Cases

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What is a case?      

     A case is a story. Cases recount–as objectively and meticulously as possible–real (or realistic) events or problems so that students experience the complexities, ambiguities, and uncertainties confronted by the original participants in the case (be they decision-makers in the academic sphere, grassroots organizers, or government officials). As they "inhabit" a case, students must tease out key components from the real messiness of the contradictory and complicated information.  

Why I use cases for teaching and learning:

     - Cases are interesting and they are real! They make course content relevant to students in an extraordinarily powerful way. Case learning depends on inductive reasoning, making content the very
foundation of a case course. 
     - Cases demonstrate the application as well as limitations of concepts and
theories. 
     - With cases, responsibilities for learning are clear and are shared; free riders are not welcome. 

     - Case learning sharpens communication and critical thinking skills as students apply knowledge and evaluate options in order to solve the problem at hand. 

     - Case discussions teach students to listen carefully to each
other, to respect opinions of others, and to work collectively to solve a problem. Thus, students learn to value the contributions of others while strengthening their own ability to think creatively and communicate effectively.

 

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