Case Studies and Activities in Adult Education and Human Resource Development

Steven W. Schmidt, East Carolina University
Kathleen P. King, University of Central Florida

A volume in the series: Adult Education Special Topics: Theory, Research and Practice in LifeLong Learning. Editor(s): Kathleen P. King, University of Central Florida.

Published 2010

Case studies have become a widely-used instructional tool in many educational environments. The use of case studies began in the 1950s at Harvard Business School. Today, they may be used as part of a course of study, or as the main focus of a course, to which other material is added. While the use of case studies is prevalent in schools of business and medicine, they are not often used in adult education or human resource development. This may be because there are no current major publications that deal with the use of case studies in these disciplines; nor are there any major databases of adult education or human resource development case studies for instructors to use. Good case studies can bring reality into the classroom. They can provide frameworks for discussion based on issues that must be faced in real life. Complex case issues can be broken down and examined for greater understanding, then pulled together again for resolution.

Case studies can be used successfully in adult education. I propose a book based on the use of case-based learning in adult education and human resource development (HRD). The book could be positioned as a supplement to course textbooks for courses in adult education and HRD. I would write the cases and develop the exercises, but could also get others to contribute a case study or exercise to the book. Cases would each be a half-page to maybe 2-3 pages at the long end, and would include questions for students/readers. Supplementary information (possibly in the form of a DVD) could be put together for instructors. This information would include case study focal points and examples of possible responses for each study/exercise.

1. Introduction to Case Studies. 2. Using Case Studies. 3. The Case Studies and Activities in this Book. CASE STUDIES AND ACTIVITIES. 4. Write Your Own Case Study. About the Author. About the Contributors.