I love the idea of case-based pedagogy as a style of learning. Too often have I sat in a college class and wondered the relevancy of the material to the real world. Case studies allow students to connect what’s going on in their lives to their education, and ultimately get the most out of the class.
I have been lucky in my pursuit of a masters degree in communication that I have been able to have an education where there is a good focus on case-based learning both in my own graduate classes and in my sections of public speaking that I teach.
Many of the theories that we learn in communication can be discussed on a case study basis. For example, theories such as framing theory and agenda-setting theory talk about the impact of the media on what we think and our daily lives. The media ends up influencing us on what the most important issues of the day are. Uses and gratifications is another great theory that can be applied to case based learning, and the idea that we as a society consume the media and news for a variety of reasons, whether that be for entertainment, to be knowledgable with our family and friends, etc. I am currently in a class called mass media and public opinion where we take our weekly readings of theories and have a discussion on them every week to apply them to our lives and current events. Communication can be heavily densed in terms of the reading, so case based learning is definitely a much needed feature to our program.
I would also argue that CBL can be applied to our public speaking class. If anything, we encourage our students through our speeches to apply our content to their personal lives. The 4 main speeches in the class are a narrative speech, concept speech, personal project report, and issue analysis. Often times for these speeches students pick topics related to their personal lives or studies, such as a concept they learned in their major, a summer internship they did, or a controversial topic that affects their community. In many ways we give a lot of control to our students to essentially make case studies with our content and tailor this class to their style.
Does anyone else have any examples of case-base learning in their programs? I would love to hear what you have to say.