A letter I just wrote to my Marketing 520 professor (the tree idea was cribbed from Charlie Munger, but the Xmas tree was all me):

If we applied theory by working more cases, I'd get more out of the class. 

Knowledge of a discipline (for me) is like a tree. There is a core idea or set
of axioms that form the main trunk. Off of this trunk are large branches, the
main theories. The smaller branches are the minor theories, and the leaves are
facts which have been understood in the context of the tree.

To grow, it needs plenty of good soil, which comes from the consistent
application of the theories. With each application, the tree grows and more
leaves pop up. Now I get to sit in the shade of this huge tree.

Some courses are structured in a way which runs counter to this, and the
student ends up growing a different kind of tree. The student doesn't fully
understand the core idea or axioms, so the main trunk is very skinny. Because
of this malnourished main trunk, the main theories are also impoverished and
weak, or else the student duct-taped them on. If the student didn't/couldn't
apply the theories, the soil wasn't very fertile, so the tree didn't grow very
tall or grow many leaves. Now we're at the end of the semester, the student
freaks out, runs outside, cuts down the tree, brings it inside, puts it in a
cup of water, and proceeds to carefully balance tinsel and ornamental knowledge
on this poor, weak tree. The student then runs and quickly shows people what
has been created. Two weeks later, the tree dies.

Although I didn't do as well as I would have liked on the last exam, I did like
its structure, as it forced us to start building good trees. But, in order to
grow my tree, I need fertile cases which work their way through the core ideas
to the main theories, to finally blossom as an understood situation.

To improve the class for me, I'd move the chapter review into the cases. The
class could then proceed as follows:
  Quiz or Quiz Discussion?
  Q&A session for chapter material
  Work case
  Review answers from perspective of chapter and previous chapters
  More cases as time allows 

Unfortunately, this is just my perspective. I can only hope that all the other
kids said exactly the same thing. 

Thanks again for asking,