The method of case study has been used in education not for a long time, but it is rapidly gaining popularity and demonstrating high efficiency. The main difference between this method and traditional teaching methods lies in the fact that the case does not have an unambiguously correct solution. Each student can offer the most optimal, in his opinion, way out of the proposed situation. In the case study method, the emphasis is not on the result, but on finding solutions and discussing them.
Definition and history of case study method
The word Case comes from the Latin casus – a problem or situation that requires a solution. The solution of the case can not be found in the textbooks, it should be searched only in the head of a student. The theory and practice go side by side, but at the same time stand on different banks. Even if you take all the textbooks of the world, they do not contain descriptions of situations that occur in real life.
In 1924, professors of Harvard University decided that it was simply impossible to prepare specialists in modern specialties using the available textbooks. Then the university organized seminars, where entrepreneurs and businessmen told students about the real problems that their companies faced. The students had to offer their own solution, which everyone chose individually. This method of learning quickly brought results. Thanks to the cases, the graduates got practical experience in the university and were well prepared for solving non-standard problems.
Goals and characteristics of case study method
What goals does the consideration of case situations in the educational process help to achieve?
- Development of intellectual abilities;
- ability to defend personal position reasonably;
- resistance to stress;
- development of communication skills and ability to work in a team.
Cases exist in almost all spheres of knowledge. After all, problem situations arise and can be modeled in each profession: medicine, jurisprudence, pedagogy, psychology, business analytics.
Case Studies in modern business, example
Case studies are actively used not only in training, but also in business. To attract new customers, the company can write a case based on a specific situation.
Example: the company is engaged in the demolition of buildings. In the case posted on the site, the task of demolishing an old power plant in the city of Detroit is being considered. A potential customer, having familiarized himself with the case, immediately sees how the work is going on, what equipment is used, how real practical tasks are being solved. In other words, this is a visual demonstration of the service in action.
Thus, the case is a powerful means of promoting services and products.
Another popular use of case studies is to use them in interviews. Instead of studying resumes, applicants are asked to pass case interviews and offer solutions to several situations, after which it immediately becomes clear whether the candidate is suitable for the position.
How to write a solution to the case
Many people ask themselves: how to properly design a case? The case is a non-standard task, therefore there are no strict rules of its registration. In other words, the design of the case is not such a serious task as the design of a course work or a diploma paper.
However, it is still necessary to follow the general recommendations. Below is an approximate plan for writing a case study. At once we will tell, that depending on a kind of the task this plan can and should vary.
What should the case contain:
- Title. It is important that the title reflects the essence of the case and gives an early indication of the situation, which will be considered next.
- Description of the given situation. To make the information easier, the situation can be divided into points.
- Finding solutions. Detailed description, analysis of ways of solving the case and choosing the best option for getting out of the situation. Here you need to consider all possible options with an indication of the expected consequences.
- Description of the result. This paragraph describes the result of actions to solve the problem.