Covid-19 Case Teaching Resources

The following resources, created by the Harvard Kennedy School, are designed to facilitate remote case teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Techniques and Best Practices for Remote Teaching
  2. Online Cases and Other Learning Materials


Techniques and Best Practices for Remote Teaching

As you prepare for and adjust your courses during this change, these pedagogical tips may help guide you through things you should consider when teaching online and how you can best prepare yourself and your students for this experience.

Case Teaching and Class Discussion in the Online Environment

  • You may want to utilize the Mute All function -- especially in combination with the Hand Raise feature -- to avoid ambient noise from participants and control the flow of student questions.
  • Because it will be harder than usual for students to know when you have shifted between discussion topics, we recommend pausing and explicitly allowing time for questions. (Keep in mind that you will likely need to reduce the amount of content you are teaching to allow for more time to respond to student comments.)
  • How to collect non-verbal feedback from students. For instance, you can choose to view your students in Zoom Gallery View (which allows you to see up to either 25 or 49 students at once, depending on your laptop), or you can view by Active Speaker (which spotlights the person speaking at the time). Gallery view will allow you to “read the room,” while Active View will allow you to better respond directly to a student question or comment.
  • Your plan for calling on students during the case discussion. (For instance, you can “warm call” students, meaning that you let them know ahead of time that you will be soliciting a response from them). Warm-calling can be more easily facilitated if you ask students to prepare a discussion post or reading response ahead of time (such as on Canvas). You can also let a student know you will be “warm calling” them via Zoom Chat. We highly recommend enlisting your TAs to manage a queue of student comments or questions.
  • What you will use to replace a classroom whiteboard. For instance, you can use a document in Share Screen view to keep the discussion focused. You can also use the shared screen view for a PowerPoint. Zoom also has a screen annotation function, where you can write, draw, highlight text and figures on your screen.
  • The methods for tracking class participation if this is a regular routine in your class. Consider using a graded or ungraded Canvas discussion to keep track of student comments and questions, as it creates a record of participation that’s easier to track than in real time. For more advanced Zoom users, you may want to keep track of participation in real time using Zoom’s Chat feature. Note: the Zoom Chat function is not binary in Zoom sessions (e.g. On or Off). In fact, it can be off, and then the Host can turn it ON to allow class members to convey comments or puzzle over a question.

  • Ensure that your own sound and picture work well (e.g. having a headset with microphone, adjusting a desk lamp and removing backlighting).
  • Debrief with your TAs to improve the class sessions.

Small Group Work

If small group work is one of your teaching strategies, there are several ways to adapt this online:

  • Clear communication of your objectives and expectations for the group task

  • Assigning small groups of 4-5 students 

  • Group names to help logistics (Group A, B, etc.) 

  • Continuity of small group membership will minimize administrative time spent per class

  • Report-outs from small groups can be more creative and persistent in the online environment, e.g. posting a slide into a shared document

  • Small groups doing work during a live class session benefit from a focusing assignment for their work together (verbal report-out, production of a slide, etc.)

  • Small groups outside of live class sessions may meet virtually and produce assignments offline

Online Cases and Other Learning Materials

Included here are select case teaching online resources and free cases, curated by the HKS Case Program, to aid educators in response to COVID-19.

Free Cases

Caught in a Storm: The World Health Organization and the 2014 Ebola Outbreak and epilogue by Dr. Claire Chaumont and Dr. Mamka Anyona with Peter Zimmerman

Keeping an Open Mind in an Emergency: CDC experiments with 'Team B' and epilogue by Pamela Varley, Herman (Dutch) B. Leonard, and Arnold Howitt

Swine Flu Scare in America (A) by Richard Neustadt and Dr. Harvey Fineberg

Swine Flu Scare in America (B) by Richard Neustadt and Dr. Harvey Fineberg

Technological Innovation for Global Health: Vaxess’ Long Road to Heat-Stable Vaccines by Laura Winig and Suerie Moon

Additional HKS Cases

The following COVID-19-relevant cases are available for purchase on the HKS Case Program website.

Epidemic Cases

Confronting a Pandemic in a Home Rule State: The Indiana State Department of Health Responds to H1N1 by David Giles and Arnold Howitt

Confronting HIV/AIDS in Pingxiang, China (A) by Nicole Szlezak and Arnold Howitt

Coping with Crisis: Hong Kong Public Health Officials and the "Bird Flu" by Howard Husock and Herman B. “Dutch” Leonard

Emergency Response System Under Duress: The Public Health Fight to Contain SARS in Toronto (A) by Pamela Varley and Arnold Howitt

Emergency Response to a Long-Term Crisis? Médecins sans Frontières and HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia by Regina Galang and Guy Stuart

Fears and Realities: Managing Ebola in Dallas by Kirsten Lundberg and Arnold Howitt

Hong Kong Copes with SARS, 2003: The Amoy Gardens by Howard Husock and Herman B. (Dutch) Leonard

Managing a Security Response to the Ebola Epidemic in Liberia (A) and epilogue by Laura Winig, Margaret Bourdeaux and Juliette Kayyem

Managing a Security Response to the Ebola Epidemic in Liberia (B) by Laura Winig, Margaret Bourdeaux and Juliette Kayyem

Tennessee Responds to the 2009 Novel H1N1 Influenza A Pandemic by David Giles and Arnold Howitt

The West Nile Virus Outbreak in New York City: On the Trail of a Killer Virus (A) by Esther Scott and Arnold Howitt

When Cultures Collide: 2015 HIV Outbreak in Southern Indiana (A) by Kirsten Lundberg and Arnold Howitt

Vaccine Cases

Ethics in International Research: the Debate over Clinical Trials of AZT to Prevent Mother-to-Infant Transmission of HIV in Developing Nations by Esther Scott, Richard A. Cash, and Michael Bennish

Placebo Trials in Africa: The African American Dilemma at the Centers for Disease Control by Kimberlee Wyche, Luc Joseph, and Joan Reede

Vaccines for the Developing World: The Challenge to Justify Tiered Pricing by Susan Rosegrant and Jose Gomez-Ibanez