David Caulfield

Learning Lab: Case Method

I've taken this workshop format from the videos on the HBS Case Method.

Use this template to facilitate an in-person or remote learning lab where the group explores a case study. I've run this with a group of 4-6 people, but larger groups are possible.


  • 45 minutes
  • 4-10 people
  • In-person
  • Use powerpoint to display details
  • Use whiteboard to brainstorm with the group


  • Treat each other with Kindness, Consideration and Respect.
  • No phones.


  1. Present scenario
  2. Split into pairs & explore case.
  3. Brainstorm case together.
  4. Split into larger groups to practice answering the question again
  5. Practice answering the question individually.
  6. Retro on what we've learned.

1. Present Scenario

  • Show the slide with the scenario.
  • Read it aloud.
  • Invite questions + clarify.

Example Scenario: The Family Gathering

  • You are at a family gathering when someone asks ‘What do you do?’.  
  • “I work as a software engineer in the 5G space“, you reply.  
  • “That’s sounds cool! What’s 5G?“ 

How do you respond?

Family Table

2. Split into pairs & explore case

  • Split the group into pairs.
  • Ask them to explore the question for 5 minutes


3. Brainstorm the case together

  • Bring everyone back into the bigger group again.
  • Ask each pair what they came up with.
  • Write their thoughts on the whiteboard.
  • Step back and ask for their thoughts. Further clarify the case and explore different paths.
  • Cross out and add thoughts on the whiteboard to explore the case and come up with better information together.

Brainstorm session

4. Split into larger groups to practice answering the question again

  • It's time to re-explore the original case again.
  • Split the group into 3-4 people and ask them to re-explore the question using the new information.

Group Discussion

5. Practice answering the question individually

  • The facilitator goes around the room and asks each person to answer the original case study question.
  • Facilitator: "So David, you are the actor in this scenario. How would you answer the question 'What is 5G?'."
  • Go around the room and explore the question with each person.

Hands up

6. Retro

  • Ask the group what they have learned today and how they will bring it into their daily conversations.
  • Retro on the workshop itself and ask what their favourite part of the workshop was so that you can improve it for the next one.

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