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Case Method vs. Case Study

#casemethod #Teachingmethod #Leadership

Although the case method and a case study sound similar, these are, in fact, quite different since they have different characteristics.

For example, both the case method and a case study are based on an analysis of a real-life situation, which is then presented to students in the classroom where they learn about it through research and discussion.

The difference, however, is that a case study is often used in a teacher-centered classroom; in other words, the students take notes as a teacher gives a lecture based on the contents of a case study and other materials.

In contrast, the Case Method is a teaching methodology based on participant-centered learning. In the case method classroom, the students are responsible for researching and analyzing the study materials themselves and then engage in discussion and reflection with their classmates. The teacher is present, of course, but the role of the teacher is to facilitate the discussion, rather than controlling it.

Moreover, when using a case study, the students basically learn how to “answer” the case by considering how people in that particular situation handled the issue. Typically, these are cases that revolve around success and failure. So, the students only see what is the right choice and the wrong choice.

On the other hand, in the case method, there is no single absolute answer, and students are free to consider what they would do if they were the one involved in the case. As such, the students must then come up with their own answers and solutions. Through such activities, students greatly improve their practical learning ability through the use of analytical skills, logical thinking, and decision-making skills.

The case method is a teaching approach that was first developed in the early 20th century through Harvard Law School and later was adopted by institutions in Europe. It has only recently that it has come to be used in Japan. The case method is especially popular in business schools.