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The use of case study design in learning management system research: A label of convenience?

journal contribution
posted on 14.07.2021, 22:50 by Darren TurnbullDarren Turnbull, Ritesh ChughRitesh Chugh, Jo-Anne LuckJo-Anne Luck
Case study design is often characterized as a poorly applied and understood approach to conduct research into information systems. This literature review examined 28 empirical studies of Learning Management Systems (LMS) that were self-declared as case studies. This paper’s main aim was to establish whether these studies actually applied case study techniques or simply utilized the term “case study” as a label of convenience. Alarmingly, more than one-third of the examined articles contained little or no justification for adopting a case study design and did not meet the established criteria for identification as a case study as outlined in this review. The lack of an appropriate discussion on the characteristics and applicability of the case study approach to empirical discovery brings into question the robustness of a study’s stated methodology. It is not sufficient to assume that the label “case study” by itself will portray a universal understanding of the research design of an empirical LMS study. This paper proposes that a robust description of what constitutes a case study in a LMS context will assist in ensuring that future studies on LMS (or other information systems) research that intend to adopt a case study approach, adequately present appropriate justifications for adopting this methodology. It is hoped that our definition and description of LMS case study methodology will serve to inspire further reflection on the characteristics of this robust research approach that might lead to a set of guidelines for applying this methodology to information systems research.

History

Volume

20

Start Page

1

End Page

11

Number of Pages

11

eISSN

1609-4069

ISSN

1609-4069

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Additional Rights

CC BY-NC

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

Author Research Institute

Centre for Research in Equity and Advancement of Teaching & Education (CREATE)

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

International Journal of Qualitative Methods