Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Heather Schugar, PhD

Committee Member

Vicki McGinley, PhD

Committee Member

Christian Penny, PhD


This study examined how different modes of case-based learning activities inform the learning experiences of undergraduate pre-service teacher candidates in an introductory special education course. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I assisted university faculty as they rapidly transitioned from teaching face-to-face courses to teaching online courses. One of the most difficult things to transition to an online format was classroom observations/practicum experiences. While there is an increasing amount of classroom video content available, it is difficult to find video observation content related to hard-to-reach populations (e.g., low-incidence disabilities, or students who have experienced trauma). The data from this study included teacher self-efficacy scale survey data at the start of the study and after each of the four case-based learning activities, in-class observations, small group discussion recordings, and one-on-one interviews. The analysis of the results showed that participants: (1) preferred the animated cases over the text-based cases, (2) had longer and more in-depth group discussions when they discussed the animated cases, and (3) expressed higher self-efficacy with case-based learning.