The Case Method at the Harvard Business School: Papers by Present and Past Members of the Faculty and Staff

By Malcolm P. McNair | Go to book overview

In the conducting of any formal educational enterprise, there are details of size of class, length and nature of assignments, intensity of questioning, use of call lists, grading of classroom performance, and so on, to which some attention must be given. Under the case method, the importance attached to these quasi-mechanical factors will vary considerably, depending on the nature of the material, the maturity of the students, and the preference of the instructor for nondirective discussion or for closely controlled analysis and discussion. The following observations set forth views on these matters expressed by various members of the Business School Faculty in the course of a survey conducted shortly after World War II. They are summarized from material prepared by Robert W. Merry for inclusion in a memorandum to the Committee on Educational Policy from the Subcommittee on Instruction Methods, then under the chairmanship of Professor Harry R. Tosdal.


Use of Case Material in the Classroom

ROBERT W. MERRY

With respect to the practical aspects of conducting a class under the case method, we propose to discuss the following topics: size of class, assignments, discussion of cases in the classroom, sustaining interest, call lists, grading, and encouragement of volunteering.


SIZE OF CLASS

There is apparently a widespread impression that the case method works most effectively with small classes. This impression is not, however, confirmed by experience. At the Harvard Business School, over a period of years classes have, in fact, ranged from six or eight students to more than 100; and the consensus seems to be that numbers from forty or fifty to eighty are the most satisfactory. When the class is too large, the group may be somewhat unmanageable. The success of the case method depends to a marked degree, of course, on the development of active discussion. In a very large class, it may well be impossible to give an opportunity to everyone who wishes to speak; and when students are repeatedly denied the chance to contribute, their interest diminishes. Furthermore, when the class is large and more students volunteer than can be heard, nonvolunteers cannot easily be drawn into the discussion. The initially reticent stay reticent. In a very large class also, the instructor has difficulty in getting to know the students, and the students to know one another, with the result that a too formal

-110-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Case Method at the Harvard Business School: Papers by Present and Past Members of the Faculty and Staff
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 296

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.