• Case-Based Learning

    Posted on September 15th, 2019 sbbaron 7 comments

    One of my most valuable classes I’ve taken here at Virginia Tech was a Human Resources course in my first year of my masters program in Public Administration. This course was mostly case based learning, both individual assignments and a large group assignment. As we went through the course and learned new topics and theories we were asked to apply those to different scenarios that one would encounter if they were working in a Human Resources (HR) department. The professor would assign the readings at the beginning of the week, and we would discuss the concepts in class. Then the following week we would have a case study analysis due which would be about 4-5 pages analyzing how we would handle the situation or problem presented to us.

    At the end of the course we had a large group project with 4-5 members in each group. This is when we had realized that each assignment we had done was similar to a component of the group project. As a group we chose a real organization to evaluate and create a job posting and description for it. We used real organizations and their resources to choose and create these positions and descriptions. This assignment and the assignments before it were useful because they were real world scenarios that either had been encountered, or could be encountered in a real HR department. Not only was it interesting to have real world scenarios and assignments that prepared us for a group project, it was practical and made us feel that our work was actually important.


    (Simmons, n.d.)

    I found that case studies and real world examples were much more interesting than hypothetical scenarios or only theory based learning. Creating a final project at the end of the semester that cold be used by the organization if they wanted also made us feel that our work could be more useful than just to get a grade or pass a class. I would definitely incorporate the ideas of making individual working building into a group project, along with creating work that could actually be usable by an organization.




    Simmons, E. (n.d.). Problem-based learning and the case method. Retrieved from https://www.thecasecentre.org/educators/casemethod/resources/features/PBL&


    7 responses to “Case-Based Learning” RSS icon

    • Working in real world scenarios is not only good because you are trained based on what is happening in the market, but also you can use all this work as a portfolio as well. Sometimes when classes have a lot of assignments and readings used to be rejected by students. Yet, if we make a step back we can realize that sometimes working under that pressure can evolve our skills and our critical thinking.

    • Great post Sarah. I have to agree with you 100% on this. Having projects that could be used in the real world could actually give us more incentive to work on those projects and to produce good quality work. I am talking based on facts since I had a similar experience during my masters and I truly most courses should be built like this.

    • I totally agree with you guys. The way to know things is by doing these things. Richard Branson expressed this notion perfectly when he siad “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” this could be applicable on any learning process and the challenge is in the way educational institutes and their faculty to make paradigm shift toward more case-based teaching style. We always encounter problems and taking advantage of the available cases to gather information to resolve them is a very effective way.

    Leave a reply