We strongly encourage you to write a teaching note to accompany your case. Cases submitted to us must include a teaching note. Faculty prefer cases with teaching notes, and most of our bestselling cases have one. Nearly half of the cases in our collection have a teaching note, but 95% of our 50 most popular cases have one.
What to include in your teaching note
There are no hard and fast rules for the style or format of a teaching note. However, it should include the following:
- Synopsis of the case
Provide a brief description of what the case is about, and the context in which it is set.
- Target group
Indicate the target learning group, for example, undergraduates, postgraduates, executive.
- Learning objectives and key issues
Set out the learning objectives, and identify the key issues in the case that will help achieve them.
- Teaching strategy
Describe how the case may be used in class. For example, suggest trigger questions to open the case discussion; offer ideas for group work; suggest how learning can be consolidated at the end of the case session, and so on. This section will generally reflect your own teaching style.
- Questions for discussion
Include a list of questions designed to promote discussion of the key issues within the case.
- Analysis of data
If the case contains quantitative data for analysis it can be helpful if the results of essential ‘number crunching’ are provided in the teaching note. Teachers can use this to check their own calculations.
- Background reading
Provide references to relevant supplementary material on the case or related issues. You may also provide information on ‘what happened next’, something students are usually keen to know.
- Experience of using the case
Include feedback on how the case has worked in different classes, and the issues on which students have tended to focus. This can be useful for other teachers preparing to teach your case.
Include links to video and audio clips that are relevant to the case.
Heath, J (2015), Teaching and Writing Cases: A practical guide (The Case Centre) ISBN 978-0-907815-04-4
Leenders, M R and Erskine, J A (1989), Case Research: The Case Writing Process (The University of Western Ontario) ISBN 0-7714-1045-X
Reynolds, J I, Case Method in Management Development (International Labour Office)
Watch a selection of video clips of management educators talking about teaching notes.
About the HBP collection
The Case Centre distributes a comprehensive range of materials including the complete collection of more than 7,500 Harvard Business School case studies, teaching notes, background notes, case videos, and a selection of software ancillaries. Also included are:
- Brief Cases that are rigorous and compact with 5-8 pages and 3-4 exhibits
- Case studies that are popular for undergraduate-level courses
- Executive education cases that provide rich yet efficient learning for managers at every level.
Additional top quality HBP teaching materials available from The Case Centre include:
- Articles from the Harvard Business Review and other top management journals
- Case method books from the Harvard Business School Press
- Over 300 individual chapters from popular Harvard Business School Press books
- Newsletter articles from Harvard Management Update, Strategy & Innovation, Negotiation, and Balanced Scorecard Report.
View the HBP collection
Harvard Business Publishing
Harvard Business Publishing (HBP) is the leading provider of teaching materials for management education. HBP was founded in 1994 as a not-for-profit, wholly-owned subsidiary of Harvard University, reporting into Harvard Business School. Its mission is to improve the practice of management in a changing world.
With approximately 350 employees, primarily based in Boston, with offices in New York City, India, and the United Kingdom, Harvard Business Publishing serves as a bridge between academia and enterprises around the globe through its publications and multiple platforms for content delivery, and its reach into three markets: academic, corporate, and individual managers.
The three market groups: Higher Education, Corporate Learning, and Harvard Business Review Group, produce a variety of media including print and digital (Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business Review Press Books, Harvard Business School Cases, Brief Cases, blogs), events (Participant-Centred Learning Seminars, Custom Events, Webinars), and online learning (Harvard ManageMentor, Leadership Direct, Online Courses, Simulations). Through these publishing platforms, Harvard Business Publishing is able to influence real-world change by maximising the reach and impact of its essential offering — ideas.