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Case Analysis Guidelines by: Dr. Dave Worrells and Mr. Scott Burgess| ERAU, College of Aeronautics 1

ASCI 357 – Flight Physiology

Case Analysis Guidelines and Sample Format

Each week starting in week two, students will submit a case analysis that is a maximum of two

pages, with a reference page, (three total), double spaced, with citations and references that are completed in APA format, using Times New Roman, 12 point font. For these activities, students read and review all module objectives and materials, consume the information, and research the

internet to produce a case analysis. Each case analysis is directly related to the module learning

objectives (LOs). Once all of the module material is reviewed, find current (within the last six

months), scholarly internet sources, that directly relate to the case and module learning

objectives and conduct your case analysis. In-text citations serve to substantiate and validate your


If a source is not scholarly, it must be supported with other scholarly references. As an example;

information may be pulled from an article in the New York Times (not a scholarly source), which

will need a supported scholarly source that can be greater than six months but less than seven

years, in support of the information from the New York Times; such as the textbook. Please see

Table 1 below. Going beyond the text is highly encouraged and shows an understanding of

research and how to find valid and reliable sources.

These activities promote scholarly research targeting topics specific to the learning objectives.

They also require critical thinking throughout the entire case analysis process. Writing skills are

enhanced over the conduct of the course (work is graded weekly using APA formatting and the

Case Analysis Rubric) as you write two pages (with reference page) every week. The result is

improved writing, and research skills, which fulfils several Ignite Student learning outcomes

along the way. This process also provides a glimpse at the real world of organizational


Students are required to conduct three Peer Reviews (PR) on three of their peers CAs during the

course. Students will then defend their reviewed case analysis by responding to the PR from

another student. The PR process replicates the work environment in this way; when an employee

is given a task to complete and presents their position, their work is then reviewed by another co-

worker, supervisor, or company official who questions and, possibly, provides additional

alternatives. The peer reviewer of your CA is required to question and make comments on your

CA. You are required, to defend your CA by responding to the PR made by another student.

Your CA will be submitted to Turnitin, a plagiarism detection software, and again to the

discussion board for the PR and Response activities. The PR, and Response/Defense occurs in the

discussion board.

A defined sequence and process will be followed throughout the course that will allow a seamless

flow to facilitate quality, learning, feedback, and participation vertically (instructor to student)

and horizontally (between peers). Learning will occur in an omnidirectional manner;


Case Analysis Guidelines by: Dr. Dave Worrells and Mr. Scott Burgess| ERAU, College of Aeronautics 2

Case Analysis (sample) Format

I. Summary

The primary purpose of the summary is to develop the nature or the background from which the

issue/problem/situation evolved. What is the environment that enabled this problem to exist?

This section should be no less than one paragraph in length, and at least three to five sentences.

II. Problem

Begin this section with a clear problem statement, i.e., “The problem is….” Elaborate on what

caused the problem. Nothing but the problem statement and its contributing factors should

appear in this section. The problem should be specific and action oriented. The problem or issue

statement reflects a situation that must be addressed. Do not confuse SYMPTOMS/RESULTS

of the problem with the problem itself. This entire section should be no less than one paragraph,

and at least three to five sentences minimum. However, this is the heart of the analysis. There

must be a thread of consistency woven throughout the remainder of the analysis. “Do not

introduce more than one problem.” Your statement is the foundation of your analysis; everything

that follows must be linked back to your problem statement.

III. Significance of the Problem

Identify what you consider to be the significance of the problem, not the cause of the problem.

The problem is significant because, if not addressed, it might cause a decline in one segment of

the industry, or result in a weak financial report/reduced revenue, or could have an impact on

safety, etc. The significance of the problem may be multi-faceted, this is fine but do not lose

focus on the problem that you identified in Section II. Another aspect of this section is to

validate the problem and help determine what priority should be assigned to its resolution. This

section should be no less than one paragraph in length and at least three to five sentences

minimum. The significance of the problem is determined by what will happen if the problem is

not resolved.

IV. Development of Alternative Actions (TWO)

Alternatives (two) should provide a feasible, realistic way to solve the problem. Provide

rationale for each alternative and then provide two advantages and two disadvantages for each

alternative. Be consistent with the problem and the related critical factors. Alternatives must be

derived directly from the source of the issue/problem/situation and/or the assigned

chapter(s)/learning objective(s). As you solve the problem be sure to consider the critical factors

as well. Use the information you found, the source document, and/or the assigned chapter(s)

from the textbook, to resolve the situation. “You must have two alternatives, each must have

rationale, each must have two advantages and two disadvantages.” This section should be no

less than two paragraphs in length. “It is imperative that you do not use any part of your

recommendation (next section) in either alternative action.” One approach you may consider for

developing your alternative actions is the matrix format (see Table 2).

