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5 Reasons I Love Teaching with Cases

Greetings case teachers, and Happy #WorldCaseTeachingDay!

It is no secret that I swear by case-based teaching and learning. I generally love what I do, but when it comes to teaching nothing is more inspiring and satisfying to me as a tertiary educator than a lively case discussion.

So on the occasion of #WorldCaseTeachingDay 2021, I thought I would reflect on and share the top 5 reasons I love (nay, truly I am passionate about) teaching with cases.

The statements in the images that follow are actual quotes from my undergraduate and MBA students about their case-learning experiences in my classroom.

1. Real-world Applicability

In a previous post (admittedly a long, long time ago) I emphasised how important real-world applicability is to me as an educator. I believe learners learn best when they understand how theoretical concepts apply in practical situations. A well-written case is based on real-life events, and focuses on one or more real-life decision-makers. Using cases helps me translate core concepts into practice.

2. Versatility

Trust me, there is a case for nearly every situation! You just need to know where and how to find it. Can't find a written case that fits? Why not try a video case or live case study instead? The possibilities are numerous. Not to mention, the many different approaches to case presentation and publication as well as learning and assessment design mean you can really mix things up!

3. Engagement

I know I'm biased, but there is no substitute for a dynamic case discussion. You will find that the right combination of case choice, timing and activity design means students willingly and enthusiastically come along for the ride!

4. Inclusivity

As many of the facts of a truly engaging case are often open to interpretation, case-based teaching invites and welcomes the different experiences and perspectives of learners. I enjoy playing devil's advocate in the classroom, or simply introducing an alternative perspective or interpretation of case facts. I believe this nurtures open-mindedness and critical thinking.

Also, the international community around case teaching is amazingly vibrant and inclusive. It helps to be connected to communities of like-minded educators. I mentioned this in a previous post: I am the Vice President-Elect Programs of the North American Case Research Association (NACRA) and it is encouraging to feel connected to other tertiary educators who 'get it'.

5. Speed and Efficiency

I have found that using cases in my teaching leads to much faster uptake of key concepts than traditional didactic approaches. This is especially useful for teaching highly intensive courses. In addition, because case teaching comes with its own well-established pedagogy you do not lose rigour when covering important concepts quickly with the help of case studies. Still, case pedagogy is so versatile, you can speed things up or slow them down as needed to suit the pace of your learners.

So, to my fellow case-loving educators (in business schools and elsewhere), carry on!

To those uninitiated, today is a good day to reach out to a case teacher near you for encouragement, tips, inspiration or simply further information.

Happy #WorldCaseTeachingDay everyone!


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