Decision case studies

Farmer in soybean field

Decision case studies are an excellent way for educators to engage learners, whether they are students or farmers, on the topic of transitioning to organic farmers. Not all case studies are decision case studies. What differentiates decision case studies from descriptive case studies is the requirement that a decision be made, through discussion questions and instructor-led discussions with the students. Decision case studies have an open-ended structure; good ones will have several plausible conclusions. Our decision case studies are based on real-life stories of farmers in the Upper Midwest, making them more compelling than other learning tools.

Our decision case studies on transitioning to organic consist of several parts:

  1. Dilemma – the problem the farmer is facing
  2. Narrative – this is the farmer’s story and the facts pertaining to the dilemma
  3. Options and implications – possible choices the farmer has and the consequences
  4. Exhibits – facts and figures to help illuminate the dilemma
  5. Discussion questions – example questions for the case study facilitator to use to encourage discussion of the issues
  6. Teaching notes – case objectives, lesson outlines and epilogues (in Teacher's edition only)

List of decision case studies