case-based learning activities. Case-based learning, broadly speaking, can refer to any type of learning activity that uses cases. There are multiple definitions of what 52 constitutes a case. For example, L. S. Shulman (1986) suggested cases are representative of a larger class of things, and the association between a case and what it is an example of is theoretical. From this perspective, the use of cases in instructional contexts is a means of linking the general and particular and theory with practice (L. S. Shulman, 1986). L. S. Shulman (1986) described teaching cases as narratives that are situated in a particular place and time, which can be used to teach principles or concepts, precedents for practice, ethics, strategies, and visions of what is possible. Jonassen (2011) described a case as “an instance of something” (p. 150), and he suggested, in an instructional context, cases often represent practice examples. Jonassen also indicated that cases are the foundation of problem-based learning environments, and the function of cases in these kinds of learning activities is as problems to solve. While there are similarities between L. S. Shulman’s (1986) and Jonassen’s (2011) definitions of cases, Jonassen described the function of a case as being a problem to solve, whereas L. S. Shulman (1986) placed emphasis on the use of a case as a theoretical example. Thus, cases can be defined from different perspectives. A goal in this study was to examine how faculty members defined the word case. Terms for case-based learning activities vary and include case study, case-based learning, case-based instruction, and case-based methods. While I found no one widely recognized typology for distinguishing between different case-based learning methods, different authors have attempted to classify these methods (e.g., Barrows, 1986; Jonassen, 2011; Kim et al., 2006). The unit of analysis in these classification systems differs, and thus each classification system offers a different analytic perspective. Jonassen (2011) suggested that a limitation of the literature on case-based learning is that much of it focuses on the content and form of case-based methods, rather than the function of cases in learning 53 activities. He argued that the function of a case in a learning activity is the key to distinguishing between types of case-based learning activities (Jonassen, 2011). A goal of this study was to examine the functions of cases in DEM case-based learning activities. A proposition for this study was that cases could be both objects and tools. Leont’ev (1974) noted that a challenge in the analysis of any activity system is that the boundary between tools and objects is fluid. I am not aware of any established signature practices with regard to the use of cases in DEM postsecondary programs and there is no apparent discussion about this in the literature. Given the lack of signature practice for the use of cases in the DEM field, another goal in this study was to identify cultural-historic factors that influenced the characteristics of the use of case-based learning in DEM postsecondary programs. Cultural-Historic Influences on Learning Activity Designs Vygotsky (1978) suggested, “Learning is more than the acquisition of the ability to think; it is the acquisition of many specialized abilities for thinking about a variety of things” (p. 83). In a formal educational context, the development of domain-specific capabilities and habits is an outcome of the guided use of culturally derived tools in relation to a specified object (Vygotsky, 1978). From a developmental perspective, the use of cultural-historic tools as mediating artifacts in an activity system supports the “assimilation by the individual of methods of thought worked out by humanity” (Leont’ev, 1974, p. 60). The methods of thought are reflected in the psychological tools of a learning activity system, which shape the interaction between a subject and an object. Within DEM, as a new field of postsecondary study, cultural tools used in learning activities draw from disciplines that have informed the field of study, as well as professional DEM practice. 54 The disciplinary characteristics of tools and objects are reflected in Kreber’s (2009) discussion of “what ‘knowing a subject’ means” (p. 10). Referencing university contexts, Kreber (2009) suggested there are two dimensions to an academic subject. First, it “can refer to a body of knowledge or knowledge product that we look at” (Kreber, 2009, p. 11); what we look at is reflected in the object of a learning activity. Second, an academic subject can also refer to “a disciplinary lens that we look with and through” (Kreber, 2009, p. 11); what we look with and through corresponds to the tools in a learning activity system. While Kreber (2009) suggested learning disciplinary ways of thinking and doing supports the use of a disciplinary lens in other contexts, Vygotsky (1978) qualified that independent capabilities can only support development in other areas when there are elements of activities or actions are shared. Interdisciplinary and professional fields of study provide a formal means for establishing the linkages between different disciplinary ways of thinking and knowing. While tools and objects in learning activities in university settings will reflect the disciplines that inform a particular field of study, grounding the disciplinary characteristics of a learning design solely on the epistemological structure of a discipline is problematic (Kreber, 2009). Kreber (2009) argued that the validity of generalizations about the relationship between disciplines and pedagogy is weakened when the influence of other contextual variables has not been considered; these variables include institutional and departmental cultures and practices, personal theories of teaching, and concepts of self. Kreber suggested that faculty members have their own subjective conceptualizations of their disciplines; these beliefs may differ from an a priori classification of a discipline. Doctoral 55 programs in the DEM field have only recently been established,2 and thus there are a limited number of people who have a doctorate in the DEM field. Therefore, a characteristic of DEM as a new field of study is that faculty members teaching in DEM programs have diverse disciplinary backgrounds, which reflect the different disciplines that have looked at disasters, their impacts, and the practice of DEM. I have seen first hand how differences between various faculty members’ conceptualizations of DEM as a field of study have shaped their perspectives of the field of study and how to teach in the DEM field; the development of a DEM program of study has required faculty members I have worked with to negotiate our way around these tensions. A goal of this study was to understand how these different cultural-historic factors influenced the use of cases in DEM postsecondary programs of study. When comparing postsecondary DEM programs, it is also evident that institutional characteristics influence these programs. There is considerable diversity in the names of degrees awarded in the DEM field. Some programs offer separate DEM degrees, while others offer DEM as specialization within an existing degree (e.g., Public Administration). Further, DEM programs are situated in different disciplinary homes and departments within an institution. A goal of this study was to understand the pathways of these different disciplinary influences. DEM, as a field of study, has also been influenced by the broader professional culture and context. For example, the events of September 11, 2001 in the United States have significantly influenced the conceptualization of DEM as a field of study and practice, by                                                 2 At the time of this study, I found only 10 doctoral programs in DEM, or with a DEM specialization, in the United States on the FEMA Higher Education College List, and no DEM doctoral programs in Canada. 56 extending the scope of professional activity to include homeland security (Waugh & Tierney, 2007). I have not seen this shift occur in the Canadian context to the same degree. Thus, there may be differences between the disciplinary characteristics of DEM as a field of study between different universities, as well as between country contexts. In addition to disciplinary influences, professions are also understood to be an influence on the design of learning activities in programs that have an applied orientation. L. S. Shulman (2005) suggested professional preparation programs, as a distinct type of postsecondary studies, prepare students for “three fundamental dimensions of professional work—to think, to perform and to act with integrity” (p. 52). Within certain professionally oriented programs of study (e.g., law, business, medicine), pedagogical approaches that are unique to a field of study and common across institutions are found. These methods are called signature pedagogies (Shulman, 2005). The development of signature pedagogies within professional preparation programs reflects that there are shared beliefs with regard to what students should learn, as well as to how to best support this learning. L. S. Shulman (2005) suggests common elements of signature pedagogies in the professions are they (a) support internalization of ways of thinking and development of habits; (b) require demonstration of capabilities in roles similar to professional practice, with requisite accountability to others; and (c) develop abilities to work with uncertainty. While the research grounding the construct of signature pedagogies was based on analysis of methods of teaching in professional preparation programs, L. S. Shulman (2005) acknowledged signature pedagogies are prevalent in all levels of education. A