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
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
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.
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
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
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:
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
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
Very good, sound theory, no new theories
Great for establishing main points
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