Monday, November 26, 2012

Using Case studies in vocational training

Why leave the superb methodology of case study teaching to academic institutions - universities and business schools?  RTO's and other vocational providers are set to benefit from the growing worldwide trend towards using this engaging process for excellence in learning and development delivery.
I have just attended the brilliant program from ecch delivered by expert professor, Martin Kupp and I see huge potential for using the case study method in training programs at Certificate and Diploma levels.
The right topic for the case study engages all participants from the word go and they start to see the similarities and differences between their own situation and what is described in the case study.
Trainers and facilitators are always challenged by the amount of information we channel - how much is really maintained and retained?
The case study method ensures that people own their learning experience. It is an incredible way of ensuring participant-centered learning.
The method provides participants with skills such as:
  • Critical analysis - they need to think through arguments and arrive at their own conclusions.  Participants experience theoretical frameworks in a real context that is not hypothetical.  They can explore, debate, discuss and review and most importantly recall the key messages.
  • Application of concepts - they have to relate the concepts to the real world and to their own organisation 
  • Problem solving skills - they work through challenges and decide on options for going in different directions.  There is a genuine sense that everyone can contribute to the discussion and the learnings from others in the room are often greater than what they would gain from a facilitator
  • Decision making and evaluation skills - they think on their own and in teams about choices for the best possible option
  • The ability to articulate your argument - the skill to think on your feet and to influence and convince others is critical for leadership
  • The ability to think more broadly than their current industry and to extrapolate these learnings in to their own context. As participants make these connections, they begin to think beyond the linear analysis and transfer these learning to their own challenges
 And now watch this space for on-line and virtual learning via the case study method!  MCI is going to be experimenting in this space and we welcome all contributions and advice.

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