For this Humber College professor, building case studies has become an addition to her daily routine.
Chandra Hodgson, member of Humber’s Centre for Teaching and Learning, has spent the past four years breaking barriers in introducing case studies into non-business-oriented programs across Humber.
Hodgson’s development in classrooms has not gone unnoticed, recently winning the CDAG Award of Excellence in Curriculum, a recognition given annually to one professor across Ontario.
“It’s a method that really made sense to me,” said Hodgson. “Really engaging to students, bringing real life.”
The Curriculum Developers’ Affinity Group includes representation across all of Ontario’s community colleges to promote best practices.
Hodgson says the case studies developed at Humber are based on real situations.
Case studies are designed to provide students real-life situations, which helps prepare them when facing pressures as they begin to work in their area of study.
Hodsgon says case studies at Humber give students a problem to solve, while providing them with background information, and a decision to make.
“The real value of cases, they allow students to step into a real person’s shoes,” said Hodgson. “Practice making all those decisions with all the background information.”
Another beneficial aspect of case studies is how safe they are for students. Hodgson says the practice of case studies protects students from financial and legal liability, despite working with real-life scenarios.
Although case studies have had a positive impact at Humber, there are still some challenges Hodsgon says there needs to be more preparation involved.
The development of making study guides available for case studies is also expected to give students a further understanding, says Hodgson.
Katherine Salazar, a first-year student at Humber studying Early Childhood Education, said the award comforts her knowing Humber has some of the most recognized professors.
“I’m really proud,” said Salazar.
Salazar is also in support of the movement case studies have seen at Humber, in various programs.
“It’s easier to understand when it’s laid out to you based on a true event,” said Salazar.
Shuteng Cao, a first year student in the Supply Chain and Management program at Humber, says case studies are easier for him to understand.