Problem Case Studies - ClassNet

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Classroom Component Resource Binder
For Cooperative Education: Pre-placement
Case Study # 1: Roles and Responsibilities - Problem Solving
Your Co-operative Education placement is a great place and the Co-operative Education teacher told
you it was a very special placement and that you were chosen because of your skills.
The placement supervisor is very nice and allows you to do work that you never expected would be
allowed. There are four other people who work at the business, but they are not your supervisors and
are not part of your work area.
The placement supervisor is very busy and often leaves the work area, to work in an office with no
windows, and the door closed. He has to deal with telephone calls and e-mails. He has told you to
continue your work, and if you don’t know what to do, just wait until he returns.
This happens many times during your time at the placement and you are getting frustrated because
sometimes you cannot complete the work due to problems with instructions and the machinery you
have to use. Waiting for your supervisor means that you cannot finish the work, and then you get
behind, and must rush to finish before you leave every day.
Your Co-operative Education teacher comes for a monitoring meeting and your placement supervisor is
not there. You tell the teacher that he is gone for a moment, and you expect him back soon. You are
afraid that your teacher will be upset and you may have to change the placement. The teacher is very
concerned that you have no supervision, and that you could be injured. The teacher decides to wait
until the supervisor returns. After 30 minutes, the supervisor arrives and tells the teacher this is the
first time you have been left alone.
What is the problem?
What can you try?
What else can you do?
What is the best solution?
What is your next step?
Waterloo Catholic District School Board 2011
Classroom Component Resource Binder
For Cooperative Education: Pre-placement
Case Study # 2: Roles and Responsibilities - Problem Solving
Your Co-operative Education placement is with a large automotive dealership. You are very interested
in a Motive Power apprenticeship for Automotive Service Technician. You work with Larry, Beth and
Kurt.
All of you are asked to drive the cars in and out of the automotive bays and park them in the customer
receiving area. Your Co-operative Education teacher has told you and the placement supervisor that
driving the cars is not a good idea - something about the insurance company.
Larry is a third-year apprentice and has been very helpful to you during your placement. He is also a
very careless driver when moving customers’ cars, and has been responsible for damage to several
cars. Often, he asks you to move the cars, to avoid the possibility of damage to the customers’ cars.
Today, while backing a customer’s car out of the service bay, you scraped the passenger side along the
lower edge of the car. You are afraid to tell anyone about this because the placement supervisor has
been upset all day.
You are afraid you will be fired from your placement and lose your credits for Co-operative Education
and your chance to be registered as an apprentice with the largest automotive dealership in town.
If you say nothing, you expect that the boss would probably blame Larry, because of his past record.
You are not sure if anyone else knows about the accident.
What is the problem?
What can you try?
What else can you do?
What is the best solution?
What is your next step?
Waterloo Catholic District School Board 2011
Classroom Component Resource Binder
For Cooperative Education: Pre-placement
Case Study # 3: Problem Solving/Conflict Resolution
But You Never Told Me
As supervisor, you are conducting the yearly evaluations/performance reviews for your department.
You are meeting with one employee and you express that he/she is doing good work, and is
professional and courteous to co-workers and customers. You also indicate that there are some areas
of improvement needed including: taking too much time at lunch (more than allotted time), coming to
work late and leaving early. The employee is astonished and says that because you didn’t address
these issues before so why are you doing it now. The employee also tells you that she/he stays later if
he/she is late for work.
You explain that these issues have been discussed with the entire department in past staff meetings –
the topics of being punctual, and not abusing flexible scheduling in the department, and thought your
message was clear. The employee storms out of the performance review saying how unfair you are,
and he/she is going to report you to administration.
What is the problem?
What can you try?
What else can you do?
What is the best solution?
What is your next step?
Waterloo Catholic District School Board 2011
Classroom Component Resource Binder
For Cooperative Education: Pre-placement
Case Study # 4: Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution
The Needy Co-worker
You are the manager of a department that functions fairly well. There is one employee (a good worker)
who is always depressed, or has some personal crisis occurring in his/her life. Since the employees like
this person, they offer lots of sympathy to him/her.
This person is has been missing a lot of work lately, and uses his/her vacation and sick leave as earned.
This employee has struggled with family issues over the years, which is why he/she frequently uses
leave time, and/or time off without pay.
This person’s work is beginning to suffer, as he/she misses deadlines. The other workers in your
department are starting to get upset.
What is the problem?
What can you try?
What else can you do?
What is the best solution?
What is your next step?
Waterloo Catholic District School Board 2011
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