growing body of literature explores the construct of signature pedagogies within traditional disciplines as well as a diverse array of fields of postsecondary study (Chick, Haynie, & Gurung, 2012; Donald, 57 2002; Gurung, Chick, & Haynie, 2009). Within this literature base, the construct of signature pedagogy is interpreted as being related to distinctive forms of pedagogical practice that support the development of expertise in a particular field or domain. Critiques of the construct of signature pedagogies share many of the same concerns expressed about the construct of disciplinary pedagogies. Donald (2009) suggested, “Signature pedagogies imply idiosyncratic organizations, artifacts and practices … [and] that the differences lie not merely in the distinctive identifiers, but in much larger worldviews (or Weltanshcauung)” (p. 46). The constructs of disciplinary and signature characteristics of pedagogy are in many ways synonymous, as they both infer that certain characteristics of pedagogical practice are unique to a discipline or field of study and common across institutions. Key differences between these two perspectives are (a) the cultural-historic community of practice (i.e., discipline vs. profession) that informs and shapes pedagogy; (b) the inclusion of a moral and value-based dimension in the construct of signature pedagogies; and (c) assessment of the pragmatic implications and outcomes of signature pedagogies, whether they be for professional preparations programs or traditional disciplines such as history. Given the complementary nature of these two frames of reference, the framework for signature pedagogy can be viewed as contributing to what Engeström (1999) referred to as a “cycle of expansive learning” (p. 25) of understanding pedagogical practice in higher education settings. Given the history of development of DEM as a field of study, a proposition informing this research is that the characteristics of case-based learning activities in DEM postsecondary programs are reflective of DEM professional activity, as well as the disciplines that have informed DEM as a field of study. 58 An affordance of the use of activity theory as a lens for examining the characteristics of learning activity designs is it takes into account that the different elements in learning activities, as a system, reflect different perspectives (the principle of multivoicedness) and have different histories (the principle of historicity). As activity theory is grounded by a constructivist epistemology, it can account for diverse ideological perspectives about the nature of a discipline as well as personal theories of learning, and purposefully situate these views in relation to historical narratives and traditions. The next section will examine three different approaches to the use of cases in different fields of study, and in doing so will shed further light on the cultural characteristics and historical influences on these approaches to the use of cases in learning activities. Cultural Characteristics of Case-Based Learning Activity Designs As noted in the introduction in Chapter 1, the use of cases in postsecondary programs has a long history. Within certain fields of study, such as law, business, and medicine, there are distinct signature practices associated with the use of cases. The use of cases in postsecondary programs includes, but is not limited to, signature approaches. Analysis of existing signature case pedagogies helps to shed light on reasoning for distinctive characteristics of the use of cases in different fields of study. While there are differences in the signature case methods in the fields of law, business, and medicine, these signature practices have a shared history. The case method emerged as an alternative instructional practice at the Harvard Law School in 1870, prompted by the perceived deficiencies of traditional educational practice for teaching law (Garvin, 2003). The case method, as originally developed by Langdell (as cited in Garvin, 2003), a professor and dean at Harvard, was grounded in the belief that students’ deep understanding 59 of the core principles upon which laws were based was best developed through their study of original legal cases. Thus, the object of the activity influenced which cases were selected for study. In the legal case method, students are first presented with a case (as a tool); they then move through a process of individually, and later collectively, interpreting and analyzing the case (as an object). Using a Socratic method, the instructor (as the more knowledgeable other) questions students’ thinking about the case, with the goal of deepening students’ reasoning about the case and their understanding of the core principles that the particular case was an instance of. Educators deemed this inductive approach to learning law to be a means to support the development of mastery of law; this approach was influenced by the broader culture at the time, which valued inductive empiricism (Garvin, 2003). Refinements of the legal case method now support the use of multiple cases, “typically selected because they appear to conflict with each other and require subtle, textured interpretation” (Garvin, 2003, p. 58); this adaptation supports students’ ability to deal with ambiguity. The Harvard Business School was established in 1908 (Cruikshank, 1987). Donham (as cited in Cruikshank, 1987), who was a graduate of the Harvard Law School, was appointed as Dean of the Business School in 1919. Early in his tenure as dean, Donham (as cited in Cruikshank, 1987) sought to employ pedagogy analogous to the case method in the business school (see also Garvin, 2003). Cruikshank (1987) explained that motives for developing case-based methods of instruction as new way of teaching in the business school included students’ expression of lack of relevance of their program of studies as well as the inadequacy of the teaching abilities of the faculty members. To address these deficiencies, Donham (as cited in Garvin, 2003) advocated for the use of a problem-based learning method that would develop students’ business acumen, which was interpreted as “making and 60 implementing decisions, often in the face of considerable uncertainty” (p. 60). There was no ready source for cases, as in the law school, and so instructors were engaged to script cases, which were designed to focus on real and contextualized issues or problems (Cruikshank, 1987; Garvin, 2003). The student’s role in a business case is to assume a specific management position and to make decisions based on the information provided; the scope of information presented about a case can vary (Jonassen, 2011; Mauffette-Leenders, Erskine, & Leenders, 2007). The problem-based orientation to the use of cases in the business school led to the adoption of the term problem method, but over time, the problem books created to support the application of the problem method came to be referred to as case books, and the method became known as the case method (Cruikshank, 1987; Garvin, 2003). Other universities later adopted the case method of instruction used at the Harvard Business School; the spread of the adoption of the case method was supported by the development of cases books and case libraries. In the 1950s, the case method was adapted for use in medical education at Harvard. The Dean of Medicine at the time, Daniel Tosteson (as cited in Garvin, 2003), sought to improve the design of medical education, which lacked a means of connecting the study of science with the practice of medicine (Garvin, 2003). Tosteson (1979) suggested an improved design should incorporate three elements: (a) the core ideas that all physicians need to know, (b) emphasize on problem solving and information management, and (c) encourage self-directed learning (pp. 693–694). In the medical school adaptation of case-based learning, the instructor presents initial case material, which then serves as a prompt for further student inquiry following a structured process; additional case material is presented in an iterative fashion to stimulate further inquiry (Barrows, 1986, 1996; Hung, Jonassen, & Liu, 2008; 61 Savery, 2006). The inquiry activities present students with the opportunity to work individually and collectively, and to gain the knowledge needed to understand the issues present in the case. In the 1970s, medical educators at McMaster and other universities further refined the use of the case-based learning in medicine (Barrows, 1996; Hung et al., 2008; Savery, 2006). The use of cases as problems to solve led to the use of the term problem-based learning (PBL), rather than case-based learning, for the description of the learning activity design. While the functional use of cases in both business and medicine is “cases as problems to solve” (Jonassen, 2011, p. 150), there are distinct differences in the object of the case-based learning designs. The differences in the objects reflect variances in interpretation of the nature of professional activity in each of the distinct fields, as well as students’ learning needs relative to these professional activities. The use of cases as a signature pedagogy has been supported through (a) training and certification in the use of established case-methods; (b) electronic case-libraries that provide widespread access to teaching cases; and (c) journals, books, and conferences that promote and advance practice with particular approaches to the use of cases in different fields of study. Over time, general principles and practices associated with signature methods for the use of cases have been developed to guide in using case methods in other fields of postsecondary study (e.g., Lynn, 1999), as well as in secondary study (Wassermann, 1994); this guidance is primarily based on the signature practice for the use of cases in business programs. Other literature offers general guidance on the use of cases as problems to solve (Boud & Feletti, 1991; Evenson & Hmelo, 2000; Jonassen, 2011); this literature base draws from signature approaches to the use of cases as well as other PBL methods. 