The problem could be "whether to expand your business or not", "how to get back at a competitor who just took a load of your market share", "how to develop a strategy for global operations at a time when everybody is doing so". A lot of tables are given which gives out revenues, profits and all the other gory numbers. The biggest thrill in this type of teaching comes, not when you are preparing for this case before the class, but during the class.
In class, the teacher will come with a pack of cards and shuffle it fast. Each card will have a students name on it. He will pick a card at random, call out the students name and say " So Mr.Hawkeye, break down the case for me. What do you think the MD of Proctor and Gamble should do that this point". So you should at this point tell the whole class how you would make the decision and back it up with numbers. Then the class will have an opportunity to attack your logic. This is called as a cold call. If a professor picks you at random and asks you to break the case down - you have been cold called. If you haven't prepared very well and can't break down the case, as Hawkeye is gonna be this week, because of excessive fun and no study scenario, you could be cold screwed. There is not a single theory or a concept taught through an OHP projector like in a theory class. The whole course involves debating on 20 such cases. Harvard Business School and Darden (Virginia) conducts all 100% of their coursework through the case based method so that they teach students the real world problems. Most other schools have a mixture of case-based and theory method. Class participation does not merely involve providing a logic but providing it with the appropriate soft skills so that you don't offend anyone. Class particpation counts for 30% of you grade. The cards that the professor has in his hand, also has your photo on it. There is a name board in front of you and a seating chart is provided so that students only sit in particular seats. This way the Professor can remember you and grade you apprpriately. At the end of the class the professor will show, the real decisions the people concerned made , why they made it, and how it turned out. So that you will know if your logic made sense or not. Fun isn't it.