Developing case studies
zUsing case studies can be a very effective teaching method. A process is outlined which starts with the establishment of the educational objectives of the case study to be presented while being cognizant of the logistics around the lesson including the time available, the number of participants, and the setting. This, in turn, will guide the decision and steps involved in develop a de novo case study or supplementation of a pre-existing one.
Case studies, including all of the commercially available ones, usually involve detailed, multi-page backgrounders culminating in complex problems or opportunities that need to be acted on. As a result, they allow individuals to learn from rich examples, i.e. inductively, that relate to real world situations. In addition to analysis and problem-solving, case studies usually require participants to engage in decision making under ambiguous circumstances. When various approaches are discussed and debated collectively, a richer understanding of different perspectives is afforded and hence is recommended.
 Harvard (HBP) https://hbsp.harvard.edu/cases/, University of Western Ontario’s Ivy https://www.iveycases.com/, and The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCSTS) https://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/ are a few sources.
A seminar design is outlined that provides teams of students the opportunity to research, critically analyse and develop creative, viable solutions to real, “wicked” problems facing industries and organisations. In order to maximize the quality of each “Presenting” team’s solution, a “Mentoring” team of more senior students is assigned to provide them guidance. In addition, a second “Challenging” team of more senior students is specifically assigned to question, challenge and criticize the final presentation and proposed solution. Aspects of the design including: topic selection, team roles and responsibilities, schedule, marking scheme, presentation format, and research methods are outlined. The described student seminar design currently forms the core of a University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), Master of Biotechnology (MBiotech) course.
Thoughts and links to items concerned with education and learning.