Cases submitted to The Case Centre’s collection must have been taught at least twice in the classroom, and we suggest that the sessions be reviewed by a peer. I’m sometimes asked why this is necessary.
Refine and improve
The reason is that this gives every author an opportunity to refine and improve the case in light of how it performs in the classroom, using his or her own experience in teaching it, combined with feedback through peer observation. We ask authors to share with us their feedback and how it has impacted on improving the case.
In relation to this, I’ve been following with great interest a discussion among educational developers on how peer and student observation can be used by teachers. I thought I’d share some of their conclusions as the techniques could be used to review a newly-written case as well as by anyone wishing to improve their case teaching.
Students as consultants
Professor Mick Healey of the University of Gloucestershire, UK, highlights that more attention is being given to teachers using students as ‘consultants’ (observers/commentators). Professor Healey suggests inviting a student that you do not teach, preferably from a different department (personally, I would suggest a different business discipline), to come into a teaching/learning session and ask them to notice how the students are performing.
The advice is to then talk to them afterwards in a relaxed setting, such as a coffee bar. This approach often reveals things that students on your course would not tell you directly.