62 Discussion about the characteristics of case-based learning in the fields of law, business, and medicine illustrates needs and motives for the use of cases and how these are reflected in the characteristics of case-based learning activity designs. From an activity theory perspective, the function of cases in each of the signature methods is relative to the object of the case-based learning activity. A commonality in the objects of the case-based learning activities is they are designed to develop the competencies associated with professional practice. The development of case-based learning activities as signature pedagogies in the field of law, business, and medicine was based on consideration of the following questions: What is the nature of professional activity in this field? What is the nature of professional expertise in this field? What form of learning design supports development of this expertise and prepares students for a life of practice? These kinds of questions have become central to scholarly inquiry about the signature characteristics of pedagogy, both in analyzing ‘what is’ as well as exploring ‘what might be.’ Furthermore, these are the same kinds of questions that are asked when using activity theory to inform the design of authentic learning activities (Jonassen & Rohrer-Murphy, 1999). Summary The purpose of this chapter was to expand on the conceptual framework for this study and to situate it in relation to relevant literature, as well as in relation to DEM as a new field of study and an emergent profession. The study was grounded by a constructivist epistemology and used cultural-historical activity theory as the primary lens for examining the characteristics of the use of case-based learning activities in postsecondary DEM programs, and theorizing about what the distinct characteristics of the use of cases in these programs might be. In addition, I detailed some of the ways in which the conceptual 63 framework shaped the research activity. The next chapter will describe the methodology and methods for the study in more detail. 64 Chapter 3: Methodology and Research Design This chapter presents the final research questions for this study, explains the methodology and rationale for the study design, as well as the design and approach to the implementation of the design. I integrated the use of case study, as a research method, with elements from design-based research methods in the design of this research study. The particular approaches to these methods were derived from the theoretical framework for the study, as well as the specific research questions that this study sought to address. As this study involved human subjects, I submitted requests for ethics approval to the university I attended as a student as well as the university at which I work and teach. The management of ethical issues and my role as a researcher in this study is explained in this chapter. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the limitations of this research study. Research Questions The research questions for this study reflected both theoretical and practical aims. The research questions and subquestions for the study were refined through the conduct of the study; the iterative development of research questions was in keeping with a qualitative approach to research design (Creswell, 2007, p. 43). The study addressed the following final research questions and subquestions: 1. How and why do faculty members participating in this study use case-based learning in their teaching in disaster and emergency management postsecondary programs? • What are faculty members’ reasons for using cases in their teaching? • What are the different ways faculty members use cases in their teaching? 65 • What are the characteristics of faculty members’ case-based learning activity designs? • What needs and motives are reflected in the characteristics of the case-based learning activity designs? 2. What cultural-historic influences are reflected in the characteristics of faculty members’ case-based learning activity designs? • What are the influences of the faculty member and institution in which they work on the characteristics of case-based learning activity designs? • What disciplinary influences are reflected in the characteristics of case-based learning activity designs? • What are the influences of DEM as a profession on the characteristics of case-based learning activity designs? 3. What instructional design guidance can be derived from this study’s findings to inform a theoretically grounded approach to the use of cases in learning activities in DEM postsecondary programs? The answers to the first two questions contribute to new knowledge about the use of cases in DEM postsecondary programs. The answer to the third question, in keeping with the pragmatic aims of this study, demonstrates the potential utility of the findings from this study. Methodology and Rationale for the Study Design The literature on research methods associated with the use of activity theory advocates for qualitative approaches without prescribing specific methods (Engeström, 2010; Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009; Yamagata-Lynch, 2010). Kaptelinin and Nardi (2009) argued that 66 the methods for a research study based on activity theory need to stem from the research questions. The first question in this research study was how and why faculty members use cases in their teaching in DEM postsecondary programs; the use of how and why questions aligned with the use of case study as a research method (Yin, 2014). The methodological approach to the use of case study, as a research method, was informed by activity theory, which takes into account the cultural-historic influences on learning activity designs. A particular affordance of the use of case-based research methods is they examine phenomena as situated in specific contexts. Thus case-based methods are also suitable for addressing the second research question, which focused on understanding cultural-historic influences on the design of case-based learning activities. The third research question, which had a pragmatic orientation, focused on exploring how the study findings could be used to develop instructional guidance for the use of cases in DEM postsecondary programs. Methods of framing instructional design guidance, and standards for this guidance, have been established in the design-based research literature. The development of theoretically informed and empirically grounded instructional guidance based on the study findings is in keeping with the kinds of assertions that can be made from a multicase research study. The particular approaches that informed the development of the case- and design-based research methods as used in this research study will now be described in more detail. Design-based research methods. Design-based research in the education field is defined as “a series of approaches, with the intent of producing new theories, artifacts, and practices that account for and potentially impact learning and teaching in naturalistic settings” (Barab & Squire, 2004, p. 2). Design-based studies are situated in relation to extant 67 learning or instructional theory (Wang & Hannafin, 2005). The unit of analysis (e.g., learning designs, technology use, curriculum design) in a design-based study can vary (van den Akker, Gravemeijer, McKenney, & Nieveen, 2006). This study used activity theory as the orienting framework for examining faculty members’ practice with regard to the use of cases in their teaching and the characteristics of their learning activity designs. Studies that explain models of practice are recognized as fitting within the broad genre of design research deliverables (Kelly, 2006), and with developmental, rather than validation design-based research studies (Nieveen, McKenney, & van den Akker, 2006). Edelson (2006) suggested that what educators can learn from design-based research is “warranted theory” (p. 101), which includes domain theories, design frameworks, and design methodology. An initial assumption in this study was the findings would support the development of a design framework for the use of cases in learning activities in DEM postsecondary programs. Through the conduct of this study it became apparent the findings supported the development of domain theory, as well as a design framework. Edelson (2002) explained a domain theory “is a theory about the world, not a theory about design per se. As such, it is descriptive, not prescriptive” (p. 113). He went on to explain that context theories and outcomes theories are the two kinds of domain theories that can be generated through design-based research (Edelson, 2002). The findings of this study supported the development of an outcome theory, which “characterizes a set of outcomes associated with some intervention” (Edelson, 2002, p. 113), as well as the ways to achieve the outcomes. Goals in this study were to understand the kinds of learning outcomes associated with the use of cases in DEM postsecondary programs and how cases support achievement of these learning outcomes. The use of activity theory, as the orienting 68 framework for this study, supported the development of theoretical assertions about the kinds of learning outcomes that can be achieved through the use of cases in DEM programs, as well as theoretical assertions about how cases support learning in relation to these outcomes. While the outcomes theory developed as a product of this study is