Case-based Learning in Higher Education
Case-based learning has become a common instructional method across higher education and is likely to be encountered in all disciplines. Its essence is a focus on real situations which require diagnosis and treatment. The advantages of using cases are that they tend to resonate with students because of their realism and authenticity, and their experiential nature provides specific examples of theory in context. They also require students to practise their analytical, logical, and other high-order thinking skills, and provide opportunities for work in teams. Each of the eleven detailed cases described here contains key lessons about the value of case-based learning and the benefits it delivers. One of the key conclusions is that, since case-based learning requires students to negotiate, argue, and reflect on their knowledge, they develop more responsibility and independence, thereby improving their personal and interpersonal skills. This process can have a demonstrable impact on student self-esteem and self-confidence, both of which increase a student’s employability in the professional world which faces today’s and tomorrow’s graduates from higher education.
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John Branch is Lecturer of Marketing and Academic Director of the part-time MBA programmes at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and Faculty Associate at the Center for Russian, East European & European Studies, both of the University of Michigan, USA. Paul Bartholomew is Director of Learning Innovation and Professional Practice at Aston University, UK. Claus Nygaard is Professor in Management Education at Copenhagen Business School and Executive Director of LiHE.