This investigative case module was prepared as part of a BioQUEST faculty development workshop entitled NSF Chautauqua Short Course: Investigative Cases at Christian Brothers University in July 2004. The cases, resources, and implementation strategies were developed by participants for use with their own students. We invite you to adopt and adapt the following materials.

The BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium is committed to the reform of undergraduate biology instruction through an emphasis on engaging students in realistic scientific practices. This approach is sometimes characterized as an inquiry driven approach and is captured in BioQUEST's three P's (problem-posing, problem-solving, and peer-persuasion). As part of this workshop groups of faculty were encouraged to initiate innovative curricular projects. We are sharing these works in progress in the hope that they will stimulate further exploration, collaboration and development. Please see the following links for additional information:

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Investigative Cases
The Case: Are you prepared?

Paula is driving home alone from a nursing conference. She is still 45 minutes to an hour away from home when she observes the sky in the west appearing very stormy with dark green colored clouds.

She turns on the radio to hear a weather alert and announcement that there is a severe storm warning for some of the counties in the area. Paula is not sure what county she is in due to driving however she is aware of the location of the warning of the for the county just west of her home town.

Suddenly, a Tornado Watch is issued for all the surrounding counties. As she approaches the city limits of her town she becomes concerned about the appearance of the sky and sharp lightening strikes especially with the knowledge that her children are home alone.

The radio announcer reports that the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for her home County and alerts that all residents in the area should take immediate shelter. Several thoughts pass through her mind.

Part 2:
As Paula reaches the first exit to her home town she evacuates her car and gets in a ditch for shelter. When the roar of the storm is over, as she returns to her car, she sees the debris that is blocking the interstate. The radio announcer reports a large area of destruction along the tornado path that is moving up the interstate.

Paula has not been harmed, but is now fears that her home is in the area of destruction. As she navigates the road in her car she comes upon a tractor trailer truck overturned and sees several cars off the road. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has not reached the area yet.

Case Author:
Rachel Hodge Cox College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Case Analysis

What do I do?
How can I be prepared?
How does my body handle panic?
What is my role in potential disasters?

Option: Include a know / need to know chart like the one below:

What do you know?
What do you need to know?

Learning Goals


Tornado Risk

Part 1:
Identify the need for being prepared for the unexpected.
Develop an individualized family preparedness plan.

Part 2: Identify and recognize possible situations that might arise following a disaster which requires interventions.

Part 3: Utilizing the above principles students will identify a disaster of interest and address special preparation that are needed for potential disasters.



Investigations and Activities

Students will work in groups to identify what is needed for a preparedness plan and then individualize the plan for their specific family.

Students will investigate potential situations that may arise following a disaster that requires interventions (such as trauma/injury, contamination, infection control, fire, etc. ) and discuss proper procedures to care for identified problem.



Students will usually obtain additional references or resources
to help answer or explore their questions.

Special Data Items

1. map_of_risk.jpg
2. tornado.jpg


Student Products

A written preparedness plan Group presentation of potential situation that may follow a disaster with possible interventions to address the problem.

Assessment and Evaluation Plan

Students will develop a preparedness plan -



Course name:
Elective Nursing Course - Emergency Preparedness?
Likely sequence in syllabus:
Introduction to course
Time during term:
classroom and independant
Students in course:
Collaborative elements:
Group work
Additional notes:



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