The Pattern Language Network

Taming web2.0 in Higher Education

How to write a case study

Posted by yishaym on September 29, 2008

When we engage with practitioners, the first thing we ask them is for a case study. That seems to be an overloaded, somewhat obscure creature. We think we know exactly what it means, or at least what we’re looking for, but it turns out that the term is so widely used in so many ways, that it can go any odd way. Often people bring their personal statement of beliefs and achievements. In other cases, they will give a marketing presentation of their project or institution. All we really want is a good story. Believe me – that’s pretty close to the best place to start a discussion, which is what Planet is all about…

We developed the S.T.A.R.R template, which we provided as a powerpoint template and as an online form. That helped, but usually only after some verbal introduction. So here’s that introduction as a (hopefully) free-standing, self-explanatory slide deck:

Please let us know how to improve it..

(And if you’re struggling with the more technical issues, there’s the help page. )

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5 Responses to “How to write a case study”

  1. Rebecca O'Rourke said

    I looked at this and I liked it – I am not sure about the little stick people in the diagrams, though. They make it look a bit like something a child would draw. As I was looking at the slides I was thnking: I will ask the team if I can use / adapt this material for a session I am teaching in December to demonstrate how to write Case Studies for a PG programmein Clinical Education. I would still like to do that but I worry a little that the drawings will create an ‘amateur / naive’ feel for this group of students who are very identified with their professional identity.

  2. yishaym said

    Thanks Rebecca. The slideshow is published under a creative commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike license. That means (in plain English) you can share it, remix it, replace the stickmen with more “professional” looking diagrams, anything that will make it useful for you – as long as you are not using it for commercial purpose, you provide a prominent notice of the origin of the work, and you apply the same terms to your derivative work.
    So please – take it, hack it, use it! and if you post your slides on SlideShare, I would very much like to link to it, so people can choose the version that suits their needs.
    By the way, my experience is that the more “professional” the audience, the more they enjoy an “unprofessional” style. I wonder if you’ve noticed the same?

  3. […] workshops was the disparate interpretations of Case Study. This led to the production of our tutorial. But it also got me thinking, maybe we can do better by a change of name. If we talk of “case […]

  4. […] about Patt… on Planet makes stuff togeth…Studies or stories? … on How to write a case studyHandheld Learning, D… on Planet: bringing learning […]

  5. Ahmed said

    This a very good way of teaching but I want to know more and practise how to master it completely.

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