My undergrad was in engineering. In the exams we wrote there most definitely was one right answer and if you were lucky you may have gotten part marks for getting part way there. Perhaps that’s why when studying business later in life I really enjoyed doing case studies. In case studies there isn’t always one right answer; in fact there may be many. I even kept my textbook from the course: Learning with Cases.
Case studies are a powerful instructional strategy in which real world scenarios that commonly involve a decision, challenge or opportunity are presented to the students to address. They are especially good at linking theory to practice and allow the student to inject some of their own experience and understanding to the case.
In Learning with Cases the author highlights some of the key skills students can develop when using cases study methodology for learning.
- Analytical – extracting the pertinent information from the case format
- Decision Making – generating different alternatives and choosing the best one
- Application skills – using the tools, techniques and theories that have been learned
- Oral Skills – presenting the case to others at the end or in group work
- Time management – having a deadline for completing the project
- Interpersonal skills – working in groups
- Creative – coming up with out of the box solutions
My classmate Tim has done a good job of defining the roles of the learner and instructor as well as some pros and cons in his Powtoon titled Case Studies.