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Ep. 043: Interrupted Case Studies with Bill Anderson

Dr. Bill Anderson, an associate professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, is one of the 2017 Outstanding University Teaching Award winners. In this jam-packed episode, Bill and Jim explore the power of interrupted case studies-- a way to foster students’ creative thinking by giving them structured opportunities to engage in inference and prediction. They also discuss the value of “stacking the deck” to shepherd learners towards “ah-ha” moments, examine ways to structure class discussion and learning about controversial issues in a safe way, and speculate about what should really be in your statement of teaching philosophy.

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Show Notes

Here are some additional resources:

Bill uses the Up series of documentaries as case studies related to his discipline

  • Read more about the whole documentary series on Wikipedia
  • In the United States, the latest film, 56 Up, aired on PBS.
  • Read the New Yorker's take on 56 Up .

Bill also mentioned The Slow Professor,a recent book arguing against the academy’s newfound “culture of speed.”

Jim made reference to the Ethics in America TV series from the Annenberg Foundation and Columbia University.

Bloom’s Taxonomy comes up often in this episode. Our colleagues at Iowa State’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning have an excellent online refresher.


Herreid, C. F., Schiller, N. A., & Herreid, K. F. (2012). Science stories: Using case studies to teach critical thinking. Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association.

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2019-02-26T11:08:55.47-06:00 2019