The case is the result of the teacher’s scientific and methodological activities. As an intellectual product, it has its sources, which can be represented as follows:
– public life in all its diversity is the source of the plot, problem and factual base of the case;
– education – defines the goals and objectives of training and education, integrated into the case-study method;
– science is the third source of the case, as a reflective complex; it defines the key methodologies that are defined by the analytical activity and the systems approach, as well as many other scientific methods that are integrated into the case and the process of its analysis and buy essay online us .
The ratio of the main sources of the case may be different. This approach forms the basis for the classification of cases according to the degree of impact of their main sources. In this case, one can distinguish:
– practical cases that reflect absolutely real life situations;
– training cases, the main task of which is training;
– research cases focused on the implementation of research activities.
The main task of a practical case is to reflect in detail and in detail a life situation. As a matter of fact, such a case creates a practical, what is called an “operating” model of the situation. At the same time, the educational purpose of such a case can be reduced to training trainees, consolidating knowledge, skills and behavior (decision-making) in a given situation. Such cases should be as clear and detailed as possible. Their main meaning is reduced to the knowledge of life and the acquisition of the ability for optimal activity.
Although each case has a teaching function, the severity of all shades of this function in different cases is different. So the case with the dominance of the teaching function reflects life not one to one:
firstly, it reflects typical situations that are most frequent in life, and which a specialist will have to face in the course of his professional activity;
secondly, in the teaching case, educational and educational tasks are in the first place, which predetermines a significant element of convention in the reflection of life in it; the situation, problem and plot here are not real, practical, but as they can be in life; they are characterized by artificiality, “collection” of the most important and truthful details of life; Such a case provides little for understanding a specific fragment of society, but it necessarily forms an approach to such a fragment, it allows one to see the typical in situations and predetermines the ability to analyze situations through the use of analogy.
The same is true for a research case. Its main meaning lies in the fact that it acts as a model for gaining new knowledge about the situation and behavior in it. Such a case is difficult to apply in teaching ordinary students studying, for example, a typical management course. The teaching function of the case, in this case, is reduced to teaching the skills of scientific research through the application of the modeling method. Such a case is being built according to the principles of creating a research model. Therefore, it is better to use it not as a method of teaching students in the basic educational programs of higher professional education, but as a method of advanced training or professional retraining of specialists. The dominance of the research function makes it possible to effectively use such cases in research activities.
The sources of cases highlighted above are basic, or primary, since they determine the most significant factors influencing cases. At the same time, it is possible to single out secondary sources of case formation, which are derived from the basic sources described above:
- Fiction and journalistic literature, which can suggest ideas, and in some cases determine the plot outline of cases in the humanities. Fragments from journalism, the inclusion of operational information from the media in the case significantly actualizes the case, increases the interest of students in it. The use of fiction and journalism gives the case a culturological function, stimulates the moral development of the student’s personality.
- Using “local” material as a source of case formation. According to many researchers, the most intense and interesting discussion of cases about the activities of different companies occurs when a company and its products have a certain personal meaning for students. Cases about the companies “Philips”, “Matsushita”, “Kodak”, “Saatchi” and many others are discussed with great interest if there are representatives of these companies among the students. The case about the Samsung company works best when there are students in the group who have the goods produced by this company at home. The case on the development of ski tourism in the Carpathians is discussed with the greatest interest by fans of alpine skiing, etc.
It means that the cases, if possible, should highlight the experience of those companies and those goods or services that are present in one form or another on the national market. Domestic students feel more confident if they know well the environment and context in which the events described in the cases take place, it is much more difficult for them to discuss the American environment, the behavior and motives of American or other foreign consumers. The lecturer also feels more confident in conducting a case discussion based on local material, since he knows both the area and the company better. When discussing such cases, there is a unique opportunity to invite a representative of the enterprise.
- Statistical materials, information about the state of the market, socio-economic characteristics of the enterprise, etc .; at the same time, these materials can play the role of a direct tool for diagnosing the situation, and can act as material for calculating the indicators that are most essential for understanding the situation. Statistical materials are placed either in the text of the case itself, or in the appendix.
