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Many HKS faculty teach with cases. The following resources could prove useful to instructors interested in learning more about case method teaching.
While there are many potential benefits to case teaching, there are also several common pitfalls that can be avoided with adequate preparation. Click here for a list of common problems instructors encounter in case teaching and potential solutions.
Professor Roland C. Christensen of the Harvard Business School described case method teaching as “the art of asking the right question, of the right student, at the right time, and in the right way.” Click here to learn more about generating interest and facilitating focused inquiry among students with case-method teaching.
Making the Case: Professional education for the world of practice by David A. Garvin (Harvard Magazine)
All professional schools face the same difficult challenge: how to prepare students for the world of practice. Time in the classroom must somehow translate directly into real-world activity: how to diagnose, decide, and act. A surprisingly wide range of professional schools, including Harvard's law, business, and medical schools, have concluded that the best way to teach these skills is by the case method.
This document is geared to support instructors who teach Ethics with cases.
The following video series is available on the HKS Case Program website.
A teaching case is only as good as the in-class discussion and an effective in-class discussion needs an effective teaching plan.
There are three core elements of a teaching plan:
For a video on how experienced HKS faculty approach teaching plans, click here and scroll down to "Teaching Notes" (HKS login required).
SLATE can assist you in developing a custom teaching plan for any case you may wish to teach.
For cases written by the Case Program’s professional writers, the creation of a teaching plan is an integral part of the case development process. The faculty member and the case writer work closely together to craft the case and an associated teaching plan to achieve pre-defined faculty-driven learning objectives.
If you want to incorporate cases written by other faculty into your syllabus, SLATE staff can help you customize a teaching plan specific to your learning objectives. Click here for more information.
In case-method teaching instructors typically don’t lecture in class but instead serve as moderators of a discussion between students who compare their different approaches on the challenge presented in the case.
It is important that students understand their role in case-method teaching and come to class prepared to learn from each other, so together they gain a richer understanding of the dilemmas and principles involved in the case.
This six-page document on learning by the case method gives students both a compelling rationale for learning by the case-method, as well as concrete tips on how to prepare for a case discussion. HKS faculty often assign this document at the beginning of the course to give students guidelines on how to prepare effectively for a case discussion, while conveying instructor expectations of students when a case is assigned.