context dependent (i.e., use of cases in DEM programs), some of the theoretical assertions underpinning the theory were found to be context transcendent (e.g., assertions about how cases support learning). Edelson (2002) defined a design framework as being “a generalized design solution” (p. 114). As Edelson (2006) noted, a design framework is based on domain theory. In this regard, the form of guidance in a design framework is substantive design principles (van den Akker, 1999), which “are heuristic guidelines to help others select and apply the most appropriate knowledge for a specific design task in another setting” (Nieveen et al., 2006, p. 153). As van den Akker (2006) explained, substantive design principles (a) articulate the purpose and function of a design intervention (e.g., object and function of cases in learning activities) in a specific context (e.g., DEM postsecondary programs); (b) provide guidance about the characteristics of the intervention; and (c) substantiate the guidance with theoretical and empirical arguments. The method of developing the generalizations reflected in design principles is analytical generalization (van den Akker, 2010), which is one of the methods of generalization used in multicase research methods (Yin, 2014). While this research study did not follow the design-based research method involving iterative cycles to formulate, implement, and study a particular type of design in situ, it was nonetheless a study about how and why a certain type of learning activity is used in practice. As previously noted, a recognized method for examining how and why questions is case-69 based research (Yin, 2014). The particular approach to the use of case-based research methods in this study will be described in the next section. Case-based research methods. While Creswell (2007), Merriam (1998), and Stake (2005) each offered insights on case study research methods and their application in educational contexts, Yin’s (2009, 2014) approach provided more explicit guidance on how the use of an a priori theory influences the design of a research case study. Given the role of activity theory in framing this study, Yin’s (2014) approach to case study as a research method provided the primary guidance for design of this inquiry. Stake’s (2006) approach to the analysis of multicase research studies was of particular value in the later stages of cross-case analysis. Yin (2014) defined case study as “an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon (the ‘case’) in depth and within its real-world context” (p. 16). In this research study, the phenomenon investigated was faculty members’ reasoning for and approaches to the use of case-based learning activities in their teaching; hence each faculty member was a “case” for study. Research case studies can investigate a single case or multiple cases; this research study utilized a multicase design. The rationale and methods for case selection will be elaborated on later in this chapter. Yin (2014) stated case study research methods “can embrace different epistemological orientations” (p. 17), which reflect the specific theory that informs a research study. While case-study methods can include both quantitative and qualitative approaches, the use of qualitative methods in this inquiry aligned with the constructivist epistemological orientation of this study, and with the use of activity theory. The theoretical framework for a qualitative study is understood to shape all aspects of the study design, including the framing 70 of research questions and the methods of data collection, analysis, and interpretation of study findings (Merriam, 1998). In particular, the use of a priori theory in the design of a research case study is an influence on the types of generalizations that can be made from the findings of a study. The method of generalization from research case studies is analytic generalization, which can either (a) advance theoretical propositions established during the design of the study or (b) emerge from new concepts developed during the conduct of the study (Yin, 2014). Both of these methods of generalization were used in this study. In accordance with Yin’s (2014) guidance, the development of the design for this research study included the following five elements: (a) research questions, (b) study propositions, (c) units of analysis, (d) logic of linking data to propositions, and (e) criteria for interpreting the findings from the study. The design also addressed ethical considerations, role of the researcher, and study limitations, which are other standard elements of a research study design (Creswell, 2007). The research questions were presented at the beginning of this chapter. The remainder of the chapter will describe how the other elements were manifest in the design and conduct of this study. Study Propositions Yin (2014) suggested the focus on theory development prior to the conduct of a research study is a factor that distinguishes case study research from other qualitative methods such as ethnography or grounded theory. The development of theoretical propositions at the beginning of the research design process provides guidance on what data need to be collected and the strategy for data analysis (Yin, 2014). The use of theoretical propositions in a research design serves to strengthen the external validity of a research study, while the use of a rival theory, or propositions that consider alternative perspectives, 71 serves to strengthen internal validity of a study (Yin, 2014). Theoretical propositions are inherently bounded and delimit a research study. Yin (2014) stated the framing of propositions provides “the logic whereby case study findings can extend to situations outside of the original case study, based on the relevance of similar theoretical concepts or principles” (p. 237). The propositions for this study build from recognized principles of activity theory, as proposed by Engeström (2001) and Kaptelinin and Nardi (2009), who interpreted and further developed the core tenets of activity theory from their different research perspectives. The activity theory principles and associated theoretical propositions served as the starting point for development of the propositions for this study. Some of the propositions for this study were more concretely described than others; for some of the principles, the purpose of this study was to inductively develop propositions about causal relationships, rather than to predict them. As previously discussed, the development of theoretical propositions at the outset of an inquiry is a standard practice in design-based research studies in the education field. The following seven principles from activity theory framed the propositions for this study: object-orientedness, hierarchical structure of activity, mediation, internalization–externalization, development, multivoicedness, and historicity. The first five of these principles and the associated propositions focused the collection of data to support analysis of how and why each faculty member used case-based learning in his or her teaching. The sixth and seventh principles (multivoicedness and historicity) provided a frame for analysis of the cultural-historic factors that influenced how and why faculty members used cases in their teaching. Given that there are rival explanations about the cultural-historical influences on learning activity designs, the propositions associated with the principles of 72 multivoicedness and historicity took into account four variables what were understood to influence the characteristics of a learning activity design; a purpose of this study was to examine how these four factors influenced the different elements of case-based learning designs. While each principle is distinct and explains a dimension of activity theory, the principles are necessarily interrelated. The principles and associated propositions for this study are presented in Table 1. While the principles and propositions were proposed at the outset of this study, some were further developed during the initial analysis of the data; refinement was needed to further focus the analysis of the data. Additionally, I had originally included Engeström’s (2001) principle of contradictions in the propositions for this study. While this principle is frequently used in the application of activity theory to study learning activities, it became evident through the initial analysis of the data that a focus on contradictions did not support answering the study questions.  Table 1 Activity Theory Principles and Propositions, and Propositions for this Study Activity Theory Principles & Propositions Associated Propositions for this Study 1. Object-orientedness (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009): 1.1 Objects differentiate and constrain activities. The function of an object is to motivate and direct activity. 1.1 Objects differentiate and constrain learning activities. It is expected there will be some similarities, as well as differences, in the types of objects of case-based learning activities.      73 Activity Theory Principles & Propositions Associated Propositions for this Study 1.2 Needs are the motives for activity. Needs originate from prior activity.3  1.2 The objects of learning activities reflect a faculty member’s interpretation of students’ learning needs relative to (a) a particular dimension of a course and (b) the collective motives of the program of study.  2. The hierarchical structure of activity (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009): 2.1 While activities appear to be directed towards their objects, an activity is comprised of individual actions directed towards goals.  2.1 A learning activity is comprised of a series of actions that are directed towards goals.  