Four Ways to Use Case Studies in Your Training Sessions

four ways to use case studies in your training sessions


There are many ways to engage training participants so that they can get the most out of their training experience. One way to do this is to rely on previous experience, history, and discoveries to guide your training exercises. Case studies, which refer to different documents, stories, or examples of how people have done things before you, can offer you a great deal of insight and learning opportunity to present in your training sessions. Case studies range in size and shape and can be found across all industries. So no matter what you are teaching, there’s a case study out there that could help you get your point across. Here are four ways to use case studies in your training sessions to inform learning, create interest, and promote engagement.


Write a Different Outcome

After reading a case study together or independently, you can have your participants write a different ending to the case study. For example, if you read a story about a woman who improved her communication skills after attending a workshop (just like the one your students might be in), have them write what would happen if she didn’t attend the workshop. Have them write what would happen if she was engaged/not engaged. Ask them to consider what is going on in the woman’s life that might impact her ability to communicate appropriately or efficiently during the time of training. Writing a different outcome prompts participants to consider the whole story and not just the parts that are presented to them.


Ask Questions

Have participants read the case study independently and interview each other about their thoughts, feelings, ideas, concerns, etc. related to the case study. Having participants question what they think they know related to the case study will encourage them to reflect on what they read, and consider how the information might impact their own lives. You can also have participants draft questions they would like answered related to the case study. If they could interview the author, what would they ask? Why?


Create a Visual Representation of the Case Study

If you are studying a case in which a man lost his job because of tardiness, ask your participants to draw pictures of what that looks like, how it might have felt to the man, how his absence might impact the company he worked for and more. Asking people to draw or cut pictures out of a magazine to represent words allows them to consider more than just what they have been told. Finding visual ways to describe a story is an exercise as old as time, and we often forget how powerful images can be to teach a lesson or tell a story.


Have Students Write a Case Study

Have participants write a case study of their own. They can write about something that happened in their lives. This will usually be related to work or their business. Ask them to write details about a specific incident or event. Ask them to share the case study with a fellow student and have them interview each other about their incidents as a way to open a dialogue about the topic at hand.

Case studies are an excellent teaching and learning tool. Having your students create and engage with their case studies, as well as using a variety of relevant case studies that you provide, can encourage learning on a deeper level. Give them a try during your next training session!