Creative Teaching Technique: Case Studies

Teachers need to use multiple methods to make learning interesting, innovative, and invigorating. With growing emphasis on creative teaching methods, and embracing creativity in learning – it is becoming more and more important to use various techniques to best deliver a topic of study. One such method to make students aware and understand the workings of the real world is teaching with the help of case studies.

What are Case Studies?

Case studies are stories or scenarios in a narrative form used for analysis and discussion to understand a concept or learning scenario. ‘They present realistic, complex, and contextually rich situations and often involve a dilemma, conflict, or a problem that one or more of the characters in the case must negotiate.’* Christensen, 1981 says that a good case study is a ‘vehicle by which a chuck of reality is brought into the classroom to be worked over by the class and the instructor’.

Image Source: http://www.sarvah.com/case-studies/
Image Source: http://www.sarvah.com/case-studies/
What is the process of using Case Studies?

Relevant case studies should be used to reflect the purpose of the course/topic and the case should reinforce the learning outcomes. The process of using a case study involves:

  • Allow students time to read and understand the case. Allot time for thinking and drawing out important/useful information from the study. This can be given to students to read as part of homework.
  • Brief the students about the case and provide them with basic guidelines on how to approach it.
  • Identify each character in the case, evaluate the decisions of each character and its implication, and lastly consider how you would approach the situation.
  • Create groups and allow students to discuss. Provide each group a guideline and allot them tasks and problems that they must solve.
  • Have groups present their solutions/reasoning. When students know they have to present the findings, they follow a more structured approach, as well as come up with more innovative and rationale*rationale*
    ➤ (n) (law) an explanation of the fundamental reasons (especially an explanation of the working of some device in terms of laws of nature)
    …by BeeDictionary.com
    solutions.
  • Allow different groups to cross-question each other’s finding.
  • Note down the findings and discuss these findings in the class to further breakdown the possibilities.
  • Integrate all possible outcome to conclude the findings of the case

Image Source: http://www.eoionline.org/blog/pay-it-forward-a-case-study-in-transforming-students-into-changemakers/
Image Source: http://www.eoionline.org/blog/pay-it-forward-a-case-study-in-transforming-students-into-changemakers/
Benefits of Case Studies

  • Develops problem-solving skills and analytical reasoning.
  • Encourages the use of analytical tools including quantitative and/or qualitative data.
  • Actively engages students in extracting principle knowledge from examples.
  • Probes student to make decisions in complex situations.
  • Encourages students to account for uncertainties.

Reference:

  1. *https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/teach/instructionalstrategies/casestudies.html
  2. Christensen, C. R. (1981) Teaching By the Case Method. Boston: Harvard Business School.
  3. https://teaching.unsw.edu.au/case-studies
  4. http://www.bu.edu/ctl/teaching-resources/using-case-studies-to-teach/