Case-Based Learning

Case based learning is similar to problem-based learning, but the cases that introduce problems into the curriculum tend to be more pragmatic. When introducing case-based learning, faculty will often define a situation in which the students are likely to find themselves applying what they are studying in the real world. Case-based learning can be implemented in several ways.

Students may be introduced to a case and then investigate the solutions as it was reported. For example, students may read the story of a challenging business situation and a report of the manner in which the situation was resolved. The case may illustrate effective resolutions or ineffective (or even disastrous) outcomes. By discussion the details of the case, students gain insight into how the curriculum can affect decisions. Whereas problem-based learning finds students proposing solutions, cases find students studying solutions as they were instantiated.

Alternatively, students may be provided with a situation (or case) and they are responsible for describing how they would react in that case. While this is similar to defining a solution in problem-based learning, cases typically focus on the actions that one would take in response to relevant and important details.

Finally, students can prepare and present case studies. This finds students investigating and describing how a particular instance of a problem was recognized and addressed. In preparing a case study, students identify the relevant information in situation and describe what can be known about how others addressed the situation.