The Open Case as a Setting for Addressing Challenges in Small Groups: Post-graduate Computer Science Students’ Perspectives

  • Renate MotschnigEmail author
  • Llewellyn Ellardus Van Zyl


The Open Case is a collaborative, small group intervention which draws from the person-centred approach’s “intensive group experience”. It focuses on the identification and management of challenging job- or personal situations through a guided process of reflection and engagement within a small group setting and has been proven to be successful in various professional and academic contexts. The purpose of this chapter is to examine students’ experience of the Open Case setting when introduced as part of a Master level course on communication for computer science students, as well as the effect thereof on their professional- and private lives. Specific focus will also be given to international students’ reflections during this intervention. Methodologically, students’ written self-reflections and online reactions are analysed via qualitative content analysis and systematically discussed. An outlook on further research and applications of the Open Case setting in contexts such as management learning, online communication, evoking motivation for change, and social inclusion of diverse people conclude the chapter.


Open case Person-centred communication Small groups Social skills Experiential learning Co-actualization Multi-cultural Qualitative content analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renate Motschnig
    • 1
    Email author
  • Llewellyn Ellardus Van Zyl
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Computer ScienceCentre for Teacher Education, University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Industrial EngineeringEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Optentia Research Focus AreaNorth-West University (VTC)VanderbijlparkSouth Africa

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