The Case Study: Much More Than Just Another Story

The Case Study: Much More Than Just Another Story

Joseph Brady
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3153-1.ch017
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Today's complex and global corporate environment requires business students to enter the workplace with more diverse skills and the ability to make useful decisions in their careers. The old adage of speaking “to” students in a classroom through straight lecturing is becoming less relevant in today's dynamic world. Rather, students must be engaged in the classroom and educators should provide the opportunity to enhance their decision making skills through real world problem solving. One way to do this is through the methods of active teaching and the utilization of case studies. Case studies are a story, or a narrative, that can induce higher critical thinking and engagement in the classroom and can prepare students for their careers by helping them make real world decisions in a simulated environment. This chapter focuses on the fundamental differences between traditional, lecture-based teaching and the importance of active learning in higher education.
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Literature Review

To begin thinking about the concept of education and preparing students for the real world, it is important to consider some of the fundamental elements of teaching. There are certainly many different approaches to instructing and teaching students in higher education business schools. The teaching methods likely vary as much as the many people who invariably lead the classroom discussions. While there are many views on proper teaching techniques, Arthur Chickering and Zelda Gamson provide seven principles that could be considered when teaching students in an undergraduate university program (1987). These principles stipulate that there should be contact between faculty and students and the relationship between student and professor should be a reciprocal one. Furthermore, the professor should encourage active learning and give students prompt feedback, have high expectations, stress time on task and be open to varying levels of talent and learning abilities (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). Looking at some of these principles, one can conclude that the student should be actively involved in the class and given the recommendation that the relationship should be “reciprocal”, this would support the notion that perhaps the students themselves should be contributing more to the class discussion.

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