Use of case studies and critical thinking for teaching effectiveness

Executive Advance 2015/2016 Session
Use of case studies and critical thinking for
teaching effectiveness – Examples from the
School of Business
Dr. Edwin Agwu
What is a case study?
• Replication of a real experience with problems to generate
• General structure of teaching a case study:
• Instructor provides background information and data relevant to the
case study (e.g., lecture notes, reading material or other resources)
• Provide a series of questions
• Students utilize resources to answer questions and prepare for in-class
• During discussion, students explain their answers and instructors can
reemphasize subject material.
Student learning from a case study
• Learning by doing
• Development of analytical and decision-making skills
• Promotes learning beyond rote memorization
• Internalization of learning
• Development of oral communication skills
Disadvantages of the case method
• Limits information coverage
• Instructors need to develop techniques to manage
• Requires more preparation time from the instructors
• Time to adjust to case study learning by students
What is critical thinking?
• It is the ability to present, evaluate, interpret data, develop lines of
argument and make sound judgements
• It helps students to ASK questions and LOOK for answers
• APPLY what they learn to SOLVE problems
• LISTEN to each other and DEBATE ideas
Success for a Lecturer
The greatest sign of
success for a LECTURER is
to be able to say,
“The students are now
working as if I did not
exist.” ~ Maria Montessori,
Educator (1870-1952
Case study as an effective teaching method
A greater percentage of students in the School of Business stressed that
the use of cases impacts positively in the learning of their respective
courses of studies and deepened their understanding.
Cases assists in both independent and group learning as well as
confidence in the explanation of the topics of discussion as well as draw
experiences from other areas.
Examples from the School of Business
• BUS 327 – Research Methodology
• PhD
• Discussion with colleagues from other departments:
• Business Management
• Accounting
• Banking and Finance
• The era of rote learning is now out of date
• Students are now very busy in both individual and group assignments
• Confidence in presentation, public speaking, research, etc.
• Higher pass rate
In summary
• Case studies deepen and learning from others associates with
greater retention rates.
• Case studies is an effective tool to engage students.
• More importantly, case studies promotes students to be better
• Cliff, W.H. and Curtin, L.N. (2000). The directed case method:
Teaching concept and process in a content-rich course. Journal of
College Science Teaching, 30(1):64-66.
• Feichtner, S.B. and Davis, E.A. (1984). Why some groups fail: A survey
of students’ experiences with learning groups. Journal of
Management Education, 9(4):58-73.
• Herreid, C.F. (1994b). Journal articles as case studies: The New
England Journal of Medicine on breast cancer. Journal of College
Science Teaching, 23(6): 349-355.
• Johnson, G.R. (1995). First steps to excellence in college teaching.
Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing.
• Michaelsen, L.K., Watson, W.E., and Schrader, C.B. (1984). Informative11