Writing cases: a brief guide
Field-based or desk-based?
Field-based cases involve working closely with a company and key employees. This type of case is great for bringing a slice of reality into the classroom. Field-based cases are also an excellent way to blend teaching and research and will help to build valuable relationships with real-life companies in the world of business.
Desk-based cases rely on thorough research and judicious selection of materials. They can be a good choice where access to a particular company is impossible. Both field-based and desk-based cases can be highly successful and very effective in the classroom.
The case method constantly adapts and changes to meet new challenges and expectations. Case authors now use multimedia in a variety of ways to enhance their students’ classroom experience and ensure today’s tech-savvy learners stay engaged.
A protagonist: telling stories
A compelling protagonist will quickly engage students. They will identify with the lead character as the story in the case unfolds. The key question, ‘What would I do next?’ will be the start of a great classroom discussion and steep learning curve.
Choosing a format
The traditional written case remains hugely popular. However, case writers now have a number of options to supplement or even replace the written word. Examples include video cases, comic book cases, and even virtual world cases. It’s an exciting time to be a case writer!
Testing in the classroom
This is the only way to find out if your case ‘works’ or not and a great opportunity to gain invaluable feedback from students, colleagues, and – if you’re lucky – the case protagonist who may wish to see the case being taught.
The figures speak for themselves: under half of the cases in The Case Centre’s collection have teaching notes, but 98% of the 50 most popular cases have one.
A teaching note is vital if you want your case to have wide appeal, and can also help when writing the case; some case authors even draft the teaching note first to help clarify their thoughts. It’s hugely important, so make sure you include one.
If your case is field-based, you must get permission from the organisation to release it. The Case Centre cannot publish field-based cases without this permission. By maintaining good relationships and communications with your contacts, case release should be a matter of routine.
Publish with The Case Centre
Make your case available worldwide by publishing with The Case Centre. We are unique in offering a publishing and distribution service to both institutions and independent authors across the globe. We also allow you or your institution to retain copyright.
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