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Bringing Ivey's case method into the digital age

Mar 1, 2024

As new and emerging technologies continue to transform higher education, case-based teaching, with its focus on interactive classroom discussion, is reaping the benefits of innovative online tools to enrich the learning experience.

Since the summer of 2022, Ivey Publishing, one of the world’s leading producers of management case studies, has been working on ways to enhance business case studies with online platforms, and has been building a catalogue of new Digital Learning Experiences (DLEs). DLEs are digitally enhanced cases or courses that include multimedia, such as videos, and online discussions, quizzes, and activities to prepare students for a richer classroom discussion.

At a recent demo event hosted by Ivey Publishing, Simon Parker, a professor of Entrepreneurship, discussed the benefits of DLEs versus traditional cases while leading participants through his DLE on Cheekbone Beauty, an Indigenous-owned beauty brand.

Watch the video above where Simon Parker and Violetta Gallagher discuss the benefits of DLEs.

Online prep leads to better case class experience

Parker discussed how DLEs allow for more efficient use of class time because students have already gained a basic understanding of the case through online prep work so class discussions can focus on the most important aspects of the case analysis and decision.

“The students have so much opportunity to go into a lot of depth – to get immersed in, say video content, ahead of time so they can come in with a lot of questions. Sometimes written cases can be a bit daunting. They can be a bit impenetrable,” he said. “With DLEs, there are so many ways to pique their interest – to get them engaged in the material – and it means students can come in with greater confidence that they can make a contribution in the classroom. And that’s incredibly important to get a rich learning experience.”

Global connections and perspectives

Violetta Gallagher, Ivey Publishing’s Associate Director of Product and Publishing, said Ivey Publishing even tested the merits of DLEs by having half of an HBA section do a traditional PDF case while the other half did a DLE and learned that those with the DLE felt better prepared. She said another benefit to the new format is that people from anywhere in the world can come together to participate in a DLE so that there is the added element of global perspectives.

“There’s a real community feel and aspect to the DLE because you’re learning from your peers and within your classroom, but also from a global perspective. There’s an extra layer of community learning,” she said.

Since Ivey Publishing also has case authors from all over the world, plans are underway to develop DLEs with external partners. There are currently 13 DLEs available (see list below) with 16 more in development and the goal is to build a catalogue of DLEs in different disciplines.

While Parker said not every case will work well as a DLE, he hopes more faculty will consider giving them a try.

“I think the more people hear about these, the more excited they are to not only use them, but hopefully also to develop them themselves,” he said.

Learn more about Digital Learning Experiences

Read more on DLEs or view the DLE case collection:

JP Morgan Chase and Co.: Open Banking
Cheekbone Beauty: Building an Indigenous Growth Venture
VCayr: Managing Sexual Harassment
Starbucks Corporation
Sam's Pizzeria: Managing Peak Demand
Native Deodorants: Sell or Swell?
An Introduction to Microsoft Excel
Social Enterprises: An Introductory Journey
Advanced Features of Microsoft Excel
An Introduction to Decision Trees
Descriptive and Predictive Analytics: Regression
Learning With Cases
Disruptive Innovation: Developing and Adapting Business Models for an Uncertain Future