Michigan Sustainability Cases Initiative (MSC) was initially funded with $2 million from the Transforming Learning in the Third Century initiative and the School of Natural Resources & Environment (SNRE) to build a case-based curriculum for sustainability education in a variety of professional schools. MSC is writing and piloting initial cases throughout the U-M campus from its current home in SNRE. For over 30 years, SNRE professors have successfully taught with case-based learning in their classrooms, which has proved more effective than lectures. MSC is reimagining this technique, while drawing from decades of in-house experience.

Screenshot of case cover page
Cover page of an MSC

‘MSC’ also refers to the individual case products generated by the initiative. MSCs are modular multimedia sustainability case studies developed through partnerships with practitioners, teachers, and students. MSCs present actual experiences or experiences inspired by real circumstances of key ‘decision makers’ through a digital platform.

Like the traditional case method, MSCs present students with a case, a decision maker, and various stakeholders, allowing students to analyze priorities and tradeoffs in reaching a recommendation. Unlike the traditional case method, each MSC is accompanied by multimedia “Edgenotes”, a podcast, and an interactive learning exercise. Together, these bring greater depth to the case, producing more engaged, participatory learning. MSCs impart critical interdisciplinary competencies, for stronger sustainability leaders of the future.

Screenshot of case reading view
MSC library

This initiative will widely encourage case-based teaching and learning methods across the University of Michigan campus, the U.S., and beyond.

Learn more about MSC’s activities by exploring: