An introduction to case-based teaching and learning

Martin Eley, Dario Faniglione, Lisbet Pals Svendsen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Cases were being introduced in the classroom around the turn of the 20th century, originating out of Harvard University which developed its case-writing activities into a lucrative business with universities around the globe buying its cases and case solutions. According to Courtney et al. (2015: 1) ?Characteristically, the traditional approach to teaching would start with the premise that the teacher has a superior knowledge in the subject area compared to the students. Following the traditional approach, the goal of the teaching would therefore be to transmit the teacher?s knowledge to the students in the lecture hall. The student would continue to attend their educational institution until this transmission of knowledge has been successful. The typical student will leave academia after a number of years, will wander out in the world and start to test out the theories that he or she has learned. Often this meeting with the empirical world will prove to be a shock for the ex-student. Although the process of transmission might have been successful, the transformation from theoretical knowledge to practical ability is a challenge that is left to the ex-student and the businesses she or he is working with.? In the words of Hannan & Silver (2000:9), ?From the 1980s [?], it was clear to many staff that the old forms of lecture and seminars were not working. Student constituencies were becoming greatly more diverse, expectations were different, the burden of assessment was becoming alarming, the new and pervasive shapes of modular and semesterized courses were changing teaching and learning styles and rhythms, and the outcomes of higher education were being questioned by employers and professions. The results at institutional or professional levels included a wide variety of strategies, such as the adoption of problem-based learning for the professions relating to medicine, and the adoption of new staff development programmes for new and existing teachers.? In the experience of the authors in this section, however, the idea of transmission of knowledge from lecturer to student does not work exactly in the way noted above, and the following three chapters will give some illustrations of other perspectives. The aim here is to use the case method in the classroom, but to apply it in different contexts of higher education, which requires a break with the traditional, one-size-fits-all way of looking at and using cases in the classroom. The three chapters in this section will show the three authors? very different ways of approaching cases in the classroom, but in discussions when forming this section it became evident that a number of common themes from both students? and teachers? perspectives were shared, particularly with regard to how the use of cases may foster critical thinking and metacognition in students in higher education. It became clear to the authors that this development is taking place in a wider context, institutional as well as national and cultural, in terms of e.g. internationalization, far greater numbers of students and the breaking down of cultural barriers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInnovative Teaching and Learning Practices in Higher Education
    EditorsMartin Eley, Dario Faniglione, Lisbet Pals Svendsen
    Place of PublicationOxfordshire
    PublisherLibri Publishing
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)978-1-911450-08-5
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2017

    Publication series

    NameThe learning in higher education series


    Dive into the research topics of 'An introduction to case-based teaching and learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this