Students are excited about learning when we’re excited about teaching, and case studies are an engaging way to bring in important course concepts while also having active discussion in the classroom. At the same time, good case studies take time to develop and the goals need to be clearly defined for each – the crafting of each case study is vital in its success as a teaching tool. For example, one of the pieces that we struggled with in developing our case studies was determining what resources should be available to the students and when – how much prior knowledge and preparation should the students have? How much is too much (or too little) information? What is essential (and non-essential) for the students to know? What would hook the students’ interest? What are the key takeaways from each stage of the case study progression? How can we align all of these pieces with our overall teaching and learning goals for the case study?
Here, we will share our journey in case study development — from developing a structure for building case studies, optimizing how to present the case background and problem and, finally, outline best practices in implementing case studies and leading enriching class-wide discussions.