3. Mediation (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009): 3.1 The function of tools, which can be both material and psychological, is to mediate a subject’s interaction with an object. 3.2 Tools are a mechanism by which social knowledge and experience from within a culture are transmitted in the course of an activity.  3.1 The mechanics of how cases, as tools, mediate learning is not predicted; rather, it was a goal of this study to explore faculty members’ beliefs about how cases support learning. 3.2 Tools are reflective of the disciplines that inform DEM a field of study discipline and DEM as a profession. 3.2 Cases, as tools, are instances of the phenomenon that are the object of study. It is expected there will be common characteristics as to what constitutes a case in learning activities in DEM programs.                                                 3 These last two propositions about needs, which Kaptelinin and Nardi (2009) explored in some depth, were not framed in their principle of object-orientedness, but nonetheless serve to explain the basis of the formulation of objects. 74 4. Internalization–externalization (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009): 4.1 Activity, which is first carried out on the external plane, is the process by which learning and intrapsychological development occurs.  4.1 A learning activity design reflects a faculty member’s beliefs about how learning occurs and how cases support learning; these beliefs may or may not be congruent with established learning theories.  5. Development (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009; Engeström, 2010):  Developmental changes occur through activity; this change can be at an intrapsychological level as well as at other levels (e.g., organization, discipline, professional practice).  5.1 The developmental changes expected to occur through the course of learning activities are reflected in explicit or implicit learning outcomes, which become the object of a learning activity. 5.2 The disciplinary characteristics of learning activities reflect the state of development of a field of study at a particular time.  6. Multivoicedness (Engeström, 2010): The elements in an activity system reflect “multiple points of view, traditions and interests” (Engeström, 2010, p. 136).  6.1 The elements of learning activity designs reflect the agency of the faculty member, including his or her disciplinary background, teaching philosophy, and perception of DEM as a field of study and profession. 6.2  The elements of learning designs also reflect (a) the institution at which the faculty member teaches, (b) disciplines that have informed DEM as a field of study, and (c) DEM as a profession.  7. Historicity (Engeström, 2010):  Activities and their objects have a history, which includes the “history of the theoretical ideas and tools that have shaped the activity” (Engeström, 2010, pp. 136–137).  7.1 Learning activity designs have a history, which includes the history of (a) the faculty member who designed the activity, (b) the psychological and material tools that shaped the activity, and (c) the DEM program at the university in which the faculty member is situated. Note. DEM = Disaster and Emergency Management. Units of Analysis, Case Selection, and Ethics Management As previously discussed, Engeström (2009) suggested the minimal unit of analysis when using activity theory includes two interrelated activity systems. Given the cultural 75 agency of the subject in an activity system (Kaptelinin & Nardi, 2009), the primary unit of analysis in this study comprised the faculty members who participated in the study, and the embedded units of analysis were their case-based learning designs. Faculty members design activity and the resultant learning activity designs are considered to be two inter-related activity systems. Case selection. Yin (2014) suggested the logic for selection of multiple cases follows replication logic, rather than sampling logic, with each case selected because it is either a literal or a theoretical replication of the others. Given faculty members’ agency in the formulation of learning activity designs, their disciplinary backgrounds were hypothesized to be a primary influence on the disciplinary characteristics of learning activity designs, while variables related to the university context in which they are situated were expected to be a secondary influence. Based on these assumptions, cases of faculty members who had the same disciplinary background would be literal replications of each other, while cases of faculty members from different disciplinary backgrounds would be theoretical replications. The way in which the theoretical propositions for this study influenced the selection of cases and expected replication logic will now be explained. Programs offering a graduate degree in the DEM field initially bounded the case selection. As I found only 53 master’s level programs in October 2011 on the FEMA list of postsecondary programs offering DEM programs in the United States (FEMA, n.d.), additional criteria for the selection of cases was required. Given the formative state of development of DEM as a field of study, addition inclusion criteria included (a) full-time faculty members who teach in an institution offering a doctoral program in DEM in the United States or a master’s program in DEM in Canada (there are no doctoral programs in 76 the DEM field in Canada as of yet) and (b) faculty who have also made scholarly contributions to the discussion of DEM as a field of study or the professionalization of the field of DEM. These criteria built from assumptions the state of development of DEM as a field of study or discipline would be more advanced at an institution that offered a doctoral program and faculty members whose scholarly work included writing about the development of the field would have given considered thought to what the characteristics of DEM as field of study are or might be. In October 2011, the FEMA College List (FEMA, n.d.) listed nine universities that offered doctoral programs in the United States. I reviewed the web biographic details and scholarly contributions of the faculty members teaching in these institutions to determine which faculty members’ scholarship included activity related to the development of DEM as a field of study or practice. I identified a total of 12 faculty members at nine institutions in the United States as meeting the inclusion criteria. There are no doctoral programs in the DEM field in Canada, and so this restricted case selection to institutions offering master’s degrees. At the time of this research, only two institutions in Canada offered master’s programs in DEM; one is the institution where I teach and the other is York University. One faculty member from York met the inclusion criteria. Thus, there were 13 potential cases. The disciplinary backgrounds of these faculty members, based on their highest degree, were as follows: (a) four had doctoral degrees in sociology, (b) three had doctoral degrees in DEM, (c) the other individuals had doctoral degrees in urban policy and public planning, political science, international studies, geography, and engineering management, and (d) one had an master’s degree in physics. Hence, there was a potential for both literal replication of cases based on the disciplinary backgrounds of the faculty members. 77 I found variations in the master’s and doctoral degree types offered within the 13 potential cases. I assumed these variations would permit analysis of how the disciplinary attributes of the DEM degree at an institution influenced the characteristics of case-based learning activity designs. Due to the formative state of development of DEM as a field of study, many programs are situated in other disciplinary departments (e.g., political science), and some of the degrees offered reflect the affiliation with a particular discipline (e.g., the Master of Public Administration program with a specialization in DEM). Further, each institution may have a different perception of the learning outcomes associated with a DEM degree. I expected the influence of these different disciplinary orientations to be reflected in the program learning outcomes, and in turn the course objectives as well as the objects and tools in case-based learning activities. I invited the 13 faculty members who met the inclusion criteria to take part in this research study by sending a letter of invitation and consent form to all potential participants. Eight faculty members agreed to participate. Due to university privacy policies, one participant was not able to share copies of case-based design materials, and this person was later excluded from the study. The profiles of the seven faculty members who participated in the study did not afford the opportunity for literal comparisons to be made (e.g., how two different sociologists use cases in their teaching), and thus the seven cases, based on faculty members’ profiles, are all considered theoretical replications. However, two of the degree programs are of the same type (Master of Science in Emergency Management), and the degrees at these two institutions are both situated in a separate DEM department at their respective universities, rather than in a different departmental home (e.g., public administration). Thus, two of the cases can be considered literal replications, based on the 78 degree type and departmental home, while the others are considered theoretical replications. Disciplinary characteristics of the faculty members, degree type, and departmental home for the DEM degree included in this study are summarized in Table 2. Table 2 Disciplinary Profiles of Study Participants and the Programs and Departments at Their Institutions Disciplinary background