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Using Case Studies to Connect with the Adult Learner in UG and GR Public Administration Programs
Unformatted Document Text:  Using Case Studies discussing cases. The only difference is in the richness of experiential background that each will bring to the integration of theory and practice. This supports adult learning and suggests that the student is transformed in the learning environment through the in-class exchange. Case-Writing Methodology There are four parts to writing a case: developing a case outline, writing a case prospectus, conducting research, and writing the case. In addition, after the case has been written, there is a discussion of the case typically involving 5-10 participants, who are also case-writers. The first stage, creating an outline, consists of answering the following questions: • What is the organization? It can be an organization the student has worked for or are currently working in. If they haven't worked in an organization then students can choose an organization from a list or one they have an interest in working in. It is likely that this option will require mainly secondary research on the student’s part. • What is the problem or situation you want to analyze? Students write a one-or two-sentence description of why they are interested in using their organization for a case study. • What topic or topics from class does the proposed case study fall under? The linkage of the case with topics from class begins the process, at the most rudimentary level, of applying course concepts to organizational experience. The next stage involves writing the case prospectus. This phase of the process entails fleshing out the earlier outline by the following steps: 1. Briefly describe the organization on which the case will be based. A lot of this information will be fleshed out by answering the questions: What is the setting? Where, when, why did the events happen? 2. Identify the key actors in the case Include the names of positions or departments as opposed to individuals. Use false names to conceal identities of actual persons. 3. Provide a brief description of the case story or content including the problem/issues/ opportunities and the actions/outcomes. 4. Describe how the background research for the case will be conducted and how primary source information from the organization will be collected. 5. Describe the teaching purpose of the case or how it could be used in a class similar to this one. 8

Authors: Sussman, Stephen.
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Using Case Studies
discussing cases. The only difference is in the richness of experiential background that each will
bring to the integration of theory and practice. This supports adult learning and suggests that the
student is transformed in the learning environment through the in-class exchange.
Case-Writing Methodology
There are four parts to writing a case: developing a case outline, writing a case prospectus,
conducting research, and writing the case. In addition, after the case has been written, there is a
discussion of the case typically involving 5-10 participants, who are also case-writers. The first
stage, creating an outline, consists of answering the following questions:
What is the organization? It can be an organization the student has worked for or are
currently working in. If they haven't worked in an organization then students can choose an
organization from a list or one they have an interest in working in. It is likely that this option
will require mainly secondary research on the student’s part.
What is the problem or situation you want to analyze? Students write a one-or two-sentence
description of why they are interested in using their organization for a case study.
What topic or topics from class does the proposed case study fall under? The linkage of the
case with topics from class begins the process, at the most rudimentary level, of applying
course concepts to organizational experience.
The next stage involves writing the case prospectus. This phase of the process entails fleshing
out the earlier outline by the following steps:
1. Briefly describe the organization on which the case will be based. A lot of this information
will be fleshed out by answering the questions: What is the setting? Where, when, why did
the events happen?
2. Identify the key actors in the case Include the names of positions or departments as opposed
to individuals. Use false names to conceal identities of actual persons.
3. Provide a brief description of the case story or content including the problem/issues/
opportunities and the actions/outcomes.
4. Describe how the background research for the case will be conducted and how primary
source information from the organization will be collected.
5. Describe the teaching purpose of the case or how it could be used in a class similar to this
one.
8


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