Features of the Case Study in the Modern Education System
Amid the most booming ways of presenting is the case-study method. Its core lies in the self-contained performance of learners in an artificially built occupational environment, which makes it possible to combine theory with practical skills.
Cases are widely distributed in various fields of activity, from advertising to sociology and medicine. Such popularity is linked with the extraordinary effectiveness and informative nature of this approach. When it is used, the reality factor operates, but we can also meet elements of analysis and generalization. Any story is much more impressive if it is told by an eyewitness.
Case Study – What Is It?
The indicated manner was initially applied at Harvard Law School in 1870. The fundament of this technique lies in ancient times. One of the pioneer experts was Socrates, who many centuries ago realized that the knowledge received by a person in ready-made form is less valuable in comparison with the product of own thinking. Millennia later, an implementation of such a way will be a mental fracture in education.
A case study is an active educate tool grounded in real situations – its immediate aim consists of an analysis of a certain event. There should be a development a practical solution by a group of students in the concrete state of affairs. In the process of active debate, an estimation of the declared schemes and the choice of the best one should be sounded in the context of the problem posed.
Canons of the method are quite simple:
- Cognition the disciplines, where the verify has a pluralistic nature.
- The emphasis of learning is transferred not to mastering the ready facts. But to the co-creation between the student and a coach – this clarifies the rule of equality in the dispute over an issue.
- The results of the mean’s application are skills of professional activity, as well as value settings.
- An overcoming the classical defect of traditional training, associated with dryness and lack of emotionality of the material’s presentation
- Case-study has its own characteristics and technological features. They make it possible to distinguish it from other learning tools. These include:
- The presence of a model of the socio-economic system, the state of which is analyzed at a discrete moment of time
- Collective solutions development
- Alternative options
- A system of group assessment and controlled emotional stress of trainees.
The case-study method concentrates in itself significant achievements of a technology of success. Its dominant function is to teach pupils to cope with complex unstructured challenges that cannot be solved solely in an analytical way.
How to Make a Case Study (step by step)?
The procedure itself is a quite ordinary set of actions. In conformity with the certain rules, a model of a concrete circumstance that has occurred in real life is being offered. It should reflect the complexity of facts and practical competencies that learners need to get. An educator does as a moderator, generating queries and fixing answers.
An excellent case meets the next requirements:
- A clearly stated the purpose of creating
- An appropriate level of difficulty.
- Illustration of several living aspects
- Be relevant for today
- Portray typical events
- Develop logical thinking.
- Provoke a brainstorming
- Have several solutions.
Cases can be presented in various formats, from a couple of sentences on one page to a cumbersome document. Typically, they are submitted in hard copy or on electronic media, but the inclusion of photographs, diagrams, tables in the text makes it more visible for students.
Experts call the next stages of case creation:
- The formulation of didactic goals includes an identification of the place in the structure of the academic discipline, as the phrasing of some tasks and evaluation criteria
- Definition of a problem situation.
- Building a program map of the case consisting of the main theses
- Search for an institutional system that is directly relevant to the declared statements
- Collection and systematization of information
- The construction or choice of the model, the verification of its correspondence to reality
- Choosing a case genre and writing a text component. For instance, cases in the regime from past to present are characterized by a natural time sequence of events, which lead to identifying cause-effect relationships. Case-memories differ by fragmentation of events, which makes it hard to restore temporary chains. Prognostic cases set the assignment to select the best variant of the hero’s behavior in the future.
- Diagnosis of the correctness and efficiency of the case by conducting a methodological training experiment
- Preparation of the final version and its introduction into education practice.
A case study has to be written in simple and understandable language. It should expressively define the relevance and needs of a certain student contingent.
Benefits of Case Studies
The mentioned mean is a tool that allows applying theoretical knowledge to solving practical problems. The method promotes the students’ independent thinking. They gain an ability to consider an alternative perspective, arguing for their own opinion. With it, graduated have the opportunity to show and improve analytical and evaluation proficiencies, learn to work in a team, and find the most rational solution.
Experts identify its following advantages:
- The principles of problem-based education prepare pupils for adequate life situations. Learning terms with subsequent retelling is unlikely to help cope with the real project. But the ability to build logical schemes and argue own position will be an excellent acquisition;
- Gaining teamwork skills;
- Improving public speaking habits;
- The case method allows you to adapt to emotionally hard events in a safe training environment. Thus, participants get rid of feelings of anxiety for unpleasant consequences and coolly assess their capabilities;
- By analyzing the case, students get a ready-made solution on their hands. It can be applied in similar circumstances. This way requires serious preparation, including the availability of independent activity – lack of proper motivation may lead to a superficial discussion of the case;
- Limitations of Case Studies;
- Along with the obvious cons, this method has its drawbacks. Amid them we can mention:
- The appearance of delusions. Participants should be made to comprehend that when faced with a similar problem in real life, he/she may not have the same time, knowledge, and safety as during the exercise.
- Lack of concrete conclusions. Sometimes the time frame does not allow the group to write practical recommendations; this may cause a general feeling of dissatisfaction with the past training.
- Plausibility. A prerequisite for any exercise used in the case method is realism; learners must identify themselves with the roles offered by an educator.
Case Study Example:
It is assumed that there are no unequivocally appropriate decisions in business. The essence of learning by the case study is that each proposes options based on practical experience or intuition. For someone, changing the family situation of the firm’s header is not an essential detail. The other student may find this fact extremely important.
Listeners can be asked to bring a new product of a small trading company to the market or completely reform a large transnational industrial holding. The case is not a ready solution to a standard situation. But this is a place for managerial creativity because in commerce there are no template solutions and unambiguous answers.
One of the teachers of the law, in order to make the subject Compensation of moral damage more close to learners, offered them the next fantasy. The heroine of the movie Titanic hires them as their lawyers. Students had to compose a claim for compensation for moral damage to ship-owners.
Hypothetical descriptions of examples have been used for educational purposes for decades; its great advantage is that the trainer is removed from the chain of lecture-teacher-student. The latter receives the experience of independence.
In the course of environmental policy, it was offered a case study related to bureaucracy and hazardous waste. The plot was that a certain Janet Lee, responsible for neutralizing toxic waste, found herself in an ambivalent state. Circumstances require that she has to violate the rules for reclamation of land, which she herself recently approved. The priority query was how Janet should act, whether in conformity with the standards or common sense, consequently, the accumulation of a variety of cases enables the student to prepare for the future profession. A lot of listeners are familiar with the algorithm of sequential actions – it can be applied with some transformations in almost any project.
Thus, there are unique advantages of the case study. It does not require any special equipment or time costs. Members can demonstrate their creative and leadership skills, the interaction with the team and the delegation of authority in a calm environment. All these characteristics have caused that this method is now popular not only amid developers of the methodology of training programs but also graduates.