based on highest academic credential Degree type at the institution where the faculty member works Departmental home for the DEM degree Cases in the United States PhD in Emergency Management MSc in Emergency Management Department of Emergency Management PhD in Urban Policy and Public Planning MSc in Emergency Management Department of Emergency Management PhD in Sociology MSc in Fire and Emergency Management Department of Political Science PhD in International Studies MPA with specialization in Emergency Management Department of Public Administration PhD in Political Science MPP with specialization in Emergency Management Department of Public Management and Policy DSc in Engineering Management MSc in Engineering Management Department of Engineering Management Case in Canada MSc in Physics MA in Disaster and Emergency Management Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Note. DEM = Department of Emergency Management; DSc = Doctor of Science; MA = Master of Arts; MPA = Master in Public Administration; MPP = Master of Public Policy; MSc = Master of Science; PhD = Doctor of Philosophy. Ethics management. Given the use of human subjects in this study, I required ethical approval before contacting potential study participants. As I am both a faculty member at Royal Roads University and a student at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan, I 79 sought and received ethics approval at both universities prior to the conduct of the individual interviews. As previously mentioned, I sent a letter of invitation and consent form to the 13 potential study participants via their university email address. The letter of initiation outlined (a) the study purpose and method; (b) criteria for participant selection; (c) participant expectations (e.g., two interviews, providing samples of case-based learning activity materials); (d) benefits and risks of participation, (e) confidentiality, and (f) use of the study results. The research ethics boards assessed there to be minimal risk to participants in this study. Given the nature of the research, and in particular the characteristics of the dependent and independent variables in the study design, I explained the need to identify participants in the final research report and other publications or presentations resulting from the research study, noting that final consent to use a participant’s name would be sought after each faculty member had read a final draft of his or her own case study report. Additionally, study participants were asked to confirm if additional ethics approval from their own institution was required; they all indicated this additional level of approval was not required. I recorded the interviews with research participants using an iPod touch and a digital voice recorder. While the initial letter of invitation explained the interviews would be electronically recorded, I confirmed study participants’ consent for recording the conversation at the beginning of each interview. I conducted one of the first interviews in person, and all of the other interviews were conducted via telephone or Skype™ (Microsoft, 2016), depending on the preference of the participant. I sent the iPod files to a professional transcription service. 80 The interview files and other data for this study sent to me by the study participants were stored on a password-protected computer in my home office, and I ensured the files were regularly backed up to a separate password-protected hard drive and to my personal directory on the computer system at Royal Roads University. Data Sources and Data Management Yin (2014) suggested, regardless of the sources of evidence collected, there are three key principles of data collection in a research case study. The first principle is to collect multiple forms of evidence, which allows for triangulation of the data and supports construct validity (Yin, 2014). Research data for this research case study included (a) biographical information about the faculty member, as described on their resume and on the university website; (b) two interviews with each faculty member, which were recorded and professionally transcribed; (c) artifacts provided by the faculty member that described or illustrated the participant’s different approaches to the use of case-based learning designs; (d) readings and resources for participants’ case activities, which I obtained after the interviews (e.g., copies of articles and books used in the case activities); and (e) notes that I had made during the conduct of the study. While these different sources of data allowed for what Yin (2009) referred to as converging lines of inquiry about the case-based learning designs being studied, from the perspective of activity theory, the different data sources contributed to a multivoiced understanding of faculty members’ learning designs as activity systems. In conducting this study, I did not incorporate observations of the implementation of the case-based learning activities; rather, I assumed that characteristics of learning activity designs and reasoning for these designs could be understood from discussions with faculty 81 members, analysis of their case-based learning designs, and the materials used in their learning activities. The second principle of data collection was to create a case study database; this contributed to the reliability of the study (Yin, 2009). The main structure for the electronic database for this study, which was kept on a password-protected computer, was as follows: (a) proposal, (b) dissertation, (c) literature review, (d) ethics materials, (e) concept maps, (f) propositions, (g) participant selection, (h) case study data, (i) single-case analysis, and (j) cross-case analysis. Each of these sections of the database also had standardized structure. The use of the database proved to be invaluable in the conduct of the research, as I both collected and generated a large volume of data through the study. The third principle of data collection, which also supported the reliability of the study, was to maintain a chain of evidence that would allow an independent party to trace the findings and conclusions, as well as citations to the data, back to the database itself (Yin, 2009). In addition to the use of citations referencing data sources, I utilized the structure of the database and implemented a numbering system for the computer files to establish a clear chain of evidence for the study. Data Analysis and Criteria for Interpretation of Findings Engeström et al. (1999) stated, when using activity theory, the analytic strategy needs to take into account both the subject’s and the researcher’s views of the activity system; this integrated perspective contributes to a multivoiced construction of the system (or systems) being studied. The subjects’ views provide an emic perspective, while the researcher’s view provides an etic perspective. This balance between inductive and deductive approaches to data analysis is also an approach used in design-based research studies (McKenney, Nieveen, 82 & van den Akker, 2006). The theoretical framework for this study informed the analytic strategy and methods. Yin (2014) spoke to the necessity of having a general analytic strategy developed in advance of the conduct of the study to demonstrate how internal validity is to be established. Three of his four general analytic strategies supported the analysis of the data for this study: (a) examining data from the ground up, (b) analysis based on theoretical propositions, and (c) development of case descriptions (Yin, 2014). Yin (2014) offered a fourth possible analytic strategy, examining rival explanations. Rival explanations were accounted for and framed within the propositions for the study (e.g., different cultural-historic factors influencing learning activity designs). Yin (2014) described five specific analytic techniques for analyzing data; the three most relevant to this study included pattern matching, explanation building, and cross-case synthesis. There were six stages to the analysis of the data collected during this study: (a) first interview and supplementary data analysis, (b) case-based learning activity design analysis – Part 1, (c) second interview data analysis, (d) case-based learning activity design – Part 2, (e) writing the individual faculty member reports, and (f) cross-case analysis of the individual faculty member reports. Each of these stages of this study will be described in turn. Stage 1: First interview and supplementary data analysis. I conducted the first interviews using a semistructured interview format, with the interview questions being designed to support answering the research questions. The interviews were between 45 minutes and 1 hour in length. Following completion of the interviews, I sent the electronic files to a professional transcription service. I created an interim individual faculty member 83 case report (Miles & Huberman, 1994) using the notebook template in Microsoft Word as a tool for organizing the interview data and as a framework for integrating other data about the faculty member, his or her university, and his or her approach to the use of cases in teaching. This approach aligns with Yin’s (2014) general analytic strategy of developing a case description. The report template included the following five main categories that built from the conceptual framework and propositions shaping the study: (a) faculty member profile, (b) institutional and student profiles, (c) faculty members’ perceptions of the characteristics of DEM as a field of study, (d) faculty members’ perceptions of the characteristics of the DEM as a profession, and (e) case-based learning activity designs. There were multiple iterations of each interim case report; a sequential numbering scheme for these reports supported maintenance of a chain of evidence throughout the conduct of the study. To build the case reports, I reviewed each transcript from the first round of interviews, and then cut and pasted questions and answers from a copy of the transcript into the appropriate category of the interim report template. The topics from the interview questions became initial subcategory labels. For example, subcategory labels under the section on ‘faculty member profile’ included ‘disciplinary background,’ ‘professional experience,’ ‘teaching experience,’ ‘teaching philosophy,’ and ‘factors influencing teaching philosophy.’ The cut-and-paste method ensured that all interview data were transferred to the initial report. This first version of the report was saved, and a copy was created to use for the second version of the report. I integrated additional data from the faculty members’ resumes and from the program web pages into the appropriate sections of second version of the report before it was analyzed. 84 The focus of the analysis for the second draft of the report was to identify the key dimensions of a faculty member’s responses to the questions. The general analytic strategy I used was both inductive (working the data from the ground up) and deductive (use of theoretical propositions). I read through the report at least twice and attached initial labels to meaningful chunks of texts, and in some instances I italicized or highlighted keywords or phrases. A chunk of data included several sentences or a part of a sentence. The labels I used were primarily descriptive, and in some instances in vivo labels were used (Miles, Huberman, & Saldana, 2014, p. 74). This first step of the analysis was inductive, and the descriptive labels were primarily, but not always, unique to a specific case. For example, the labels for description of one faculty member’s professional experience included ‘perception of experience,’ ‘policy and legislative work,’ and ‘local community experience’; these labels were unique to this particular case. In contrast, several participants spoke about their ‘experience as a student’ being a strong influence on their teaching philosophy. While the particular type of student experience that influenced a faculty member’s teaching philosophy was unique, ‘experience as a student’ was a descriptive label that appeared in more than one case. Similarly, when describing their disciplinary backgrounds and areas of expertise, many faculty members spoke about events or people that influenced their thinking about the field. I labeled the associated chunks of data with the codes ‘influence’ and ‘shift’; these labels are considered to be causal and explanation pattern codes (Miles, Huberman, & Saldana, 2014). I also deductively applied interpretive pattern codes relating to the conceptual framework and propositions for the study in the analysis of the data; these codes came from the elements in activity system (i.e., subject, tools, object, rules, community, division of labour), structure of activity (e.g., action, goal), or another aspect of the conceptual framework (e.g., disciplinary 85 characteristic). I continued reading within and across cases until no further revisions of labels were required. I then saved this second version of the report. The purpose of the third version was to draft the narrative for the individual faculty member case reports to capture the findings from the previous stage of analysis (e.g., description of a faculty member’s professional experience, reasons for the use of cases). I noted gaps in information needed to complete the analysis so they could be addressed in the second interview. One of the main gaps was specific information about each of the different examples of how faculty members used cases in their teaching. Very few of the faculty members had documentation that fully described a learning activity; as such, I needed to obtain further information about the designs through conducting a second round of interviews. Stage 2: Case-based learning activity design analysis – Part 1. During the conduct of the first interview, I asked faculty members to describe their various approaches to the use of case-based learning activities in their teaching. Through discussion, the participants and I agreed on a number of case activities that exemplified each of their different approaches to the use of cases in their teaching. I requested faculty members send me copies of the course syllabus and any other documentation or material related to each example. The degree of documentation received for any particular case activity varied considerably. There were two goals for the initial analysis of the case-based learning designs. The first was to describe the particular case (or cases) associated with each activity and to identify the sources of the case material. The second goal was to identify and describe the sequence of actions and goals that comprised the activity. I developed a Microsoft Word document template to capture these dimensions of a case activity. Through this analysis process, I 86 identified gaps in information and framed questions for the second round of interviews, as in many instances the sequence of actions and goals could not be understood from the data available. Stage 3: Second interview and data analysis. I did not use standard questions for the second interview; rather, the goal of the interview was to obtain the information needed to complete the analysis of how and why faculty members used cases in their teaching and what the cultural-historic influences on the characteristics of their learning activity designs were. The gaps in information shaped the questions and approach to the interview. I handled the transcriptions from the second interviews in the same way as the data from the first interview. Once again, I created categories using the notebook template in Microsoft Word, and I cut and pasted interview questions and responses from a version of the transcription into the appropriate categories. I then saved this version of the second interview report. The bulk of the information from the second round of interviews included narrative descriptions of the case-based learning activity designs and participants’ reasoning for these designs. The analysis of the faculty members’ descriptions of their case-learning designs focused on coding chunks of text that pertained to (a) the elements of an activity system (i.e., object, subject, community, rules, division of labour, tools); (b) the structure of activity (i.e., actions, goals); and (c) other elements of activity theory (e.g., needs, motives, outcomes, student starting points, zone of proximal development). As the analysis progressed some of the labels became more refined. For example, I refined the label for tools to include tool availability and tool selection. Stage 4: Case-based learning activity design analysis – Part 2. I considered existing tools for the analysis of learning activities from an activity theory perspective, such 87 as Mwanza’s (2001) eight-step model and Kaptelinin and Nardi’s (2009) activity checklist; however, the tools did not sufficiently frame the analysis in ways that would support answering the research questions, so a new tool needed to be created. I developed a Microsoft Word document template to support analysis of each of the 37 different examples of case-based learning activities provided by faculty members. The structure of the template, which was iteratively revised during the use of the tool, was similar to Mwanza’s (2001), but included questions to capture the needs and motives as reflected in object of the activity and other elements in a learning activity design.  The data for this stage of the analysis included (a) transcripts from the first and second interviews, (b) documentation about the case activity as provided to me by the faculty member, (c) readings and resources as referenced in the case activity design obtained by me, and (d) my initial case activity analysis documentation. I transferred the data from these different sources to the relevant sections of this new template. I then identified themes within the data using the constant comparative method (Merriam, 1998). My goals were to (a) create  a description of the characteristics of each learning activity from an activity theory perspective, and (b) identify the learning and instructional needs that were the motives for the different elements in each case-based learning activity design. I focused the analysis of data pertaining to the activity structure on depicting the sequence of actions and goals that comprised each of the learning activities examined in this study. Constant comparison of the data across the different case activity designs of each individual faculty member supported further refinement of the needs-based reasoning for the object and the design of the activity; this analysis was supported by the use of an additional Microsoft Word document table to identify needs that were common to all of a faculty 88 members’ case-based learning activity designs (e.g., need for a case to be a realistic example of something) and those that were limited to certain designs (e.g., need for a case to relate to students’ interests). In instances in which a need was limited to a particular design, I noted the conditions related to how this need influenced the learning design. The goal of the data analysis was to identify (a) similarities and differences between the characteristics of the objects, tools, and activity structures of each individual faculty member’s case-based learning designs and (b) how characteristics of the activity designs reflected the faculty member, the institution in which he or she teaches, and DEM as a field of study and a profession. Stage 5: Writing the individual case