Case Analysis Guidelines by: Dr. Dave Worrells and Mr. Scott Burgess| ERAU, College of Aeronautics 3

V. Recommendation

Now, based on what you read in the source document, the assigned textbook chapter(s), and/or

your professional experiences, “provide a recommendation, just one, completely outside of what

is identified in the source document and/or the chapter(s) readings, that will solve the problem.”

You may explain why your recommendation is superior and why the advantage outweighs the

disadvantage. You may discuss how the disadvantage might be overcome or minimized. You

may discuss what is involved in implementing this recommendation. How long will it take?

How much will it cost? What results do you anticipate? BE CREATIVE! You may have to

make assumptions in formulating your recommendation. Assumptions are acceptable to the

extent that they are clearly articulated. Use the information you have and work with it. Rarely do

decision makers have all the information they would like to have. This is an opportunity to take

a chance, to risk putting forth an idea or thought of your own device; use your imagination. “Be

sure to provide rationale, one advantage, and one disadvantage for it.” Do not hesitate to go out

on a limb. Innovation is highly desirable. The recommendation should be at least one paragraph

in length. Put your analysis into a concept of what should be done to address the

issue/problem/situation. It doesn’t have to be pretty but it should work, theoretically.

Table 1 – Alternative Actions Section: Matrix format option

This table may assist you in expressing alternative actions in your case analysis. This format is

an option you can use over a standard expression in paragraph form.

Alternative Actions Rationale Advantages Disadvantages

1. Meet the existing requirements as specified in Jacobs & Chase (2011).

The existing requirements meet or exceed Federal safety standards.

a. Reduce costs.

b. No layoffs.

a. Additional oversight.

b. More government waste.

2. Change existing requirement.

Safety can always be improved upon.

a. Reflects a positive approach to safety.

b. Projects a “Safety first” philosophy.

a. Takes a lot of time to make the change.

b. Results are not readily available.

Case Analysis Guidelines by: Dr. Dave Worrells and Mr. Scott Burgess | ERAU, College of Aeronautics 4

Table 2 – Ranges of Sources:

You need a range of sources. The table below gives an account of typical sources you can find

using an online library database search, and then assesses the accuracy of that source with an

academic strength indication. This table also provides sources of literature and their use/risks:

Literature Accuracy

Time Material Accuracy Academic

1 day Internet/news/New

York Times Can be good, but also weak; do not use as the foundation of facts

Weak – except government sites

Month Trade magazines Tend to be advertising in nature with little in depth thought of facts

Weak but it does discuss current exciting concerts new to the subject

6 – 12 months

Conference proceedings

Generally good, not fully checked by peers in the area

The first real academic reference showing current but with a degree of confidence in results

18 – 24 months

Learned journals Very good, checked by internationally recognized experts

Great sources of work, leading edge of accuracy

5 yrs and

beyond Books

Very good, sound theory, no new theories

Great for establishing main points

Sources Continued:

News articles that meet the 6 month requirement but are not peer reviewed are okay if;

• Back up the article with other sources that can be older (within 7 years) • These should be scholarly and/or peer reviewed • The textbook is considered a scholarly source

The instructor will look for evidence that you reviewed sufficient literature which led to a

comprehensive analysis and applied knowledge to the chosen topic.

If you can honestly say that you have done what is expected in that requirement, then you’ve

probably done enough. Many students ask how many references meet the minimum requirement.

The answer is, as many as needed. If the work is very mathematical, then less would be expected

than a management based work. Ask yourself if you have a good range of sources. If not, more

work needs to be done.

Referencing can be done wrong; reference your APA for advice, Chapters 6 and 7 will help.

Defeating bias (what is bias?)

• Look at the source • Who reviews the source prior to publication? • Are your sources valid and reliable? Need both.

• Valid = Information that directly pertains to your line of thought. Do the results found in the source meet the requirements?

• Reliable = The source is an acceptable source within the context of the writing. Facts you draw on must fairly represent the larger situation. Findings are repeatable!

Case Analysis Guidelines by: Dr. Dave Worrells and Mr. Scott Burgess | ERAU, College of Aeronautics 5

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