The undergraduate projects are among the first major piece of independent research that a student will undertake. We are today in knowledge driven world where knowledge assets rather than physical assets and natural assets are considered more relevant in creating competitive and differential advantages.
A case study can be defined as an intensive study about a person, a group or people or a unit, which is aimed to generalize over several units. it has been described as an intensive, systematic investigation of a single individual, group, community or some other unit in which the researcher examines in-depth data relating to several variables.
A case study is the process or record of research into the development of a particular person, group, or situation over a period of time. It is a particular place or something used or analyzed in order to illustrate a thesis or principle. Therefore, project work at the undergraduate level is an undertaking usually at the last lap of a journey of four or five years programme depending on the choice of course or academic pursuit/career. It is therefore a point where and when a student leaves a statement as a foot print on the part that he/she traversed over a period of time. The statement or the content of the project may be a building block for the future students or humanity at large.
Writing an undergraduate project will require that undergraduate students have a case study which serves a guide and direction to their research. It also tells the audience where the researcher intends to research on. Case study in a research is very important because it examines complex phenomenon in the natural setting to increase understanding of them. The steps undertaken while using a case study approach allows the researcher to take a complex and broad topic, or phenomenon, and narrow it down into a manageable research question(s). By collecting qualitative or quantitative datasets about the phenomenon, the researcher gains a more in-depth insight into the phenomenon than would be obtained using only one type of data. That is to say case study in a research is very important.
Undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. Undergraduate project is an academic assignment (or research) undertaken by a student towards the completion of his/her academic pursuit of a first degree as stated in his first degree curriculum.
Undergraduate research projects can be designed to fit a variety of class constructs and to promote student learning at all levels of undergraduate education. It is also a task undertaken by student(s) within a given period of time in a given subject area aimed at making the student have independent capacity for inquiries and to supplement and as well complement formal teaching in his area of study. This enables the student hone-in the theoretical course work in the university. There is no doubt that the exercise will reveal to the lecturer who is assigned to supervise the student, the student’s area of strength and weaknesses. When these weaknesses are corrected during lecturer – student interaction, the student comes out to be the pride of the university – the alma mater.
Undergraduate research projects can be student or faculty initiated, and students can either participate in a work in progress or enter a project at its start. Undergraduate research is the exploration of a specific topic within a field by an undergraduate student that makes an original contribution to the discipline.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CASE STUDY TO UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT
A) IT GIVES YOUR PROJECT A SCOPE
One the importance of a case study in a research is that it gives your project a scope. The ability of a case study to investigate cases in depth and to employ multiple sources of evidence makes it a useful tool for any kind of research studies where the focus is on a specific situation or context where generalizing is less important and in applied research. Anyone that comes across your research has an idea where your research is based. It gives your research a scope by this it means that your research intends to cover a particular area. It gives your research a direction and serves as a compass to your research findings.
B) IT GIVES YOUR PROJECT A DEFINITION
Another point is that it gives your project a definition. When an undergraduate student presents his/her project topic to his/her project supervisor, it is expected that the project topic contains in it your case study which defines the entire project. You don’t just have a project topic without clearly stating the case study as well which tells where the research is based on.
C) IT CONTROLS TIME WASTING
When a research lacks a compass or direction it keeps going round a circle. Same thing happens to a researcher who does not have a case study; you will rigmarole all through the research which of course is time wasting and exhausting. But when you have a case study which tells your scope of study as well, it saves you time as your research and findings will only be targeted around your case study.
HOW TO CHOOSE A CASE STUDY
A) LOOK FOR CASE STUDY CLOSE TO YOU
There are ways to choose a case study and one of such ways is choosing a case study that is close to you. To avoid waste of time, getting frustrated and having limited findings, it is important that you choose a case study that is not far from you. That way, you can have a close eye and easy access to your case study as well as have your research findings on time.
B) EXAMINE THE ENVIRONMENT OR ORGANIZATION TO ENSURE IS SAFE
Another factor to consider when choosing a case study for undergraduate project is the environment. Have an intensive examination of the environment or organization you intend to use as your case study to be sure it is safe and the residents are also accommodating. Some students have had negative experiences in their case study because they did not do a thorough investigation of the place they intend to use as case study. It is important that you ensure your safety as well while doing your findings.
C) EXAMINE YOUR LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE CASE STUDY YOU WANT TO CHOOSE
Your level of knowledge of the case study you want to choose is also important because it will help you in making the right choice when choosing a case study for your undergraduate project. Whatever case study you choose, make sure you have a very good knowledge about it so that it will not be difficult for you to do your findings.
In conclusion, your case study is your research compass and direction, it is therefore, very important that you understand how to choose a case study for your undergraduate project to avoid getting frustrated along the line and wasting so much time because you chose the wrong case study for your research project.