Student Guide to the Case Method: Note 3 - Preparing to Discuss a Case
Case analysis is an effective tool for teaching, learning, and most importantly, practising the art and science of management. The case method immerses students in real-life situations, allowing them to develop their business skills by analyzing realistic situations, applying business theories and tools, and making substantiated recommendations for a course of action. However, working with cases is a pedagogical approach that is unfamiliar to most new business students and often inadequately understood by advanced students. The Case Guide Series introduces students to the case method and, in discrete notes, walks them through the tasks that are typically involved in case assignments: analyzing a case, discussing cases in class, writing case reports and giving presentations (individually and in groups), and writing case exams. A final note introduces students to the most common business tools used for case analysis. This field-tested series is best used as a complete package to orient students to the case method, but each note also stands on its own and can be used to supplement other course materials. Preparing to Discuss a Case: Discussion of cases can be used either to apply and supplement lecture material or as the main pedagogical tool. To benefit from discussion and to provide meaningful input, students need to take time to adequately prepare. Note 3 of the Case Guide Series provides students with an approach for preparing for class and participating effectively and with diplomacy in class discussions. Susan J. Van Weelden and Laurie George Busuttil are affiliated with Redeemer University College.