The Use of Case Studies in Training
As a trainer, I always use practical exercises and case studies in my training sessions, workshops, or masterclasses. Irrespective if it's an onsite or online training I firstly present a case study to the class showing the methods and steps that lead to its successful finalization. Then I split the trainees in two working groups and assign two different case studies for which the respective groups must prepare a solution. Then the solution for each case study will be presented in front of the whole audience by two group leaders.
The case study is a method of sharing descriptive situations with the goal to stimulate the trainees to think and make decisions to successfully accomplish their job tasks, apply and develop new ideas, manage or improve processes, and solve problems at work. This method takes on a practical approach.
It is instrumental to include studies in training sessions as they are based on real-life situations, can be related to the trainees’ areas of responsibilities, thus enabling them to implement the respective new concepts and best practices learned.
Based on my experience of using case studies, I conclude that:
- As a training tool, case studies develop effective management and decision-making skills, enhance team spirit, better communication, and interpersonal skills, and strengthen the analytical skills of trainees.
- Training sessions that provide tons of theory but no practical case studies only lead to an incomplete know-how transfer from the trainer to the trainees.
- The only way training sessions can be really beneficial to the trainees and their companies is when the respective trained staff is able to apply and implement at their workplaces what they learned in the classrooms.
- Training beneficiaries should always request that applicable case studies be included in the training sessions.
- No training sessions should be conducted without case studies. Training based on case studies is king.?
And, after all, it will give a trainer great satisfaction to see at the end of each session that the learners acquired both theoretical and practical know-how.