Teaching Using the Case Discussion Method

Cases are stories with a message. While cases may be entertaining, their primary purpose is to educate. Consequently, the use of cases gives a teacher an immediate advantage — he or she has the attention of the audience. Cases have been used extensively across many fields of study including law, medicine, business and more recently, sciences. These sessions were specifically designed to introduce the Case Discussion Method (the specific method developed by Harvard Business School) to multidisciplinary audiences. All disciplines are encouraged to attend. A short history of the development of cases from various disciplines will be presented and applied to these two approaches. In these sessions, we will introduce the active learning approach to teaching cases, which in many ways is a dramatic departure from the traditional teacher-centered approach. If you have questions, contact Michelle Pope at 280.1190. Register online here. “What are cases?” will be presented by Trent Wachner, assistant professor of marketing and management, on Friday, Oct. 7, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Harper Center, room 3029. Following this session, participants are invited to participate in two workgroup sessions that will meet at a mutually agreed upon time to discuss the following topics: “Structuring a Case and Discussion Analysis,” Friday, Oct. 21, and “Practice What We Preach,” Friday, Nov. 4.

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