5. CONDUCTING CASE STUDIES
After the case study has been prepared, reviewed, and approved, it is ready to be
presented to the trainees. Both the instructor and the trainee must be properly prepared to
maximize learning with the case study.
5.1 Instructor Preparation
The case study method requires a skilled instructor. If the case study is not presented
properly, the instructor will lose many of the benefits of using the case study method. The
instructor should consider the following items prior to using a case study:
The instructor must be completely knowledgeable about the case study to be
presented. Read the case study several times and analyze it. Develop plausible
solutions and make a list of them. Have another trainer read the case study and give
The instructor must have all of the necessary training aids and materials to facilitate
learning from the case study. This includes trainee handouts, graphs, transparencies,
video tape, reference material, etc.
The instructor should use a lesson plan. The lesson plan should include directions for
size of work groups, class arrangement, etc.
The instructor should review and understand the questions developed for the case
study. In addition to the prepared questions, the instructor should think of questions
to ask the trainee during the discussions of the case study. The instructor must be
able to phrase questions to stimulate discussion. The instructor should not give
his/her personal views on the case and must avoid giving the answer away--the
learning must come from the trainee's own discoveries. Section 5.3 of this guide
discusses questioning techniques that an instructor may use.
5.2 Trainee Preparation
The case study should be introduced to the trainees to ensure they understand how a
case study is used and how the discussions are conducted. Trainees can be encouraged to
examine each element of the case carefully by reflecting on the analysis process. This begins
by examining their own statements and by listening to what others say. It includes
withholding their judgment until all the facts are stated, questioning rather than making
pronouncements, and reflecting on "the whys" as well as "the whats."