Competition winner: Outstanding Case Teacher

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David Wood won the Outstanding Case Teacher Competition at The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2019.
The teacher

Meet our winner, David Wood…

David WoodDavid Wood is a member of the faculty in Operations Management, and MBA Program Director at Ivey Business School.

David was a graduate of both Ivey’s HBA and MBA programmes, going on to spend many years in industry, gaining extensive experience in international business, mergers and acquisitions, before returning to Ivey in 2009 to teach.

David is passionate about the case method, and is co-authoring, with Michiel Leenders and James A Erskine, new versions of the bestselling Ivey series of books that explore case teaching, learning and writing.

Speaking from experience

Tom HansenTom Hansen, who was taught by David in 2013 and 2018, said: “David was my favourite professor, teaching on both my HBA and MBA programmes.

“He has ‘real-word’ business experience which brings a richness to his case and classroom work. As a president of a Canadian manufacturing firm that faced a challenging competitive environment, David has the experience and empathy to speak passionately about businesses facing difficult decisions. He clearly displays this wisdom and depth in his classes, frequently describing to the class how his emotions in situations similar to our case discussions influenced his decisions.”

Tom added: “David is notoriously well prepared for class. He knows his case material inside and out, and is very familiar with where the class discussion needs to flow to uncover key insights. However, I have found that he goes above and beyond what I would consider ‘the call of duty’, by understanding the professional background of students and how that might relate to the case.”

Making the right selection

Nina TurkiewiczNina Turkiewicz, another of David’s former students, said: “David’s selection of cases to teach for the course, and how the discussion was conducted, resulted in a clear ah-ha moment in each case to cement our learning. He was very well prepared for each class, with a clear idea of the learning objectives and the best path to get there.

“During my studies I volunteered in the LEADER Project, where groups of Ivey students teach business in developing countries using the case method. David ran a highly effective workshop to teach us how to run a case session. It also demonstrated to me how deliberate David is in his own case teaching.”

What the judges said...

High quality competition

Our judging panel were as impressed as ever by the quality of candidates who entered the competition, but they ultimately found David to be the standout case teacher.


“Clearly, David has made a big impact on his students and has demonstrated his capacity for drawing on the case method to inform learning in multiple subject arenas and to a broad range of international learners,” one judge commented. “His energy and passion for the case method is captured in the student testimonials, as is his preparedness and capacity for pursuing critical feedback.”

Dedication to his craft

Case method booksAnother added: “Ivey has long been known as a case school and so it is hard to be a pioneer in case work at the location. However, he obviously has the respect of his peers since they asked him to be the lead author on a series of books that explore the case method. Combined with the fact that he spearheaded the advance case teaching workshop initiative at his school, I get a clear impression of his dedication to and expertise in his craft.”

Use of multimedia

David’s interest in multimedia cases also turned the heads of the judges.

“I like the fact that he is working with the publishing arm of his school to explore how technology can enhance the case-based classroom. I also appreciated his use of video content to help bring cases to life, and he is at the forefront of introducing online coursework to the business program at Ivey.”

The winning entry

Achieving Teaching Success

Mary Gillett“David has consistently demonstrated the key ingredients for teaching success – dedication, innovation and passion for learning,” said Mary Gillett, Lecturer in the Managerial Accounting and Control group at Ivey Business School.

“His commitment to innovative approaches to teaching is well known amongst his colleagues. He has sought out opportunities for continuous improvement, including participating in external case teaching workshops and, importantly, bringing those learnings back to Ivey. He spearheaded the Advanced Case Teaching Workshop initiative that many of our non-junior faculty members participated in with great success.

“David was also the instigator of dramatic quality-enhancing and well-received changes to the Ivey Field Project course.”

Prolific case writer

Lyn Purdy“David is an exceptional and dedicated case teacher and writer. He routinely receives exceptional course evaluations from our students. In particular, this past year, David was rated in the top 5% of our faculty; a faculty that is known for being exceptional in the classroom,” added Lyn Purdy, Associate Dean of Programs at Ivey.

“David has made significant contributions to the use of cases in our programs. Over the last six years, David has written upwards of 20 cases and he continues to innovate in the development of the cases that he writes.

“He has also been innovative in his approach to case class preparation, and has introduced a virtual team discussion component where students address additional questions prior to class through our learning management system. This approach to preparation has enhanced student understanding of the case and has noticeably elevated the overall classroom discussion.”

Enjoyment from teaching

David said: “I truly enjoy teaching my students more about business, leadership, and how to handle some of the more complex challenges they will face in their career.

“The case method is what has enabled my students to integrate the traditional disciplines of business education into one holistic approach.

“Knowing that my students nominated me for this award makes this honour that much more gratifying.”

Finding the right question

David added: “Through my time in industry and as a student I have been able to put into practice the art of asking good questions. Asking good questions is what enables me to transform the classroom into a discussion for collective learning.

“Teaching for me is not simply providing the knowledge that students will need to be successful, but also giving them opportunity to develop their judgement, analysis, and communication skills.”

Inspiring others

David Wood teaching“For me, teaching also goes beyond the classroom. Getting to know my students, their dreams, their aspirations, and their fears makes me a better teacher. My greatest satisfaction in life has been mentoring someone and enabling them to exceed even their own expectations."

The power of technology

He continued: “Nearly everyone has given some thought to how technology can enhance education. I believe strongly that technology is not a replacement for the classroom experience, but something that can elevate the discussion and edification when used appropriately.

“Often, we are too comfortable with what has already been done, or too concerned with failure that might occur with the adoption of new technology. Students, however, are eager to experiment with multimedia cases and blended learning. Using a mix of written cases, videos, animated lectures, and synchronous small group discussions only leads to a better classroom experience.”

Real-world experience

David concluded: “I am fortunate that I had the opportunity to work in our family business before returning to Ivey to teach. In that time, I led our global manufacturing operations, sales, and marketing, and later became President of the firm.

“Although we sold our manufacturing business, I have stayed active in the business community as a board member and by working with these companies on a number of acquisitions. These experiences teach me many valuable lessons about leadership and managing across an organisation.

“Case teaching provides me the opportunity to share those lessons with my students.”