Author: Mishori R, Hannaford A, Rosenwald A, Carroll L.M, Vijh E and Kelly B.B Publication Year: 2015
Summary: Case Competitions (CCs), involve inter-professional teams of students working collaboratively to solve a challenge. Across the US there is a proliferation of CCs focused on health themes. This study explores and maps this activity across North America.
Description: Background: Case Competitions (CCs), an educational approach borrowed from business schools, feature interprofessional teams of students working collaboratively to “solve” a simulated challenge. They present their recommendations to expert judges and win prizes. There is a proliferation across the US of CCs focused on health themes. No literature exists to document this trend. We set out to explore and map this activity across North America, and to review the judging rubrics.

Methods: We identified health-oriented CCs in the US by searching the medical and grey literature using key words: “case competition” and Health; “Case challenge” and Health. CCs were categorized based on location, organization, content area, process, prizes, and year of initiation. Scoring sheets were analyzed for areas of assessment.

Results: The number of health-related CCs is increasing. There are currently >30 CCs in the US, with dozens of universities competing. The majority were initiated in the past 5 years. Judging rubrics focused on several domains: understanding and analysis of problem; content and justification for solution; presentation, responsiveness to questions; process characteristics (e.g. teamwork).

Conclusion: CCs represent unique opportunities for interprofessional learning. There are no studies to assess CCs effectiveness as an educational activity. Educators should explicitly define CCs goals and objectives, adapt assessment tools and evaluate associated outcomes.

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