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    Case Studies: How do they achieve validity?

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    How does the case study design satisfy the criteria for credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability.

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    Although I have put the info here - I have also attached the word document with the same info - because the Yin chart did not copy.


    How does the case study design satisfy the criteria for credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability?

    Definition: Case Study

    Case study research is, by its nature, designed to provide in-depth understanding of a single or small cohort within a real-world context. The deep understanding of a single case or small cohort is to provide insightful understanding of real-world behaviour and its meaning. Case studies are deliberately distinctive, with the understanding that the context and the complex conditions of the case will provide deeper understanding of the elements within that case. It is generally understood that case studies are not isolating variables, but are looking at the 'whole' and what might be influencing factors.

    Part of the problem associated with case studies for credibility and the other criteria is that there has been some difficulties defining a case study and for social scientists to agree on a design. The article by Yazan (2015) is a very good place to do some reading, it is a relatively short article and it will provide you with some solid background using the three main advocates for case studies. Page 150 of this study provides a chart comparison that should be helpful.

    When to use case study as a research method:
    1. What kind of question are you trying to address?
    a. Best with descriptive (What) or explanatory (How or Why) questions
    2. Where it is possible to collect the data within its 'natural' setting or real-world context, rather than producing a data set from random subjects - an example in education would be finding 'best practice' and then trying to figure out why that particular program, or that particular educator was able to achieve significantly higher (or lower) outcomes than the 'norm'.
    3. Case studies are often used when evaluating programs or projects.

    Case Study Design:

    • This is critical to ensuring that your Case Study is indeed solid research. How you define your case study and the steps and choice of design will determine the questions you are able to answer.
    • Robert Yin ...

    Solution Summary

    Case Studies, as part of qualitative research, struggle to achieve credibility in the social science research community.