Case studies as educational tools


Possible learning goals:

  1. Illustrate the presented subject content.
  2. Apply theoretical and practical arguments to a problem.
  3. Understand how a problem is addressed in a practical situation.
  4. Practice with the system in solving the problem in the field.
  5. Practice making ‘decisions’ in a practical situation.
  6. Develop an understanding of the importance of certain subjects, addressing, etc.
  7. Study relationships between different variables (possibly from different disciplines).
  8. Experience the various sides from which a problem can be viewed or addressed.
  9. Develop an appreciation for alternative solutions/decisions.
  10. …..

But also students can exercise with general competencies such as:


  1. Learn to analyze.
  2. Learn to discuss your field with your colleagues and people from other disciplines.
  3. Learn to collect and organize information.
  4. ….

Different formats for a case study

  1. Nature of the questions. For example, a question about necessary process steps, theoretical knowledge, own experiences. The question can have an open or closed format.
  2. Required study time.
  3. Presentation of the data.
  4. Necessary concepts from one or more disciplines.
  5. Whether or not you have to study the necessary concepts yourself.
  6. The amount of data, the organization and the degree of relevance of the data.
  7. The number of steps in the case study: one-step exercise or multiple steps.
  8. Whether or not to present the problem and the solution in the case study. The results can be discussed in the classroom or in small groups of students.
  9. …..

Requirements for the case study

  1. The use of an actual practical situation. The case study may be trimmed to avoid unnecessary or confusing discussions or errors. Or some additional information is included to make the case study more complex.
  2. The opening must be short and precise.
  3. The case study should have clear learning objectives.
  4. The case study should not be too difficult or too easy.
  5. Participants should be able to resolve the case study correctly.
  6. ….

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