reports. Gravemeijer and Cobb (2006) noted thick description supports the ecological validity of the research study by enabling others to understand the specifics of a case. Given the propositions for this study, the information in each of the faculty member’s case reports presented (a) a description about the faculty member and institution in which he or she teaches, which supported the analysis of the cultural-historic factors that influenced the characteristics of the faculty member’s approach to the use of case-based learning and (b) the findings from the analysis of each of faculty member’s examples of the different approaches to the use of case-based learning activities in his or her teaching. Each of the case reports helped to identify (a) how and why faculty members use case-based learning activities in their teaching and (b) what cultural-historic influences are reflected in the characteristics of faculty members’ case-based learning activity designs. These case reports used a standard structure with the following main headings: • faculty member profile, • university profile, 89 • case-based learning activity designs, and  • cultural-historic influences on the activity designs. Once completed, I sent each faculty member participating in the study a copy of his or her case report for review and feedback. The feedback received was primarily related to matters of fact (e.g., dates, names). In addition, I asked faculty members to reconfirm their permission for their names to be used in the case study reports; all faculty members reconfirmed their consent. Having study participants review the final draft of their case reports contributed to the internal validity of this research study (Merriam, 1998). The individual faculty member case reports are presented in Chapter 4. Stage 6: Cross-case analysis of the individual case reports. The goal of this stage of the analysis was to provide final answers to the first two study questions based on a comparative analysis of the findings of each of the individual faculty member case reports. Through constant comparison of the findings of each of the sections of faculty members’ case reports, I identified similarities and differences as well as reasoning for the differences. During this stage of the analysis, I followed Yin’s (2014) method to iteratively test and revise the study propositions (p. 149). I then compared and discussed the cross-case findings about how and why faculty members use cases in their teaching in relation to (a) established signature methods for the use of cases in the fields of law, business, and medicine and (b) established systems for classification of problem- and case-based learning activities. This comparison served to situate the findings about how cases are used in the DEM field in relation to extant practice and theorizing about practice. The cross-case findings about the cultural-historic influences on the characteristics of case-based learning activities were discussed in relation to literature about the influence of disciplines and professions on 90 pedagogical practice in postsecondary institutions. Further, I discussed and compared the characteristics of faculty members’ case-based learning activity designs in relation to their perceptions of what the central characteristics of professional DEM practice are and should be. The cross-case analysis is presented in two chapters. Chapter 5 presents the cross-case analysis, discussion, and summary response to the question about how and why faculty members use cases in their teaching in DEM postsecondary programs, and Chapter 6 presents the cross-case analysis, discussion, and summary response to the question about the cultural-historic influences on the characteristics of faculty members’ case-based learning activity designs. Stage 7: Development of instructional design guidance for the use of cases. The final stage of analytic work in this study was to develop instructional guidance for the use of cases in DEM postsecondary programs that built from the study findings and discussion as well as my interpretation of these findings. In keeping with the methods of generalizing as established in design-based research methods, I developed an outcome theory and design framework for the use of cases in teaching in DEM postsecondary programs; this framework is presented in Chapter 7.  Researcher Role and Bias Merriam (1998) stated, “Because the primary instrument in qualitative research is human, all observations and analyses are filtered through that human being’s worldview, values, and perspective” (p. 22). This section will describe the ways my worldview, values, and perspectives influenced my role as a researcher. My role as a researcher was to design the study, complete the ethics applications, conduct the interviews, analyze and interpret the data, draw conclusions, and provide recommendations. My influence on each of these 91 different tasks, as well as ways of managing the inherent bias, will be discussed in this section. My disciplinary background has been shaped, in part, by my formal educational studies. While I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Printmaking) degree, my graduate studies have all been in the education field. I have a Master of Education degree (adult education), and, in 2009, I began doctoral studies at the University of Calgary in the Doctor of Education program, specializing in education technology. It was in a course called Technology Enabled Learning Environments delivered by Dr. Gail Kopp that I was first introduced to activity theory. My understanding of activity theory has been informed by my reading about the theory, as well as by my experience in using the theory as a tool for designing learning activities in the courses I teach. My experience with using activity theory, which aligns with my own epistemological beliefs, biases me to using this theory. While my approach to using activity theory draws from literature that discussed the methodological implications and offered procedural guidance, my approach to the use of activity theory delimited the design of this study, as well as my approach to interpretation of the study findings. The study questions reflected my personal interests and motives. First, for pragmatic reasons, I wanted to link my research to my teaching work. I have been teaching in the Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management (MADEM) program at Royal Roads University as a full-time faculty member since 2009. I use cases in my teaching and have used learning theory, as well as literature on problem- and case-based learning, to design a multiday case study activity, which generally follows the method used in medical schools. Second, my interests in case-based learning, as explained in Chapter 1, also come from my professional experience. My experience with responding to disasters began with the 1987 92 Edmonton tornado, and my last major response was the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, where I took on the role of Country Director for the Canadian Red Cross disaster recovery program in Indonesia for a 2-year period (2005–2007). My expertise in the DEM field, developed through over 25 years of experience, is fundamentally case based. I believe people can learn vicariously through the case experience of others, and because an emergency manager’s experience is inherently place based, learning from the experiences of others is of critical importance to the advancement of practice. I am curious about how and why people learn from cases, and want to know more about how cases can be used effectively in the DEM field. This curiosity, along with the desire to do research related to my work, led me to focus my research on case-based learning in the DEM field. My primary interest, given that I teach in a MADEM program, was on studying the use of cases in master’s degrees. My initial thought was this study could be delimited to these applications. While the inclusion criteria focused on faculty who taught at institutions offering graduate degrees in the DEM field, some faculty members’ teaching assignments included undergraduate DEM courses. The inclusion of these applications of the use of cases contributed to development of knowledge about the difference between the use of cases in graduate and undergraduate programs. The greatest potential for bias in this qualitative study was in the analysis and interpretation of the data. During the conduct of the interviews, I took care to use active listening skills, and I reframed my interpretation of what I had heard at different times throughout the interviews. While the transcripts provided a verbatim record of what the participant said, reframing in the interview allowed me to identify whether or not my early interpretations of what was said reflected the participant’s perspective. The study findings, 93 while supported by quotes from study participants, nonetheless reflect my construction of both etic and emic perspectives. While these represent different perspectives, they are both my interpretations. I addressed the internal validity of the study by sharing the case reports with the faculty members and inviting them to comment on my interpretations. Study Limitations and Assumption While case study research methods limited the types of generalizations that could be made from this research study, another limitation was that the study engaged a limited number of participants who have a particular set of practices related to the use of cases in their teaching. Thus, the assertions made in answering the study questions were limited to my interpretation of how and why the seven particular faculty members participating in the study used cases in their teaching, and what the cultural-historic influences on their practices were.