Explanation of Case Studies
A case is a story that describes a problematic incident, event, or situation. It typically reports in-depth information about certain aspects of the situation while under-reporting other aspects, and its conclusion is commonly left open-ended. The mission of case analysis is to make sense of the given material and to identify appropriate actions for handling the case situation. In a case analysis, students should evaluate the different opinions about the case and use their evaluations as the basis for forming a common opinion.
Case Analysis Guidelines
Step 1. What are the key issues or problems of the case?
Any case may suggest several interpretations of what the focal concerns are. It is helpful to begin by identifying as many different interpretations as possible. Have each participant state why he or she identified the issues or problems as key.
Step 2. Prioritize the problems.
Students should focus on the key issues of the case. This may involve selecting one of the issues already raised or creating a new statement that identifies the problem. In some cases, there may be several problems at work, in which case participants may wish to simply rank the problems in terms of either potential importance or timing of impact.