| By Julie Pitlock |
With the growing integration of online learning components into college courses, faculty are struggling to package content with best practices for teaching and learning online to help yield transferrable, twenty-first century skills for today’s college students (Bay View Analytics, 2020).1 Running parallel to this, we are seeing the rise of critical social issues that are affecting the livelihoods of individuals around the world, and in turn, the way we learn. While speaking with librarians and faculty, we at Gale heard three main pain points that they were experiencing in teaching and learning:
- Faculty were spending a lot of time looking for engaging content to use in class.
- Underclassmen were having difficulty with digital literacy and critical thinking skills.
- Librarians and faculty were having a difficult time finding content on critical contemporary issues.
Using this feedback, we created an exciting new product, Gale Case Studies, our first academic online instructional tool that consists of collections of case studies around various topics. Gale Case Studies does some of the heavy lifting for faculty by providing curated, engaging primary sources on contemporary issues, such as LGBTQ issues, public health, race, and political extremism. Faculty can use the case studies to supplement or completely satisfy course objectives relevant to the issues and topics covered by the case studies. All curated content has been chosen by an academic editor-in-chief who has reviewed the case studies for accuracy and teachability.
The guided learning experience of Gale Case Studies provides students with primary sources, contextualized information around the primary sources, and study questions to help students critically analyze the primary sources and topics being discussed. This promotes digital literacy and critical thinking skills that allow for transfer of learning to other culturally relevant topics. In addition, LMS integration allows for faculty to seamlessly link the instruction into their LMS, so students can easily access content without having to leave the LMS, a plus in today’s COVID-19 learning environment.
Gale Case Studies is an interdisciplinary product containing modules that can be used for history, gender studies, sociology, psychology, English, or law courses to help students learn how social issues have evolved from people who have experienced the events firsthand. The first module to be released is Intersectional LGBTQ Issues. This module focuses on events in LGBTQ history that mostly occurred during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Some examples of the case studies include topics that address the ACT UP protest in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral as well as LGBTQ employment discrimination. This first module will be followed by Public Health Issues in December. Other modules in the works include one on race and another on political extremism.
To find out more, visit: gale.com/case-studies.
1. Bay View Analytics. Perspectives: COVID-19, and the future of higher education. Accessed October 21, 2020.