Inspiring with the case method

 

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Friends House

Earlier this month (11 May) we hosted our second Inspiration Day at Friends House in London (pictured, above) for faculty working with undergraduates. It was a glorious day in London and we were delighted to welcome delegates from France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania and Spain as well as the UK.

We enjoyed a day hosted by Scott Andrews (pictured, below) of the University of Worcester and a remarkable range of presentations from experienced case faculty.

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Scott Andrews

Scott himself introduced a range of approaches to prepare for a class discussion.

Ian Birchmore of Aberystwyth University shared his experiences of using cases as assessment in accounting and audit studies – an area not traditionally associated with the case method.

Rachida Justo of IE Business School, Madrid, who leads the School’s own case teaching programme for new faculty, tackled the topic of leading the case discussion.

Jamie Rundle of University of Sheffield spoke about his involvement in setting up a Special Interest Group supporting a group of colleagues who had a shared interest in writing and teaching cases.

It was a wonderful day for three reasons.

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Inspiration Day delegate

The first was experiencing the interaction between presenters and delegates as they swapped and shared knowledge.

The second was the growing realisation that no-one was questioning the reality that cases can, should and are being taught to undergraduates with great effect.

There was no question about that. The discussion has changed from ‘Can we teach cases to undergraduates?’ to ‘How do we teach cases to undergraduates?’ That seems to me to be a step change of enormous significance, and one that we intend supporting in greater depth as the message spreads.

The third was that The Case Centre is engaging with a group of colleagues who are extending the reach of cases into undergraduate schools, and that we are providing them with resources in order to make their lives easier. These include the free resources available on our website, campus visits and the support we offer SIGs, to our new Undergraduate Case Teaching Licence, a collection of over 30,000 cases available under an affordable site licence.

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Hitting the road

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Spring has reached even this corner of a cold and wet UK, and with spring comes my very pleasant task of presenting the winners of our annual Case Awards and Competitions with their prizes.

The Awards went global in 2011 and this year I’m delighted to see we have the most diverse group of winners ever, reflecting our mission to be the independent home of the case method.

The winning cases are selected blind, based purely on the number of school adoptions made within the last five years.  This means that our winners have been judged by their teaching peers worldwide – arguably, with their students, the most critical group to impress.

The winning cases give a unique insight into current teaching. Cases on multinational business, and negotiating the new digital landscape, remain well represented, but this year has seen an increasing number of cases examining dilemmas around ethics, sustainability and the highly topical issue of sexual harassment.

Each presentation visit gives me a very welcome opportunity to meet the winning authors, their deans and other colleagues, including both faculty and case writing teams.

DaAqLsmWkAAW1evThat was certainly the case for the first of this year’s presentations, when I visited HEC Paris to present Denis Gromb with his 2018 Finance, Accounting and Control Award for Prada’s Hong Kong IPO, co-written with Alberta Di Giuli, who I’m looking forward to meeting at her presentation later this year.

The weather in France last month was only a little better than in the UK, but the warmth of the welcome more than made up for it. It is always good to be among case practitioners and at a school that fosters them.

I’m looking forward to being at a school near you, soon, making other presentations and talking to more dedicated case writers. Your work does make a difference.  It’s good to recognise that.

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