Why Are Case Studies Important?

Case studies are important because they help make something being discussed more realistic for both teachers and learners. Case studies help students to see that what they have learned is not purely theoretical but instead can serve to create practical solutions to real dilemmas.

Often, there is a perceived gap between college and postcollege employment, with the assumption being that much of what someone has learned in a classroom will not necessarily apply to highly specific scenarios that this person will encounter in the workplace. Case studies help mitigate this problem by providing students a variety of scenarios that force them to examine issues from multiple perspectives and then synthesize a solution, which is the same sequence in which they will later solve problems as part of their full-time employment.

A professor or leader may apply case studies in a number of different ways, each one serving as valuable practice for future employment. Large lecture classes may be broken into smaller groups to examine a particular case study, which helps students work as part of a group and become collaborative problem-solvers. In some cases, a professor may assign a perspective to single students or groups that differs from their own personal beliefs, forcing students to approach an issue in a way they never have before. This is also valuable in preparing students for creative problem-solving and in developing their abilities to better structure arguments for their own beliefs.