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What is a Case?

A case study is a story about a decision maker in a company or institution or other professional role.  The story revolves around a turning point where the decision maker is faced with a problem, issue, opportunity, or challenge.  Students are provided details that would allow them to step into the shoes of the decision maker and determine how they would handle the situation.

What makes a case different from a scenario or other narrative teaching tools?

A case is a real story based on interviews and other sources of information that allow the writer to immerse the student in the situation, with knowledge of the people involved and the important aspects of the industry, field or company that relate to the decision that needs to be made.  A case includes a signed release from the individual and/or company involved allowing the story to be used for educational purposes.  It is this dimension of a case that distinguishes it from “cooked” examples and scenarios.