A case is nothing more than a story that describes a situation that is realistically messy and complex. The best teaching cases are “open,” or “unfinished,” so that learners have to supply information or ideas of their own, en route to choosing a course of action to respond to the situation. The idea is that our students will learn more deeply if we challenge them with life-like circumstances that reveal to students the meaning and relevance of what they have learned academically. Any academic discipline can be learned through a case-based approach, and it works for beginners as well as for advanced students.
Learn more about: Teaching with Cases
Learn the ABC’s of the: Case-Based Approach to Teaching
Learn more about: Writing Cases
PBL is an instructional approach that is highly student-driven and directed. The goal is for students to construct their own path to meeting a learning goal identified by the instructor, but not narrowly dictated. Some of the best examples of PBL are found in health fields, where students observe a phenomenon, develop a question, research the question, then propose a diagnosis, solution or treatment based on their research.