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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Case method teaching is not limited to larger, complex cases. It is often useful to supplement classroom discussions with short cases, ones that have been targeted for one or two discussion points that challenge student thinking beyond the usual lecture or textbook. These shorter cases are called 'minicases.' The objective of a minicase is to broaden the thinking of students by raising difficult, focused questions. Discussing shorter cases provides an opportunity to think carefully about key issues and to challenge conventional thinking without the overhead of preparing a larger case. Minicases can provide the bases for stimulating classroom discussions, with students being asked to read, analyze, and discuss them within the context of a single class. Or, they could be utilized for homework assignments. Or, minicases might even be useful as essay questions on exams or as tools in assessing student-learning outcomes. This article presents two focused minicases that an instructor can use in a typical information systems overview course. The first of these deals with understanding and justifying intangible benefits and the second with an interesting systems implementation headache. For each case, a discussion of how to use the minicase effectively and a suggested solution are provided. This is the first in a series of three articles appearing in JISE dealing with the topic of IT Minicases.

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