What is case study? Simply put, it is a written examination, often more than one page long, that details the experience of a user (you) and what has been achieved by the individual (case study). Case studies can be written about your experiences as a customer, client, employee, or person. Even if the case study is for another person or company, the general theme should be “you” – what you have done, what you have experienced, and how you managed or solved the problem. A case study can be written about any aspect of human behavior – from personal experience to organizational training.
Case studies are conducted and written for various reasons. One reason for writing a case study is to support or refute a theory. For example, a case study can be written about a product claim, new marketing campaign, or sales pitch. It can also be written about research studies, consumer studies, management theories, or social management theories.
Case studies provide in-depth detail on the process, tools, materials, procedures, outcomes, results, and feedback involved in a given project. This level of detail is not available with most quantitative or qualitative approaches. Case studies give users and researchers an opportunity to become more informed about an issue or clientele by going in-depth about what was experienced and analyzed. It also allows those involved to compare and contrast similar cases to identify key differences that might have been identified through other approaches.
Another reason for using case studies is for research. Case studies and related documents, such as business case studies and case study compilation guides, are frequently utilized in comprehensive strategic planning, as they allow researchers to collect needed data in a concise and easily accessible format. Other data collection tools that frequently used include qualitative questionnaires and case studies.
Case studies are written about a specific case or set of events, rather than an overall situation. The information provided is more limited in scope and more often reflects on a single individual or organization rather than an entire industry. This focus gives greater weight to hard data, rather than anecdotal evidence or social reactions. In addition, the focus of this type of research design is more directed towards providing insights, rather than generalizations about the subject. In a case study, there is generally an accurate portrayal of the actual circumstances and activities that were involved rather than a generalization based upon past cases.
A strong case study design has two main components. First, the researcher must develop appropriate philosophical orientation prior to the research process. Second, the philosophical orientation must be a consistent and systematic approach to the specific case study. The best approaches are those that build on prior work, draw on philosophy and related fields, and are compatible with the research methodologies of different disciplines. With these basic requirements in place, a good philosopher will be able to perform adequately in a case study research.
The task of developing appropriate philosophical orientation prior to the research design phase is made easier with the increased availability of online creswell-based websites. There are now a number of websites that have made what is case study, an important component of their overall curriculum. The first such website was developed in 2021 by Case College, and offers hundreds of resources for teachers. A second such website was launched in spring of 2021, and includes resources for instructors, students, and other interested parties. The third such website is an encyclopedic resource center focusing on applied research methodologies.
Case study applications in education practice come in a wide variety of formats. In addition to the previously mentioned website from Case College, there are several popular books that teach various concepts and strategies, including those developed by David P. Creswell (eds.). One of the most highly recommended texts is by Paul G Johnson. A Companion to Qualitative Research, Second Edition, provides extensive reviews and explanations of key case studies, including those developed by Creswell. An Introduction to Case Studies in Education, Second Edition, which was published in 2021, is another useful source of information on this topic. Finally, Applied Research in Education: Case Studies in Education and Policy was published by the Commission on Applied Research in Education in 2021.