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Why case studies are a powerful resource for subject matter development

Young students often learn better from examples than just through theory. According to a study by the Boston University Center for Teaching and Learning, students are more likely to be inductive than deductive reasoners. This means that they learn better with demonstrations than just theories. That’s why it’s important for educators to use case studies as part of their teaching.

When teaching young people subject matters such as entrepreneurship, case studies go a long way in showcasing meaning. This method is widely used in the higher education sector in law, medical, social sciences and business courses. As such, innovative and forward-thinking educators can use case studies in basic education, as these have been proven to be most effective in achieving comprehension and better results among students.

Within the basic and secondary school setting, the use of case studies will prepare learners with problem-solving skills and equip them with creativity for jobs that haven’t been created yet in our ever-evolving economy.

Similar to project-based learning, using real-world case studies focuses more on students creating solutions themselves and helps nurture entrepreneurial students who can solve real-world problems.

Teaching with case studies

A case study is essentially an interesting predicament with multiple correct answers or solutions. In the classroom, educators can begin by allowing students to read or study the case, or watch (or listen to) a summary of a case. The students can then work in small groups to innovate. The educator needs to set milestones defining what students should accomplish at any particular point in time,  helping learners manage the allocated time to solve it.

During this learning process, students should be assessed through reflection. This means that students, at each work period, will write summaries of what they’ve worked on, analysing what worked well, what didn’t and why. At the end of the project, learners should be able to identify significant lessons from the case and envision how they could apply these lessons to future situations. They should also commit to an action plan to consciously continue improving the learned skill as they go on with life.

Tips for setting up a case study-based learning

  • Identify a problem to investigate: This should be something relevant to students. The problem should also be challenging enough to yield multiple solutions.
  • Create context: Try to make sure that there is interest about the case in the students and that they’re energised not only to engage the problem but also to create solutions.
  • Have a clear assessment rubric: Giving structure to your definition of quality group work and products will lead to great solutions and clear answers.

Collaborate with us!
As we continue to expand our resource collection here on anzisha.org, we’d like to invite you to share your own case studies with us for the opportunity to have it published on our website. Alternatively, email us on communities@anzisha.org if you would like to collaborate on creating a unique collection or resources with the Anzisha team.

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