The Case Method is a teaching technique that has both the students and lecturers sit at the edge of their seats with anticipation. It uses decision-forcing-cases by placing students in the shoes of a protagonist who was faced with a similar situation in the past. The said student has to tackle the case as they feel is best based on research. The excitement that precedes any case presentation is fueled by the fact that the student called upon to open the floor has to defend their opinion and thought process against his high intellect classmates.
The classroom becomes a marketplace of ideas where the students debate their philosophies in an intense and compassionate setting. Learning takes place when the students advocate for their stand. The Case Method is highly interactive and educative and to get the best out of it, the following are ten tips to help you prepare.
- Solo Preparation
Most cases are bulky and the information given to the students is only enough to provoke their thought process. Taking time to study the case alone in your own environment helps you better understand the case and what is expected of you.
- Engage with your friends
Having understood the case, engage with your friends who are bound to give a different point of view from what you were leaning towards. Their ideas may open eyes to a different understanding that is bound to shape your view better. These impromptu discussions can happen anywhere; be it in the hallways, during lunch, dinner, coffee, etc. These casual settings help ease your mind and help you better express yourself in readiness for the group sessions and the main event which is the class discussion.
- Prepare to open the floor (Cold Call)
Having your name called out by the professor to open the discussion can be unnerving, and so the only way to survive the anxiety that precedes this dreaded call is to thoroughly prepare for it. The above two steps help you get enough knowledge to know which side you are leaning on but the cold call requires that you have picked a side and backed it up with fact. When the professor calls on you to open the floor, you had better have something intelligent to say.
- Engage in the mini-study group
The mini-study groups held before class are made up of different people with different ideas on the same topic. In a way,they are a preparation for the main class session which will present a plethora of opinions from people of different backgrounds and convictions. Being active in these groups exposes you to different ways of looking at the case study and thus polishes your point of view.The more you prepare the more you and everyone else gets out of it
- Your background is your strength
These classes are composed of different people from different ethnic groups and upbringing, but each of those experiences is a valuable addition to the discussion. Do not shy away from your experiences but use them and present a unique approach to the case.
- Capitalize on your free time
Do not limit your preparation time to the library and class settings, use every opportunity to prepare. You will find that every other minute that you spend in the subway or in the cab stuck in traffic is valuable for the preparation.
- Come with an open mind
Once every student is done with their solo study, most think they have the solution to the problem until they hear the point of view of their peers. The case study method isn’t about figuring out the solution but about the process that opens the student’s mind and exposes him to the different ways involved. So do not come to class with the mentality that your method or process is written in stone, no, come prepared to hear what others have to say and how they arrived at the said answer.
- Listen and Defend
Having done all your research, come ready to defend your stance from others who may use your own research and come to a different result. Your way may not be written in stone but give it a fair shot at the fight.
- Final Preparation
Use the last fifteen or so minutes to go through the facts of the case. Remind yourself who the protagonist is and polish up on your facts because the professor is about to walk in and the cold call might pick you today.
- Enjoy the Process
You are in a situation where different ideas are flowing either backing the protagonist of opposing him. The wave switches momentarily and being in the thick of it is where you reap the most, so enjoy the process and don’t be so hard on yourself if your ideas get challenged.
MBA Admissions Consultant
David is a writer and consultant at https://admissionsroadmap.com/gmat-101/