Case Study Learning Method

Case-based Teaching

With case-based teaching, students develop skills in analytical thinking and reflective judgment by reading and discussing complex, real-life scenarios. The articles in this section explain how to use cases in teaching and provide case studies for the natural sciences, social sciences, and other disciplines.

Teaching with Case Studies (Stanford University, 1994)

This article from the Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning describes the rationale for using case studies, the process for choosing appropriate cases, and tips for how to implement them in college courses.

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (University of Buffalo)

This site offers resources and examples specific to teaching in the sciences. This includes the “UB Case Study Collection,” an extensive list of ready-to-use cases in a variety of science disciplines. Each case features a PDF handout describing the case, as well as teaching notes.

The Case Method and the Interactive Classroom (Foran, 2001, NEA Higher Education Journal)

First-person account of how a sociology faculty member at University of California, Santa Barbara began using case studies in his teaching and how his methods have evolved over time as a professor.

Using Cases in Teaching (Penn State)

Tips for both teachers and students on how to be successful using case studies in the college/university classroom. Includes links to several case repositories, organized by discipline.

Problem-based Learning

Problem-based learning (PBL) is both a teaching method and an approach to the curriculum. It consists of carefully designed problems that challenge students to use problem solving techniques, self-directed learning strategies, team participation skills, and disciplinary knowledge. The articles and links in this section describe the characteristics and objectives of PBL and the
process for using PBL. There is also a list of printed and web resources.

Problem-Based Learning Network (Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy)

Site includes an interactive PBL Model, Professional Development links, and video vingnettes to illustrate how to effectively use problem-based learning in the classroom. The goals of IMSA's PBLNetwork are to mentor educators in all disciplines, to explore problem-based learning strategies, and to connect PBL educators to one another.

Problem-Based Learning: An Introduction (Rhem, 1998, National Teaching and Learning Forum)

This piece summarizes the benefits of using problem-based learning, its historical origins, and the faculty/student roles in PBL. Overall, this is an easy to read introduction to problem-based learning.

Problem-Based Learning (Stanford University, 2001)

This issue of Speaking of Teachingidentifies the central features of PBL, provides some guidelines for planning a PBL course, and discusses the impact of PBL on student learning and motivation.

Problem-Based Learning Clearinghouse (University of Delaware)

Collection of peer reviewed problems and articles to assist educators in using problem-based learning. Teaching notes and supplemental materials accompany each problem, providing insights and strategies that are innovative and classroom-tested. Free registration is required to view and download the Clearinghouse’s resources.

See also:
The International Journal of Problem-Based Learning

By Ann Velenchik Wellesley College

With considerable help from Pat Conway, Mike Hemesath, Eric Ribbens, and David Schodt

What is Teaching with the Case Method?

The case method combines two elements: the case itself and the discussion of that case. A teaching case is a rich narrative in which individuals or groups must make a decision or solve a problem. A teaching case is not a "case study" of the type used in academic research. Teaching cases provide information, but neither analysis nor conclusions. The analytical work of explaining the relationships among events in the case, identifying options, evaluating choices and predicting the effects of actions is the work done by students during the classroom discussion.Learn more about the Case Method

Why Teach with the Case Method?

In a case discussion, students "do" the work of the discipline, rather than watch or read about how it is done by others. By engaging in the case, students apply the concepts, techniques and methods of the discipline and improve their ability to apply them. Case discussions bring energy and excitement to the classroom, providing students with an opportunity to work with a range of evidence, and improving their ability to apply the vocabulary, theory and methods they have learned in the course. Learn more about teaching with Cases

How to Teach with the Case Method?

Case method teaching brings together three components: an appropriate case, students who are prepared to engage with the case material in a discussion, and an instructor who knows the case, has a plan for the discussion and is ready to deal with the unexpected. This section provides detailed instructions on how to develop each of these components.Learn how to teach with Cases

Teaching Economics with the Case Method

Learn about Economics-specific aspects of teaching with Cases

Case Examples

Browse the collection of teaching examples


Browse a list of references related to teaching with Cases

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