Writing and Working with Cases



Cases are descriptions of real world scenarios you can use to help students learn how to approach problems in the way a clinician would.

  1. The first step in writing a case is to write learning objectives describing what you want learners to know or be able to do after working through the case.
  2. You can create cases for different learning approaches: problem based learning (students lead the learning activities), case based learning (instructors guide the learning activities), or team based learning (the emphasis is on collaborative learning). 
  3. Cases should be difficult enough to hold students’ interest and motivate them to learn – but not so difficult as to be frustrating.
  4. Personal experience or that of a colleague can be very helpful to make the case realistic and to attach some humanness to the case.
  5. Plan how you’ll work through the case with your students.

It’s helpful to have answer keys ready to distribute after class (or online) so students aren’t frustrated if the group doesn’t get through all of the material.