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Teaching Business Demography Using Case Studies


Many faculty members consider using case studies but not all end up using them. We provide a brief review of what cases are intended to do and identify three ways in which they can be used. We then use an example to illustrate how we have used the case study method in teaching business demography. Among other benefits, we note that the case studies method not only encourages the acquisition of skills by students, but can be used to promote “deep structure learning,” an approach naturally accommodates other features associated with the case studies method—the development of critical thinking skills, the use of real world problems, the emphasis of concepts over mechanics, writing and presentation skills, active cooperative learning and the “worthwhileness” of a course. As noted by others, we understand the limitations of the case study method. However, given its strengths, we believe it has a place in the instructional toolbox for courses in business demography. The fact that courses we teach is a testament to our perceived efficacy of this tool.

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