- High-quality materials for the case can be obtained through the analysis of scientific articles, monographs and scientific reports devoted to a particular problem. The use of scientific literature in the development of a case gives it greater rigor and correctness. A scientific article is usually characterized by in-depth consideration of a question; a scientific monograph gives a systematic, comprehensive description of the subject of research; a feature of the scientific report is the relevance and novelty of the material. Scientific publications can perform two functions in the case-study method: the first is that scientific publications and their fragments can act as components of cases by including them in the fabric, and the second is that they can be included in the list of literature necessary for understanding the case.
- An inexhaustible source of material for case studies is the Internet with its resources. This source is notable for its considerable scale, flexibility and efficiency.
Case structure and principles of its construction
It is advisable to highlight the following main stages of creating cases:
- Formation of the didactic goals of the case. This stage includes determining the place of the case in the structure of the academic discipline, determining the section of the discipline to which this situation is devoted; formulation of goals and objectives; identification of the “area of responsibility” for the knowledge, skills and abilities of students.
- Definition of the problem situation.
- Building a programmatic case map, consisting of the main theses that need to be embodied in the text.
- Search for an institutional system (firm, organization, department, etc.), which is directly related to the theses of the program map.
- Gathering information in the institutional system regarding the theses of the program case map.
- Building or choosing a model of the situation that reflects the activities of the institution; verification of its compliance with reality.
- Choice of case genre.
- Writing the text of the case.
- Diagnostics of the correctness and effectiveness of the case; conducting a methodological educational experiment, built according to one scheme or another, to find out the effectiveness of this case.
- Preparation of the final version of the case.
- Implementation of the case in the practice of teaching, its application in conducting training sessions, as well as its publication for the purpose of dissemination in the teaching community; in the event that the information contains data on a specific company, you must obtain permission to publish.
- Preparation of guidelines for the use of the case: development of tasks for students and possible questions for discussion and presentation of the case, a description of the intended actions of students and the teacher at the time of discussion of the case.
The case should:
– be written in an interesting, simple and intelligible language (it is advisable, if necessary, to quote the statements of employees – representatives of the company);
– differ in “drama” and problematic; expressively define the “core” of the problem;
– show both positive and negative examples;
– meet the needs of the selected contingent of students, contain the necessary and sufficient amount of information.
The definition and qualification of the problem is extremely important in the process of constructing a model of a situation. At the same time, the text of the case should not suggest a single solution to the problem posed.
Requirements for the format and structure of the case:
The plot part is a description of the situation, containing information that makes it possible to understand the environment in which the situation develops, indicating the source of the data:
– the presence of a real-life situation, on the basis of which the case was developed;
– the name of the company, the name of the product, the description of the product, its features;
– the names and positions of the main characters;
– a description of the state of the market in this area (products, consumers, production, distribution, etc.); analysis of the main competitors (their strategies, market positions, marketing and distribution policies);
– the general state of affairs in the company, its strengths and weaknesses; dealers and partners; management strategy; organizational relationships; key figures in the management team; manufacturing operations, products and processes; the financial position of the company; marketing information; employee interaction.
Informational part – information that will allow you to correctly understand the development of events:
– stages of company development, important moments in the history of development, successes and failures;
– the style of the company, the management style of the leadership;
– a brief description of the problem, it is desirable to give several different points of view (as seen by different participants in the events);
– a certain chronology of the development of the situation with an indication of actions or influencing factors, it is desirable to evaluate the results of their impact;
– the actions taken to eliminate the problem (if any), what results they gave;
– what resources can be allocated to solve this situation.
Methodical part – explains the place of this case in the structure of the academic discipline, formulates tasks for analyzing the case for students and a note on teaching a specific situation for the teacher.
The plot and informational parts can exist both relatively independent (information can be placed in the application), and closely intertwined. But in any case, its purpose and task should be clearly formulated and writing.
As noted above, the case may contain video, audio, electronic materials, or any other.
Students are given a version of the text of the situation, annexes, possible questions, but without a teaching note on a floppy disk, CD or in the form of a hard copy.
In the teaching note, the authors of the “cases” should develop specific recommendations for the analysis of situations in which the author’s analysis of situations is presented, their key, as well as the recommended methodology for conducting classes.