SFU Library blog, BUEC Buzz, with colourful banner showing students

A current awareness resource for students & faculty members in Business & Economics

Engage your students with case studies on current news events: Express Cases via SBC

Published by Mark Bodnar

If you want your students to see the immediate and impactful relevance of classroom theories to the world around them, consider assigning one of the Express Cases from our Sage Business Cases database!

Some of the most common teaching techniques in Business involve incorporating either news articles or case studies into assignments and discussions. Both approaches help students apply academic theories and critical thinking to real-world situations. Such activities ensure that new knowledge and skills are developed, retained, and transferred beyond the classroom — core goals in any faculty, but especially in an applied program such as Business!

With that in mind, I thought I'd highlight a single source that combines both news and case studies: the Express Cases series within our Sage Business Cases (SBC) database.  The Express Cases make up less than 3% of SBC's content, so you might miss them if you don't know to look for them because of their unique value.

Logo of SAGE Business Cases - edited to include the word "Express"

As I mentioned when I announced our purchase of hundreds more case studies in SBC earlier this year, some of the additions — new Express Cases — were expected to show up later in the year, trickling in at the rate of 10 cases every two months. The publication of those express case studies is delayed and spread out for a good reason: they are commissioned and written to respond to very recent news events. 

In addition to being current, SBC's Express Cases are very short — generally around 500-1000 words. That makes them perfect for a quick warm-up exercise in your classes: no prep time needed! Alternatively, you could pair them with the longer cases from SBC: lead off your class with an express case, then dive into deeper analysis of an older case on related themes.

Simple line drawing of a can of baby formula and a baby bottle
For instance, this case on a very current issue was published less than a week ago: No Child’s Play: What Can the United States Do to Address the Baby Formula Shortage? (706 words). Students could discuss that short case as an appetizer, then dig into this longer (6553 words) case study from 2019: Lactalis: The Product-Harm and Product Recall Crises.

Check out some of these other recent Express Cases in SBC. Do you recognise the news events they are based on? 

As always, just let me know if you have any questions at all.

-- Mark
Mark Bodnar
Business & Economics Librarian

P.S.: Don't forget to email me if you want access to the Teaching Notes in SBC (instructors only, of course)!

  Teaching Notes: Close to 80% of SBC's cases (and 100% of the Express Cases) include Teaching Notes with suggested teaching strategies, target audience details, and possible responses to discussion questions that can help facilitate classroom discussion.

Current SFU instructors can access the notes by creating a profile within Sage Business Cases and emailing Mark Bodnar (mbodnar@sfu.ca) for an instructor verification code to enter in your profile. See Unlock Teaching Notes for more on the steps involved, including screen captures. Or watch this short video: Sage Business Cases Teaching Notes Access.