Teaching with the Case Method

This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project
Initial Publication Date: November 13, 2009

By Ann Velenchik Wellesley College

With considerable help from Pat Conway, Mike Hemesath, Eric Ribbens, and David Schodt

What is Teaching with the Case Method?

The case method combines two elements: the case itself and the discussion of that case. A teaching case is a rich narrative in which individuals or groups must make a decision or solve a problem. A teaching case is not a "case study" of the type used in academic research. Teaching cases provide information, but neither analysis nor conclusions. The analytical work of explaining the relationships among events in the case, identifying options, evaluating choices and predicting the effects of actions is the work done by students during the classroom discussion.Learn more about the Case Method

Why Teach with the Case Method?

In a case discussion, students "do" the work of the discipline, rather than watch or read about how it is done by others. By engaging in the case, students apply the concepts, techniques and methods of the discipline and improve their ability to apply them. Case discussions bring energy and excitement to the classroom, providing students with an opportunity to work with a range of evidence, and improving their ability to apply the vocabulary, theory and methods they have learned in the course. Learn more about teaching with Cases

How to Teach with the Case Method?

Case method teaching brings together three components: an appropriate case, students who are prepared to engage with the case material in a discussion, and an instructor who knows the case, has a plan for the discussion and is ready to deal with the unexpected. This section provides detailed instructions on how to develop each of these components.Learn how to teach with Cases

Teaching Economics with the Case Method

Learn about Economics-specific aspects of teaching with Cases

Case Examples

Browse the collection of teaching examples


Browse a list of references related to teaching with Cases

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