How to work with a ‘case’

In this project we work with a method called ‘Case-Oriented Education’, COE.
In COE a ‘case’ is presented to you. A case is a short story – usually based on everyday situations – that on further consideration includes questions. You will answer these questions together with the group you are working in.
There is a considerable amount of skills involved in COE: you have to be able to listen, explain, co-operate and collect and value information. Of course not everybody will immediately be good at everything. That is not a problem: COE is education, so you will learn from it.

COE works with the so-called ‘Seven leaps’: seven steps that give the job some structure. These seven steps are mentioned on the second page of this student’s manual.

Division of roles
Two roles can be distinguished in COE: group member and discussion leader. In the following part each role is explained.

Group member
Everyone is a group member. Every member makes his or her own notes. If you really want to do things professionally, one member notes the minutes. Each member has to make sure that he or she understands everything. When something is unclear, he/she should ask the leader of the conversation or the group for clarification. Of course it is very important that group members listen very well to each other and tell the others what they think.

Discussion leader
One group member is discussion leader. This is a difficult but instructive role. Good preparations make the leader’s job a lot easier. The leader makes sure that group discussions go well. He or she keeps an eye on the goal of the discussions and checks if the group members are working on that goal. He/she also makes sure that quieter students too get the chance to say what they think.
During and after the discussion he or she has to summarise what has been said and ask for clarification when something is unclear. Furthermore, the leader has to ask the other group members if they understood everything.
The teacher decides who will be discussion leader.